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Old 12th March 2013, 02:48 PM   #6
Iain's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Morava - Olomoucký kraj - Czech Republic
Posts: 1,499

Originally Posted by Andy Stevens
Hi Iain.
Interesting video, I've made a few bows over the years-nothing Robert Hardy would smile at!- and had great fun in the process. I've found a certain snobbery within the Uk archery fraternity regarding any bows from Africa, the general opinion that they are under powered and made of poor wood. Mention Japanese, Turkish or Indian archery and its all smiles. But africa seems the sad cousin, so this post is a good thing.

The picture below is one of the most common types of quivers found in the Uk, and these are normally described as Manding in origin.The bows that are often with the set look rather pathetic so perhpas for the traveller? I'm not sure. I will try and find some more pics of other bows etc

Last bow I think I made was when I was about 10. Needless to say it was utterly rubbish!

I think African archery is a fairly broad topic but has been colored in large part by a technique employed by many ethnic groups where the arrows are poisoned. This negates the need for penetrating power. This practice is deeply rooted in hunting where a large animal could be only lightly wounded but would succumb to the poison and could then be tracked.

What I think is neglected is the heavier stuff, like the Cameroon image I posted above. The heavy quilted armor from the Sahel is said to have been developed mainly as a defense against arrows. Some of the bows from Cameroon and Nigeria have a slight recurve as well. Image attached from Waffen aus Zentral-Afrika - 152cm overall. In the same book one can see bows of a flat profile and rounded.

Thanks for posting the arrows and quiver - I recognize the type and have seen a few sets as well. They might indeed be made for those who travel these days. I don't recall seeing many with the bows still - usually just the quivers.
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