Blowguns Forum banner
1 - 1 of 1 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The first thing I must do in writing anything about any kind of blowgun is to honor the Cherokee. This must also be the last thing. Otherwise every word I write is a waste of ink, and every dart I shoot is a waste of breath.

The young man moves slowly and stealthily from the deep woods toward the edge of the clearing. He is short and muscular by today's standards, and is dressed in a buckskin shirt, leggings, and moccasins. His jet-black hair falls from beneath a turban-like headdress, decorated with a few feathers and shells. In his hands are the long slender cane blowgun called Tugawesti and several needle-sharp wooden darts tufted with Bull Nettle. The darts are called Gitsi. He has prepared himself by singing the hunt song, and shooting one of his darts away. It is a sort of sacrifice to the spirits of the hunt. His black eyes are intently focused on his quarry, a flock of birds feeding on the Service Berries in the low trees by the edge of a stream. They are considered to be a great delicacy by the Cherokee. He makes a low hissing sound with his lips to calm and attract the birds.

The Cherokee are his people. He is of the Bird Clan, known for their prowess with the Tugawesti. He has been preoccupied of late with a pretty young woman of the Blue Clan, and the birds will make a nice gift for her mother. Hopefully this will work in his favor when the women of the Blue Clan consider his initial request to marry the young woman.

Slowly he loads a dart into the blowgun, and raises it to his lips. Another dart protrudes upward from his gripping fingers a few inches in front of his right eye. It serves as an improvised sight. The young man deliberately relaxes his body, seeking to still himself from within. As in most aspects of his life, this relaxation technique is spiritual in origin. A quick puff of air sends the dart on its deadly mission at nearly 200 feet per second. There is a brief quiet flutter, and one of the birds falls to the ground. The other birds flit around in the trees, but do not fly away. The young man slowly loads another dart. Otherwise he is as still as a statue. Another dart flies, and another, and another. Each time a bird falls. He does not miss. The Bird Clan members are indeed masters of the Tugawesti. When he has enough he gathers the birds, reverently thanking each one in turn for giving him the gift of its life. He then turns toward the village, and the home of the young woman's mother.

It is a beautiful day in the smoking mountains, the heartland of the Cherokee. The proud young man is full of hope and dreams of the future. He has no way of knowing that within his lifetime, pale strangers will come: Strangers who will change his way of life and that of his people forever. He strolls slowly along, daydreaming of the pretty smiling face of his young woman.

Less than four hundred years later, the thriving city of Asheville North Carolina engulfs the area of the hunt with tall buildings, paved streets, businesses and shops. The stream has long since been diverted, swallowed up by concrete, asphalt, and steel. Pale metropolitan people hurry back and forth, living their contemporary lives. If asked, most would have only a vague distorted notion of what a blowgun is. They will never know how wonderful the birds taste when rubbed with herbs and roasted on a stick. They will never master the subtle skill of the Tugawesti, or care to try. In spite of this, there will be those few who remember. There will be those few who know…
 
1 - 1 of 1 Posts
Top