By Reginald Laubin
Not anyone understands for sure simply while the bow and arrow got here into use in the United States, yet they have been in use from the some distance North to the end of South the USA whilst Europeans first arrived. Over the hemisphere the apparatus ranged from very terrible to first-class, with the best bows of all being made within the Northwest of North the US. a few of these bows rivaled the traditional vintage bow in fantastic thing about layout and workmanship. The attitudes of whites towards Indian archers and their gear have ranged from the top of compliment with legendary feats rivaling these of William inform and Robin Hood-–o mockery and derision for the Indians' brief, "deformed" bows and small arrows. The Laubins have came upon lots of the renowned conceptions of Indian archery to be erroneous-as are many of the preconceived notions approximately Indians—and during this publication they try and right a few of these fake impressions and to offer a real photograph of this historic artwork as practiced by way of the unique Americans.Following an creation and historical past of Indian archery are chapters on comparability of bows, bow making and sinewed bows, horn bows, strings, arrows, quivers, taking pictures, medication bows, Indian crossbows, and blowguns. these wishing to profit whatever concerning the use of archery take on by means of American Indians, whatever of the ingenuity linked to its manufacture and upkeep, and whatever in regards to the significance of archery in daily Indian existence will locate during this publication a wealth of latest, worthy, and critical details.
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Extra resources for American Indian Archery (Civilization of the American Indian Series)
The Indians of Canada and Maine and the Cherokees of the South found the bow and arrow better for hunting after all. To this day the Cherokees use it because it makes no noise and because the Indian hunter can get the game he considers legally his without alerting game wardens, who take a dim view of aboriginal rights. In the West too the bow began to give way to the prestige of the white man's mysterious iron thunder stick (mazawakan, or mysterious iron, in Sioux). But until the availability of the repeating rifle the majority of Indian hunters clung to the bow.
Columbus reported that the Indians had bows as large as those in France and England, with arrows one and a half to two yards long. The hard wood foreshafts were a span and a half and poisoned. Some arrows were tipped with fish teeth. These Indians were the warlike Caribs, who sent such a shower of arrows at Columbus's landing party that it hastily retreated back to the ships. Six-foot bows were also found among Indians on the Gulf Coast by the Narvaez expedition, which turned out to be a complete fiasco.
This is pretty poor shooting and would give the impression that even good Indian bows were inferior weapons. If he used bows like some that I have seen in museum storerooms, it is a wonder he got as much range as he did. I have seen a few bows that were beautifully made, but they were invariably in very poor condition because they had been cared for by people who knew nothing about them. Some were still strung after all these years. Others, in fact most of them, had been standing up, probably ever since they were first collected.