- Dear All,
I have been following the discussions on medieval archery and the 'period'
aspects of archery in our society and as a fervent longbow archer, can only
say that whilst it would be nice to have everyone shooting period bows, this
is not always practical.
I used to travel with my longbow on airlines and having it returned over a
foot shorter because it �fell� off the plane wasn�t a very nice experience,
despite it being in an industrial case. Mine was a modern laminate but my
colleague suffered the same fate with his yew selfbow, a more expensive
As to where I�m going with this; well, we have �open� divisions in our
archery which permit the use of take down recurves and any other non period
bows. At the end of the day, I don�t really care if I am shooting against
someone with a modern recurve or a field bow because I am still shooting and
having fun, be it within my division or open. I have my other societies if I
want to be more competitive with my longbow and if I am travelling to an SCA
event that involves air travel, then I pack my fibreglass bow and don�t have
to worry about bad handling by airlines or closing it in the taxi door. We
also have a lot of service personnel here in Europe and having a take down
bow makes travelling more practical for them.
The great thing about our society is the range and depth of authenticity
that we can get involved in from simply dressing up to full living history
and the same goes for our archery. I like my longbow and others like the
Asian and Eurasian recurves, some prefer the Scandinavian longbows or the
European short bows, some prefer the modern take down bows and some prefer
the fibreglass training bows.
In essence, irrespective of what equipment we use, we are all archers and we
should respect each other�s level of commitment to archery and to the
I have done a lot of research into medieval and period bows, worked with the
bowyers as they made replicas and have even shot them. I have seen a longbow
made entirely of linen and watched it being shot albeit it with clenched
teeth and partially open eyes. I have held actual prehistoric bows and get
just as much fun from shooting the period bows as I do from my simple
I have placed some links below that I hope you find useful:
Archers in Medieval and Renaissance Works of Art:
Military Archery in Medieval Ireland: Archaeology and History:
English Archery in the Hundred Year's War:
Stone Age Bows and Arrows:
The Archery Library Books:
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