The Blowguns and Darts That Use Frog Poison

The Weapons of Amazon Rain Forest Natives

The Small quiver that native tribesman keep poisonous darts in.

The Small quiver that native tribesman keep poisonous darts.

When the natives of the rainforest are in need of food, they enlist the help of various poisonous frogs to supply them with killing power. They will keep a bamboo “quiver” like the one shown above filled with darts. They need to keep them secure and out of the way to prevent accidentally pricking themselves. They have hunted this way for thousands of years successfully. Although some of the poisons used in these hunting methods are derived from a plant known as curare, some species of dart frogs are still used.

The odd looking item in the second image (below) is a dried out gourd, which is filled with silk cotton from kapok trees. This cotton is used as an air seal as it is wrapped around the rear end of the dart. Essentially this gourd is a convenient cotton dispenser.

A gourd filled with cotton from the kapok tree.

A gourd filled with cotton from the kapok tree. This cotton is used to make darts for killing prey by natives of the Amazon jungle.

The Darts are made from lengths of palm leaves. The stiff mid rib in the center of the palm is needed. One end of these is sharpened and placed on the skin of the poisonous frog or a species of plant to collect the poison. These extremely powerful nerve and muscle toxins are lethal to any animal.

Shown in the image below are some of the actual darts from a tribe native to the amazon rainforest.

Poison darts for a blowgun

Poison darts for a blowgun. Here you can see the cotton from the kapok tree has been wrapped neatly around the back of the darts. These poison darts are where the poison dart frog got their name. As you can see here, these still have visible poison on the tips.

Finally, the image below is the actual blowgun of an Amazon rainforest native. As you can see this one has been around a few seasons. This particular weapon was on display at Midland center for the arts in MI. The length of this blowgun is an astonishing 7 feet or more. These are carved from wood with a bamboo tube in the center as the barrel.

A genuine blowgun from a tribe in the Amazon rainforest

Shown here a blowgun from the native tribes of the Amazon rainforest in northern South America.

This video below is showing a native rainforest tribesman using a blowgun very similar to the one shown here.


  1. Lyman C Chancellor

    April 13, 2015 at 10:33 am

    Where can I purchase a real gun (native)?

    • Dub

      April 28, 2015 at 6:40 am

      Lyman, I would check ebay. They don’t seem too easy to find overall. Perhaps set a search alert and you will get one eventually.

      • Dan Hatcher

        August 7, 2017 at 5:36 pm

        I have access to two…they are from 1967 the lady and and husband traded with the tribe back then.. She is selling them.

    • Rebecca

      April 30, 2016 at 10:58 pm

      I have one you can purchase. Looks just like the one in the picture.

      • Lyman C Chancellor

        July 17, 2016 at 11:53 pm

        How much?

    • Scott

      July 25, 2017 at 4:27 pm

      Lyman, I have a 10′ blowgun – really beautiful, and unlike any other I have seen – that I purchased in Peru in 1985. I bought it from a visitor center that had a small museum. Even then they were quite hard to find, but I was 13 and had no fear of rejection, so I asked them if I could buy it, and they said yes. I have quite a few unusual pieces from all over the world actually. I’d be willing to part with some of them, perhaps even including the blowgun. It won’t be cheap, but as far as I can tell it is nearly one of a kind. Drop me a line at platonicbomb (at) g mail.

  2. Karla Uhlir

    April 25, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    I have one of these. Is there a worth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *