Long, narrow pipe through which darts or other projectiles are blown. Primarily a hunting weapon, it is rarely used in warfare. It has been used by aboriginal peoples in Malaysia and elsewhere in South Asia, southern India and Sri Lanka, Madagascar, northwestern South America, and Central America. Blowguns vary in length from 18 in. to more than 23 ft (45 cm to 7 m) and are often made of cane or bamboo. Darts are usually made of palm-leaf midribs or wood or bamboo splinters 1.5–40 in. (4–100 cm). The dart must fit the tube snugly, so that a puff of human breath will cause it to fly from the tube. To be effective against quarry larger than small birds, blowgun darts require poison.
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