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Amazon Indian sharp shooting a blowgun A blowgun (also called a blowpipe or blow tube) is a simple weapon consisting of a small tube for firing light projectiles, or darts. The weapon is used by inserting the dart inside the pipe (known as a blowgun) and uses the force created by one's breath to give the projectile momentum. Its propulsive power is limited by its user's respiratory muscles. Many cultures have used this weapon, but various indigenous peoples of South East Asia, and the Amazon and Guiana regions of South America are best known for its use. In certain cultures, the darts are usually dipped in curare or other poisons in order to paralyze the target. Blowguns were very rarely used by these tribes as anti-personnel weapons, but primarily to hunt small game such as monkeys. North American Cherokees were known for making blowguns out of river cane to supplement their diet with rabbits and other small creatures. Today blowguns are used with tranquilizer darts to capture wildlife or to stun caged dangerous animals. Herpetologists use blowguns to capture elusive lizards with stun darts. Blowguns are also used recreationally, with either darts or paintballs. Contents [hide]
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