Tag Archives: history

World Atlatl Association Ties Atlatlists Together

We still treasure the handwritten notes we received many years ago from World Atlatl Association secretary Leni Clubb. When we first started going to atlatl events in the early 90s, we were thrilled to find our there was a World Atlatl Association.
World Atlat Association logo

We became members and have been members ever since. Leni attended atlatl events and kept everyone informed about atlatl events and rules for over two decades. Many of us fondly remember her handwritten notes and support as we set up atlatl events in those early years. Leni has been retired from her secretary job now for a few years but her dedication and loyalty to the World Atlatl Association made it the terrific organization it is today.

Membership in the World Atlatl Association is well worth the minimal annual dues. The WAA has an informative webpage and members receive quarterly newsletters. Check out Thunderbird Atlatl’s Bob Berg hunting with one of our Wyalusing atlatls on this page of the World Atlatl Association web page.

Interested in joining? Go to the webpage or print the application form below:

Where does the word “atlatl” come from? Thank Zelia Nuttal.


One of the people we as atlatlists owe a great debt of gratitude to is Zelia Nuttal. She was a polyglot who used her mastery of several languages to discover and write about pre Aztec cultures in Central America. She had a working knowledge of Nahuatl the language of the Aztecs who dominated what is now central Mexico during the Late Postclassic period of Mesoamerican history.

Zelia Maria Magdalena Nuttall wrote an article in 1891 called “The Atlatl or Spear-thrower of the Ancient Mexicans”. It is very likely that the word “atlatl” was brought into the English language via her publication. Nuttal was born in San Francisco, on September 6, 1857 and died April 12, 1933. She was an American archaeologist and anthropologist, who specialized in pre-Columbian Mesoamerican manuscripts. She traced the Mixtec codex now called the Codex Zouche-Nuttall and wrote the introduction to its first facsimile publication (Peabody Museum, Harvard), 1902. She was educated in France, Germany, and Italy, and at Bedford College, London.

This is sourced from a Wikipedia article. –Bob Berg