Indian Warbow

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jimford

Settler
Mar 19, 2009
548
0
81
Hertfordshire
I was browsing through my copy of 'The Book of Woodcraft' by Ernest Thomson Seton, and came across this concerning a 'serious' bow. As there are bow enthusiast on this forum I'm posting the text (but not the accompanying illustration):

"The Warbow of the Penobscots

This warbow (Tong-bi) is as shown to me by Big Thunder, Penobscot Chief, at Boston Sportsman's Show, December 12, 1900. He was then seventy-seven year of age, perfectly straight and six feet four inches in height.

He said that the bow had been in his tribe for over two hundred years; fifty-five years ago it was put in his charge by his uncle, the late Chief John Nepta.

It is made of hornbeam in two pieces. loosely joined, with an auxiliary piece in front, to which are attached two long thongs of caribou rawhide. This extra piece is bound to the arms of the main bow by a somewhat loose wrapping.

The string is three strips of rawhide, two of them loosely twisted together, the third tightly wrapped around both.

The bow is 5ft 61/2 inches long, and pulls not more than 25 pounds, perhaps only 20. It seemed to me a very slow bow.

Yet the Chief told me it had killed many men and animals. He had recently shot a two-year moose with it."

Jim
 

jojo

Need to contact Admin...
Aug 16, 2006
2,630
3
England's most easterly point
pnb1.jpg


penobscot5.JPG


That's the type of bow talked about. You can't see them in this pic, but there are strings joining the main bow and the shorter bow on the back. You can adjust the draw weight somewhat by twisting these strings. If I remember correctly, Seton was not an admirer of "native" archery, thinking the English Longbow was far superior to anything. They are good, but not in every circumstances, for example try shooting one from a galloping horse, or hunting in dense woodlands. And there were some powerful ones despite what Seton thought. Also, powerful bows are not always necessary in short distance hunting.
 

jojo

Need to contact Admin...
Aug 16, 2006
2,630
3
England's most easterly point
Oh, unfortunately it's not mine, and it's not me in the pic! There are variations of the length of the secondary bow, even the shape and the curves. I just find them really interesting. One of these days, I'll make one!
 

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