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Old 8th June 2023, 02:23 AM   #1
wildwolberine's Avatar
Join Date: May 2023
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 104
Default Old Montagnard? crossbow from Vietnam or vicinity

Making an effort to post some Southeast Asian crossbows from my collection for comment/reference. I’ve been collecting these for 20+ years, and I’ve noticed there’s been very little written about them. At best there are scattered references in ethnographic works and reviews of tribal archery (Grayson, “Traditional Archery from Six Continents”, Wiethase, “Arrows of the World”)

This is a very large, tribally used “Montagnard” crossbow from Vietnam or vicinity. I do not have provenance but likely Vietnam War era.

Simple, kind of minimalist stock with some subtle decoration and well-shaped muzzle resembling a bottle opener. You can see the curvature in the photos. Wood rocker-type trigger that lifts the string out of the notch. Nicely made bow, plant fiber string, possibly nettle or hemp? Double nocks to allow use of bastard string for bracing. Several fine woven rattan bands. Bow has broken a been repaired with cloth strips. Large object so hard to show everything but I tried to include interesting aspects.

Measures about 148 cm (bow) and 65 cm (stock). Bow is about 4.5 cm wide with a rounded D shaped cross section.

Wondering if anyone can narrow down the region and maybe the wood used?

Also on the lookout for any good references on SEA archery and ethnographic crossbows!
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crossbow, hmong, laos, montagnard, vietnam

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