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Various Vendors and Cooperatives: "Phony versus Authentic Tribal Art, Part III" Puerto Ayacucho Shopping Tip by atufft

Puerto Ayacucho Shopping: 4 reviews and 13 photos

  Piaora Dart Quiver and Yanomami Basket Bowl
by atufft
  • Piaora Dart Quiver and Yanomami Basket Bowl - Puerto Ayacucho
      Piaora Dart Quiver and Yanomami Basket Bowl
    by atufft
  • Yamomami Quivers - Puerto Ayacucho
      Yamomami Quivers
    by atufft
  • Arrowheads:  Tooth on Left, Steel on Right - Puerto Ayacucho
      Arrowheads: Tooth on Left, Steel on Right
    by atufft
  • Arrow feather:  Authentic on Left, Phony on Right - Puerto Ayacucho
      Arrow feather: Authentic on Left, Phony on Right
    by atufft
  • Spear has the authentic natural twine - Puerto Ayacucho
      Spear has the authentic natural twine
    by atufft

I have a particular interest in tools of technology, so tribal weaponry is a favorite for collection in Puerto Ayacucho. Unfortunately, I have not been yet able to bring home an authentic blowgun, as they are as long as a pair of skiis and therefore difficult to pack for air freight. I do have an shorter version which works quite well for demonstration with students and children. I also have several apparently authentic quivers full of darts, and other vessels the hunter would carry with him. In appraising all these things, I look at the materials and construction for authenticity. Ask questions to learn more. The quivers shown in the first photo are from different tribes. The cylindrical tube one with the authentic peccary leather cap is Yanomami, I believe. The quiver shaped from a palm branch is Piaora, I believe. The second photo of the two arrowheads shows the resourcefulness of the hunter to include new technology, and the buyers need to avoid purchase of such implemented technology. Note the use of a metal fragment for the point in the phony version while a bone or tooth is found for the same in the more authentic point. Also, note the use of a special crooked bush branch in the more authentic version, while the less authentic is more straight and of a more ubiquitous reed material. The construction is less time consuming as well. As it turns out the crooke branch has it purpose in the authentic arrow, a purpose made obsolete with the introduction of metal, particularly if the arrow will be sold to a naive tourist who wants a functional arrow.

What to buy: The feathered end of the arrow is even more shocking in its decline of elegant construction. Note the indiscriminate use of any bird feather to decorate the end of the steel pointed arrow. In contrast, on the more authentic arrow, two carefully selected feathers from a particular bird specie are carefully tied to the arrow shaft. In flight these feather's cause the arrow to spin for a more straight trajectory. In the metal tipped version, the shear weight of the tip makes such concern for aeordynamics much less important. Besides, the newer technology is crafted for tourists who want to play with a tribal bow and arrow. Their use of such equipment is experimental at best. In appraising the construction of these arrows, particularly in the third photo, note carefully the type twine used to bind the parts together. Phony arrows and spears will use synthetic string, rather than specially crafted twine made from rainforest fibers.

What to pay: Vendors will keep the more authentic weaponry in the back, and so you'll need to bargain for it. Again, anything that's truely authentic deserves a good price as these things are vanishing fast from the Puerto Ayacucho market. Their market value in the USA is not high, but good authentic weaponry will certainly become museum items for the next generation.

Theme: Local Craft

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Apr 1, 2006
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