When it comes to surviving in the wild, most of us are more like Michael Scott deep in the Pennsylvania wilderness than the actual Survivorman, who braves such places as the arctic tundra, the Arizona desert and the plains of Africa. Its true: The average person reading this hello, dear reader is no more equipped to forage for grubs or spear a woodland creature, large or small, than the bumbling boss on The Office, which is why the Atlatl Competition at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site (30 Ramey Street, Collinsville, Illinois; 618-346-5160 or www.cahokiamounds.org) ought to be pretty interesting. The atlatl is a spear-thrower that helped Native Americans and other peoples hunt big game with precision and power long before the bow and arrow came along, and the contest aims to see whos best at atlatling and, by default, who would be least likely to go hungry if stranded somewhere. To learn more, to see some atlatlers in action and to try out/develop your own atlatl technique, head over to Cahokia anytime from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday or Saturday (April 16 or 17). Admission to the event is free, but donations to the site are always appreciated.
Fri., April 16; Sat., April 17, 2010