Selkie Sling Item in The Million Islands | World Anvil
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Selkie Sling

"Brà, you didn't attach the line on your spear!"
"Nah, it adds to much drag - I can get more distance without it."
"Yeah, but you'll lose your spear when you miss."
"I never miss!"
- an exchange between two Dòbhran Selkies, one of whom was about to lose a spear.

Selkies spend much more time hunting in the sea than humans do, and have developed a number of tools designed for this environment. One of these is the Selkie Sling. It consists of a tube of wood or bone, with an elastic cord attached to one end. A spear is inserted into the tube and notched into the string, then pulled back, stretching the cord. When the spear is released, the cord snaps back, propelling the spear faster than it could be thrown in the water.

The cord can be made of several plant or animal materials, braided together to get the most elasticity possible. Most agree that the best material to use are strands of netweed, a carnivorous plant that lives in some Floating Forests. It is more elastic than any other natural material, and holds up well underwater.

The spear is much longer than the tube, which is usually less than a foot long. A lightweight line is typically attached to the spear - this allows the fisher to easily retrieve the spear in case of a miss, or to hold on to a wounded fish. Barbs in the head of the spear make it difficult to remove, and sometimes a Selkie fisher will be pulled for miles through the water by a wounded fish before it is exhausted.

Sling competitions are common in Selkie communities, both among the Dòbhran and the Tuniit. These resemble archery competitions on land, with targets placed in the water so that they move with the currents. The competitors attempt to strike the targets at various distances, with points awarded for each shot based on the difficulty. In many Tuniit communities, the sling competition is a major focus of the Nuliajuk Ataatasiq, the annual festival dedicated to the god Silakpak. The winner of the competition will be treated as a celebrity by the rest of the community, and given a special feast in their honor.


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