Harpoon - this ancient hunting weapon.

Most of our contemporaries believe that harpoon - is something like a spear to catch fish.Most often it is confused with a spear.This is understandable: for hunting and fishing "for fun" classic spear almost never used, but the indigenous peoples of the North, who live in traditional crafts, this tool is still honored."Civilized" Europeans and Americans now use the harpoon gun, and it has little in common with ancient tools: this is quite a sophisticated tool for the many centuries of its existence, it has undergone significant changes.Special popularity was, of course, whaling harpoon, Herman Melville described in detail, but there were other, different in design and purpose.We will try to highlight their similarities.

meaning of the word "spear»

Compilers dictionaries agree that this term (harpoen) owes its appearance to the Dutch whalers, who in the 17th century had no equal.The word comes from the Late harpo («hook").However, there is evidence that the concept arose even earlier - the Basques, a people living in present-day Spain.Translated from the Basque language "spear" - a "stone island".In Russia, called the harpoon carousing or spokes.

design.Harpoon and prison

The simplest device to have harpoon fishing.Such a harpoon - a jagged spear.In some cases, it has a ring for tying a boat.Harpoon is sometimes called spear (and vice versa), but in fact the prison - it is quite another to implement.It has a few long teeth and is not intended for throwing.Hunter hits it fish without letting go of the hand of the flagpole.Harpoon for hunting aquatic animals (seals, walruses) is a projectile weapon that consists of a shaft (usually wood), tip (maybe a bone, stone, metal) and the linking of their rope.Under the conditions of poverty of materials and tools to the hunter is not easy to make a harpoon.Photo clearly demonstrates what a complex structure may have this device.

tip usually flat and jagged, inserted into the shaft, but is connected to them tightly.Once the hunter did throw, pole is separated from the tip, entered into the body of the victim.It is not always possible to kill an animal with one shot.A wounded animal tries to escape, the rope is pulled, and the shaft, which floats on water, the hunter indicates the direction of its movement.Get rid of the entrenched in the body of the victim can not tip: this is prevented by the side teeth.

Harpoon different nations

Harpoon - is an international gun.People have learned to cut them back in the Paleolithic era (early Stone Age).They were made of bone (northerners - walrus and mammoth) and horns, more deer.Razor ancient harpoon Eskimos, Aleuts, Chukchi and Koryak made of flint, bronze, iron and native copper.However, the people of Alaska did not disdain and whole wooden harpoons.Some African tribes use a harpoon (with an iron tip) to hunt hippos.On the Andamans them kill wild boars.In the caves of mainland Europe (at a considerable distance from the sea) found bone tips from sophisticated harpoons, which were used, obviously, for catching big fish and hunting on forest (not water!) Animals.Bone tips Neolithic are found in Russia.With harpoons hunted in summer and winter, with the boat, or just a hole in the ice at water.Since ancient times, harpoons used for the extraction of Indonesians whales, dolphins and sharks.Their design did not provide for the separation of the tip harpoon boat tied to a long-lin.It should be noted that Indonesians do not throw the harpoon in the whale, and not letting a staff of hands, jumping on his back and inject it as usual spear.

Harpoon - ancient instrument

whaler harpoon forms were very diverse.Classic European or American whaling tool has an iron pole and broad short blade.Most often in these harpoons wooden handle, for which they are attached to the boat very long rope.In the 19th century (and earlier) whales chased in small rowing boats (whaleboat).Approached to a distance of 6 meters, the harpooner metal in China their weapons (often - two).On a roll of the tip is not separated from the shaft.Lin tied to the harpoon, rapidly unwind, and the whale was dragging a huge speed boat on the waves until they knocked out of power.Then the whale kill, but not a harpoon and a spear, and did not do the harpooner, and Captain whaleboat.Nevertheless, a good Harpoon enjoyed great respect.

Northern hunters still come across whales in the body which are twisted guns 19th century.Below is one such harpoon. photo, even such a concise, evidence that the whale was more than dangerous opponent.

Norwegians have even a law according to which a man, having a family, could not be harpooner.

Evolution tools

In the second half of the 19th century whaler harpoon changed harpoon gun, invented by a Norwegian engineer Foynom.She took a whaling safer and much more unsightly.Common spear evolved scuba gun.But these adaptations have retained the main elements of its "parent": a sharp tip with teeth directed backward, and a cable that does not allow the hunter to miss their prey.

Indigenous Peoples continue to use the same tools as their ancestors.Harpoon - is a versatile fishing tool.Despite the fact that the residents of Alaska and Chukotka was the availability of firearms, they are not going to abandon proven by centuries of hunting methods and means.