Polynesian arrow

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On this page: What you need - How to ? - Throwing - Miscellanous

It's an arrow with feathers who could be launched using a piece of string. This give a small catapult effect, which throw the arrow further than with hand only.

Polynesian arrow

It's a do-it-yourself job to make with childrens on a tedious afternoon.

What you need

  • A wood stick of about 40 cm or 16 inches : Tell the kids to bring you a hazelnut tree branch of about one finger diameter.
  • A piece of supple plastic for feathers : Use an old liquid laundry soap plastic jar.
  • Some iron wire : To fix feathers.
  • Some string : About 30 cm or 10 inches bigger than the wood stick size.

How to ?

Sharpen one extremity of the wood stick (could be made by kids).

Cut straight the other extremity, using a saw.

Polynesian arrow
Splint his extremity in four on about 6 cm or 3 inches.Polynesian arrow
With scissors cut plastic to get 2 rectangles of 10x5 cm or 4x2 inches (about).

Make a slash in the center of the two plastic rectangles, and fit together to make feathers.

Polynesian arrow
Put feathers in the bottom arrow and fix it with some iron wire (in red on the schema).Polynesian arrow
You should have something look like that.Polynesian arrow
Possibly cut again feathers to get beveld ones, more esthetic.Polynesian arrow
Make the nick about two cm or one inch from feathers (in blue on the schema).

Then prepare the string by making a simple knot on its extremity.

Polynesian arrow
You should have something look like that.Polynesian arrow
The arrow is over, to test it just throw it high, if it plant in earth, it's ok... Otherwise it's maybe too heavy (wood too big, or too large in diameter, you should reduce), or feathers too small, you can enlarge it.Polynesian arrow


String is rolled, with its knot, around the nick.Polynesian arrow
String is tight along the arrow.Polynesian arrow
The remaining string is rolled around hand launcher.Polynesian arrow
And the all is hold by the arrow extremity.Polynesian arrow
And then throwed away...Polynesian arrow
Polynesian arrow
Polynesian arrow


Be careful, arrow can be throwed far, so take care with all around and teach the kids security rules: demonstration, never toward humans or animals, etc...).

You can make a target, by putting in the garden or field an old bike tyre, the goal is to plant the arrow in.

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Last modified on: August 11th 2018

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Your 1 comments or questions on this page:

We made and played with these when we were kids back in the 60's. We called them French arrows and if they were weighted on the tip they often flew over 200 meters. Fantastic fun for kids.
By Geoffrey september 11th 2009 at 20:32 (n° 1)
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