Phoenix/ Arts & Culture
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Published on May 27, 2024
Phoenix Celebrates Inaugural 602 Day with World Atlatl Day Event at S'edav Va'aki MuseumSource: City of Phoenix

Gearing up to celebrate local pride and ancient technologies, Phoenix is getting ready to throw it way back—way, way back to prehistoric times, that is. In conjunction with the city's inaugural 602 Day, the S'edav Va'aki Museum is hosting World Atlatl Day on June 1, welcoming families to try their hand at wielding the atlatl—an ancient weapon that predated the bow and arrow, the museum announced earlier this week.

For those not dialed into the ancestral weaponry scene, the atlatl is basically a large stick with a hook that flings darts or spears with more oomph than your average human could muster alone. Anyone can head over to the museum from 9 a.m. to noon to give the atlatl a whirl, no pre-registration or prior experience necessary. And if throwing pointy objects isn't your bag, hey, it's still a free ticket into the museum for those hours—courtesy of S.A.L.T. (Study of Ancient Lifeways and Technologies), a local Arizona group passionate about these old-school survival skills.

“The goal of World Atlatl Day is to increase awareness and appreciation of this ancient technology and have as many people throw an atlatl on a single day as possible,” states the S'edav Va'aki Museum's press release. With this event, Phoenix will join a chorus of cities across the country that use their area code days for a bit of self-promotion, nudging residents and outsiders alike to see the charm, cultural vibrancy, and yes, occasionally the quirky historic weaponry, that their hometowns have to offer.

Ready to test your prehistoric hunting skills and flex a bit of civic pride? While the S'edav Va'aki Museum is rolling out the (figurative) red carpet to history buffs and curious locals, the S.A.L.T. team will be demonstrating the ins and outs of atlatl tossing. So, if learning, sharing, and practicing ancient people’s skills are something that thrills the history nerd in you, don’t hesitate to pencil in that atlatl date. The museum and S.A.L.T. hope, after all, to educate visitors on how these technologies enabled our ancestors to thrive in their environments, not just survive.

For more details on World Atlatl Day or other upcoming events at the S'edav Va'aki Museum, throw your browser over to their website or give them a ring at (602) 495-0901.