7949Re: [SCA-Archery] What constitutes a period bow?
- Jan 2, 2002Nigel, on this I would have to disagree with you on this. In general most
European bows were based on a flatbow design. The long bow that we know of
is pretty much limited to the welsh and english. Most good sources in
england will even go so far as to say that they are one and the same. The
thing to remember is that there are only two good sources of yew in Europe,
England and Spain, the spanish being considered the better. The lack of
good wood on the European mainland was one of the contributing factors to
the rise of the crossbows prominence. Ash is a good substitute but one must
remember that the dearth of material about ELB are from the Mary Rose.
There is not enough documentation as the bows did not survive the years. So
one could not say, that a ELB has to be just Yew or Ash. I do agree that no
matter what you build it should have excellent documentation, but do not
limit it to only the ELB. Flatbows, Hornbows and Sinew-backed bows were
common in period.(Check out some of the Scandinavian traditional websites)
>From: "Bruce R. Gordon" <obsidian@...>_________________________________________________________________
>Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] What constitutes a period bow?
>Date: Wed, 02 Jan 2002 16:20:00 -0500
> I haven't done detailed research in the area, but I have wandered through
>some sources. Nothing that I've seen suggests that flatbows were common
>in Europe within period. I agree that the technology precedes period
>(vide Holmegaard, etc.), but it seems not to have had much influence
> I've never heard of a period ELB as a composite, except perhaps in the
>riser. Composites were known, of course; Huns, Mongols, Turks, they all
>built composite bows - you find that sort of thing wherever archery is
>regarded as useful, but ready sources of wood are scarce. And in any
>event, hickory is a New World wood.
> All of which tends to beg the question, of course. If you are trying to
>build a bow for an Arts-and-Sciences competition, you will need to hit
>the books very thoroughly, and then build a classic yew or ash longbow
>with a "D" section (if you are doing a Western bow - an Eastern
>horse-bow can use all sorts of materials, of course). But for use in
>Period Division shoots, you will be held to a less rigorous standard.
>Forester Nigel FitzMaurice (Mid)
> > I was wondering what the different kingdoms consider a period bow. It
> > seems to me that there is a dearth of period documentation on the
> > different tiller of self-bows used in England and Europe. I might
> > speculate that the Welsh elm bow was a flat bow rather than an
> > english long bow but I can't find much documentation that actually
> > describes in detail its shape and tiller.
> > Would you consider a flat bow period? Would the shape of its handle
> > make a difference? I tend to associate the narrow handle to be a more
> > new world influence but bows like the holmegaard and meare heath show
> > the style existed pre-period.
> > Would you consider a hickory-backed ELB with horn nocks period or
> > would you demand documentation that showed that the english used
> > composite materials in their bow?
> > How period do you have to be to be period?
> > James Wolfden
> > Lions Gate
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