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26068Re: [SCA-Archery] Period Bow

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  • J. Hughes
    Jan 11, 2009
      Actually, there was a very strong tradition of archery in France, in Gascony. This is an area known for the use of the Occitan dialect. When the English lost that part of France to the French king, the French monarchs particularly valued this capability. By the early 16th century the Kings of France had revived the practice of Philip Augustus (12th century) to have a mounted personal guard of crossbowmen. Bottom line: we do know what bow an occitan person would have used, a crossbow.

      Charles O'Connor

      From: Michael Grossberg <geejayem@...>
      To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sunday, January 11, 2009 2:20:51 PM
      Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] Period Bow

      -----Original Message-----
      >From: cuvien1438 <cuvien1438@yahoo. com>
      >Sent: Jan 11, 2009 2:04 AM
      >To: SCA-Archery@ yahoogroups. com
      >Subject: [SCA-Archery] Period Bow
      >I was wondering if anyone could help me with some information relating
      >to 14th century 'France', and archery?
      >My personae is occitan, which is a mountainous region of what is now
      >central France. I can't find any information to tell me what kind of
      >bow these people used, and what sort of wood it might have been made of.
      >Also, by pure chance I was gifted a recurve bow from an acquaintance
      >and I was thinking of just using this and going to archery practice but
      >I don't have any arrows. Should I just buy some regular arrows? Or do I
      >need some kind of special arrows? I know I want to be period, and I
      >like to make my own stuff, so maybe I should just make my own.
      >Looking at archery sites, I see a lot of different points and
      >materials. How do I know what size shafts to buy and how long they
      >should be? What points are used in archery practices and sca
      >competitions? And where should I buy my supplies?
      >Thank You,

      The French were not particularly noted for the use of the bow. Being the weapon of a peasant, it was beneath the dignity of a French knight to use, and they didn't much like the idea of having their serfs armed with a weapon that could kill a knight from a distance(or kill one at all; after all, peasants were there to BE killed, not kill their betters!). If the French decided that they needed long-distance weapons, they generally hired mercenary crossbowmen( who they then looked down on with contempt, and often rode down when the crossbowmen wouldn't get out of the knights' way fast enough to suit them).

      Arrows for SCA use must be made of wood, with feather fletching. Good luck finding these in the average sporting goods store. There are several arrow makers (called "fletchers") in the Society, who can do all kinds of custom work for you.
      If you want to make your own(which, for basic arrows, isn't hard at all) all the tools and supplies you'll need can be gotten from 3 Rivers Archery, KustomKing Archery, and several other suppliers. I reccommend a magazine called "Primitive Archer", which has lots of informative articles, and tons of ads for primitive supplies dealers.
      Hope this helps some.

      Gardr Gunnarsson
      Barony of Settmour Swamp

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