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5481Re: [SCA-Archery] Questions

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  • jrosswebb1@webtv.net
    Mar 11, 2001
      Greetings Ian,
      The question of the atlatl is better answered by some one else,
      but on the subject of the longbow: If you are refering to the British
      style longbow of Hundred Years War fame and up to HenryVIII, evidence
      shows that they were without a handle/grip covering and had a small
      arrow plate of hardwood, horn, ivory or mother of pearl to indicate
      where the arrow passed and they were all shot off of the hand with no
      shelf. There are paintings in period that show archers using longbows
      and I don't recall seeing any grip coverings. Whether or not an archer
      would do this on their own personal bow is open to speculation, it would
      make sense to protect the wood from the sweat and salts of the hands,
      but to my knowledge, there is no documentation of it. In other
      cultures, with other variations of what we now call the "longbow" grips
      were used, i.e. native American, Norse, Prehistoric Northern Europeans.
      But I don't know of any which would have what we could call a shelf. I'm
      sure that others on this list have other opinions on this and I will be
      interested to see if any can provide real documentation. All I know is
      that I use leather grips on all of my bows because it protects the wood,
      and within the last few years I don't shoot off of a shelf, just by
      personal choice.
      When it comes to southern Europe and the East, all sorts of
      interesting and beautiful grips and shelves were used, some shelves
      seperate from the bow. But these were mostly recurves, and you asked
      about longbows.
      I would love for some one to provide documentation on grips for
      period longbows, I have no intention of not using them, but would love
      to have something to show the authenticity police.

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