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Need help-primary sources for period shoots

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  • Sol
    I am writing to beg assistance in the eleventh hour. We are holding the first Northshield Academy of Swordless Martial Arts, being a day of classes in target
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 29, 2005
      I am writing to beg assistance in the eleventh hour. We are holding
      the first Northshield Academy of Swordless Martial Arts, being a day
      of classes in target archery, equestrian, thrown weapons, and combat
      missiles. Having a class on period shoots seemed like a great idea
      and I foolishly agreed to cover such a topic (foolish if only because
      I'm stewarding the darn thing and I am not so well-versed in the topic).

      I know that period shoots have been kicked around this list in the
      past, and I checked the archives for what info was available; however,
      most of the discussion seems to revolve more around the practicalities
      and limitations of running such competitions in the SCA, and less
      around what do we know and how do we know it.

      So my understanding of shoots that were conducted for competition or
      training: clout, wands, popinjay or dresden (or shooting the mast),
      distance shoots (i.e. whose arrow flies the farthest), and possibly
      wreath shoots. I have also dug up some descriptions of training
      scenarios from _Saracen_Archery_.

      Here are my questions and perhaps more knowledgeable people will be
      able to help me in my dilemma. Maybe I'll even convince someone else
      to take over the class at the last minute ;).

      The only extant archery manuals that I know of are

      Saracen Archery, translated by Latham and Paterson from the 1368
      Arabic manuscript on beginning archery by Taybugha al-Ashrafi
      al-Baklamishi al-Yunani (Mameluke, presumaly of Ottoman empire).

      Arab Archery, translated by Faris and Elmer from the ~1500 Arabic
      manuscipt.

      Toxophilus, written by Roger Ascham and published in 1545

      Ayme for Finsburie archers, written by James Partridge and printed in
      1628 [probably best source for range info]

      Art of Archerie, written by Gervase Markham in 1634.

      1. Are there any others out there?
      2. Especially are there any works on kyudo available to non-Japanese
      speakers?

      Some of these archery manuals have nothing to say as to competitions,
      targets, range setup, training scenarios, etc. So then I need look to
      other sources that reference said information in passing, i.e. art,
      literature, historical works, etc.

      Of course, I don't exactly have time to comb the materials out there,
      so maybe people can direct me to some of these things.

      Art:
      Images of archers in various Biblical and war scenes are numerous, but
      not so many show peace-time competitions and training.
      The Luttrell Psalter seems to be the #1 source for such a scene.
      I also have notes on archery images in the Hennesy Book of Hours.
      Some Middle Eastern manuscripts show practice sessions (Persian
      miniatures from the 13 c. Shah Nameh, 15 c. manuscripts).

      3. Do any other graphic sources spring to mind?

      Literature:
      Well, I cribbed a reference from Hardy to get the Lytell Geste of
      Robyn Hode written in 1495 or so. But I haven't spent much time
      reading literature from the spectrum of the Middle Ages. I confess
      I've been a little obsessed with 11 c. Spain and haven't gotten around
      to more general material. I suppose I could look around for what
      period stories of William Tell have to say.

      4. Any other archery-related folk tales from the period out there?

      History:
      Well, I probably won't delve into this much. Besides these items tend
      to focus more on warfare, less on training etc. I know Herodotus has
      some interesting stuff to say about archery, but it's a little earlier
      than the time period I'm contemplating for now.

      5. If I am mistaken in the assumptions that lead me to not mine this
      field of human discourse, please correct me.


      Any insight people can offer would be most appreciated. Not that I
      expect others to do all the work for me, but if it happens to be lying
      around...

      I'm very willing to give full credit to others during the class and in
      whatever handout I develop.

      Thank you for your time and assistance,

      Sol
      humble archer,
      Barony of Jararvellir
    • michael d hornbaker
      Mpst archers cant hit those little black dots. Seriously, dont forget animal targets as they did hunt for food. Michael
      Message 2 of 8 , Aug 29, 2005
        Mpst archers cant hit those little black dots. Seriously, dont forget
        animal targets as they did hunt for food.

        Michael

        On Tue, 30 Aug 2005 02:02:41 -0000 "Sol" <fula_chris@...> writes:
        > I am writing to beg assistance in the eleventh hour. We are holding
        > the first Northshield Academy of Swordless Martial Arts, being a
        > day
        > of classes in target archery, equestrian, thrown weapons, and
        > combat
        > missiles. Having a class on period shoots seemed like a great idea
        > and I foolishly agreed to cover such a topic (foolish if only
        > because
        > I'm stewarding the darn thing and I am not so well-versed in the
        > topic).
        >
        > I know that period shoots have been kicked around this list in the
        > past, and I checked the archives for what info was available;
        > however,
        > most of the discussion seems to revolve more around the
        > practicalities
        > and limitations of running such competitions in the SCA, and less
        > around what do we know and how do we know it.
        >
        > So my understanding of shoots that were conducted for competition
        > or
        > training: clout, wands, popinjay or dresden (or shooting the mast),
        > distance shoots (i.e. whose arrow flies the farthest), and possibly
        > wreath shoots. I have also dug up some descriptions of training
        > scenarios from _Saracen_Archery_.
        >
        > Here are my questions and perhaps more knowledgeable people will be
        > able to help me in my dilemma. Maybe I'll even convince someone
        > else
        > to take over the class at the last minute ;).
        >
        > The only extant archery manuals that I know of are
        >
        > Saracen Archery, translated by Latham and Paterson from the 1368
        > Arabic manuscript on beginning archery by Taybugha al-Ashrafi
        > al-Baklamishi al-Yunani (Mameluke, presumaly of Ottoman empire).
        >
        > Arab Archery, translated by Faris and Elmer from the ~1500 Arabic
        > manuscipt.
        >
        > Toxophilus, written by Roger Ascham and published in 1545
        >
        > Ayme for Finsburie archers, written by James Partridge and printed
        > in
        > 1628 [probably best source for range info]
        >
        > Art of Archerie, written by Gervase Markham in 1634.
        >
        > 1. Are there any others out there?
        > 2. Especially are there any works on kyudo available to
        > non-Japanese
        > speakers?
        >
        > Some of these archery manuals have nothing to say as to
        > competitions,
        > targets, range setup, training scenarios, etc. So then I need look
        > to
        > other sources that reference said information in passing, i.e. art,
        > literature, historical works, etc.
        >
        > Of course, I don't exactly have time to comb the materials out
        > there,
        > so maybe people can direct me to some of these things.
        >
        > Art:
        > Images of archers in various Biblical and war scenes are numerous,
        > but
        > not so many show peace-time competitions and training.
        > The Luttrell Psalter seems to be the #1 source for such a scene.
        > I also have notes on archery images in the Hennesy Book of Hours.
        > Some Middle Eastern manuscripts show practice sessions (Persian
        > miniatures from the 13 c. Shah Nameh, 15 c. manuscripts).
        >
        > 3. Do any other graphic sources spring to mind?
        >
        > Literature:
        > Well, I cribbed a reference from Hardy to get the Lytell Geste of
        > Robyn Hode written in 1495 or so. But I haven't spent much time
        > reading literature from the spectrum of the Middle Ages. I confess
        > I've been a little obsessed with 11 c. Spain and haven't gotten
        > around
        > to more general material. I suppose I could look around for what
        > period stories of William Tell have to say.
        >
        > 4. Any other archery-related folk tales from the period out there?
        >
        > History:
        > Well, I probably won't delve into this much. Besides these items
        > tend
        > to focus more on warfare, less on training etc. I know Herodotus
        > has
        > some interesting stuff to say about archery, but it's a little
        > earlier
        > than the time period I'm contemplating for now.
        >
        > 5. If I am mistaken in the assumptions that lead me to not mine
        > this
        > field of human discourse, please correct me.
        >
        >
        > Any insight people can offer would be most appreciated. Not that I
        > expect others to do all the work for me, but if it happens to be
        > lying
        > around...
        >
        > I'm very willing to give full credit to others during the class and
        > in
        > whatever handout I develop.
        >
        > Thank you for your time and assistance,
        >
        > Sol
        > humble archer,
        > Barony of Jararvellir
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ---8<---------------------------------------------
        > Brought to you YahooGroups Ad Free in 2003 by Medieval Mart
        > Get Medieval at Mad Macsen's http://www.medievalmart.com/
        >
        > [Email to SCA-Archery-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com to leave this
        > list]
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • s.l.rees@ieee.org
        Chinese Archery by Stephen Selby Has some discussions of period shoots And don t overlook animal shoots. hunting was very period. We ve had people sit on a
        Message 3 of 8 , Aug 29, 2005
          Chinese Archery by Stephen Selby
          Has some discussions of period shoots

          And don't overlook animal shoots. hunting was very period.
          We've had people sit on a bale or bench and shoot back to the side -
          mimicing shooting off horseback
          there's some good Sassanian art with hunting depictions

          Shadhra


          >
          > 1. Are there any others out there?
          > 2. Especially are there any works on kyudo available to non-Japanese
          > speakers?
          >
        • Al T
          Besides notes, there s a scan of the November leaves from the Hennesy Book of Hours in the Files section of the website for this very group. It s in the
          Message 4 of 8 , Aug 30, 2005
            Besides notes, there's a scan of the "November" leaves from the
            Hennesy Book of Hours in the Files section of the website for this
            very group. It's in the Targets subdirectory and the notes are in
            there, too. I'm not sure if there were any other depictions of
            archery in the Hennesy Book besides this one.
            Good luck in your quest, may your shots fly true...
            -Allan Bluehood-

            --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, "Sol" <fula_chris@y...> wrote:
            > I am writing to beg assistance in the eleventh hour. We are holding
            > the first Northshield Academy of Swordless Martial Arts, being a day
            > of classes in target archery, equestrian, thrown weapons, and combat
            > missiles. Having a class on period shoots seemed like a great idea
            > and I foolishly agreed to cover such a topic (foolish if only
            because
            > I'm stewarding the darn thing and I am not so well-versed in the
            topic).
            >
            > > Art:
            > Images of archers in various Biblical and war scenes are numerous,
            but
            > not so many show peace-time competitions and training.
            > The Luttrell Psalter seems to be the #1 source for such a scene.
            > I also have notes on archery images in the Hennesy Book of Hours.
            > Some Middle Eastern manuscripts show practice sessions (Persian
            > miniatures from the 13 c. Shah Nameh, 15 c. manuscripts).
            >
            > Sol
            > humble archer,
            > Barony of Jararvellir
          • Lord Caedmon Wilson
            While not necessarily documented, men throughout history have been all basically the same...we like to challenge each other to see who is best. I can image
            Message 5 of 8 , Aug 30, 2005
              While not necessarily documented, men throughout history have been all
              basically the same...we like to challenge each other to see who is
              best.

              I can image quite a few archers out hunting, and on the way back, see
              leaf and challenge the other to hit it. Or mole hill. Or african
              swallow.

              One could set up a range of varying targets and executing and
              elimination-style tournament of "can you hit it".

              --
              Lord Caedmon Wilson

              Oaken Regional Youth Combat Marshal
              Crossbow Archery Champion, Barony Flaming Gryphon
              Rapier Champion, South Oaken Region
            • Kinjal of Moravia
              ... all ... There is a challenge that I have seen mentioned several times, though hardly documentable . -- a walking home shoot . It would require a large
              Message 6 of 8 , Aug 31, 2005
                --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, Lord Caedmon Wilson
                <caedmon.wilson@g...> wrote:
                > While not necessarily documented, men throughout history have been
                all
                > basically the same...we like to challenge each other to see who is
                > best.
                >
                >........................................................

                There is a "challenge" that I have seen mentioned several times,
                though hardly 'documentable'. -- a "walking home shoot". It would
                require a large field and spectators would have to amble along. A
                target 'ball' of rags (or animal skin) is through down the field.
                Each member of the 'hunting party' shoots a single arrow. Hitting
                the ball gets 2 points -- otherwise 'closest arrow' gets 1 point.
                Then the 'winner' throws the ball again, and all repeat. Thus, each
                shoot is at a different range and setting (artificially strewn if on
                a playing field.) Yes, a marshall might have a fit finding a
                suitable area at an event, but ...

                what a challenge!

                kinjal
              • Kristine M. Casper-Stillings
                I play this game all the time. It is fun and quite a challenge because the target is low to the ground and, as stated, at unmeasured distances. It isn t as
                Message 7 of 8 , Sep 1, 2005
                  I play this game all the time. It is fun and quite a challenge because the
                  target is low to the ground and, as stated, at unmeasured distances.

                  It isn't as hard to marshal as you would think, as the distances are usually
                  not too long (how far can you throw a knot of rags with such little mass?)
                  and shooting is at the ground, so over-flight distances are short. The
                  range is set up somewhat like a bowling green, with a safety perimeter
                  around the entire range. Spectators may only view from the two sides
                  perpendicular to the shot directions (e.g., view from the west and east
                  sides of the range and allow shooting only north and south).

                  The difficulty is also that shooting is at the ground, so arrows tend to
                  bury quite well into the turf - but everyone has just one arrow to keep
                  track of and a good hook reduces the search time. Also, keep the target
                  small - if you have a large target, the first arrow sticks and flips it over
                  so the arrow shaft ends up on the on the ground opposite the shot direction.
                  Subsequent hits will tend to flip the target over again, more often than not
                  jamming the nock of the first arrow into the ground and snapping the shaft
                  in two. Funny little phenomenon, but amazingly (and sadly) frequent.

                  May the archery Goddess require few sacrifices from your quiver!

                  Laebeth



                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On
                  Behalf Of Kinjal of Moravia
                  Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 6:13 AM
                  To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [SCA-Archery] Re: Need help-primary sources for period shoots

                  --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, Lord Caedmon Wilson
                  <caedmon.wilson@g...> wrote:
                  > While not necessarily documented, men throughout history have been
                  all
                  > basically the same...we like to challenge each other to see who is
                  > best.
                  >
                  >........................................................

                  There is a "challenge" that I have seen mentioned several times,
                  though hardly 'documentable'. -- a "walking home shoot". It would
                  require a large field and spectators would have to amble along. A
                  target 'ball' of rags (or animal skin) is through down the field.
                  Each member of the 'hunting party' shoots a single arrow. Hitting
                  the ball gets 2 points -- otherwise 'closest arrow' gets 1 point.
                  Then the 'winner' throws the ball again, and all repeat. Thus, each
                  shoot is at a different range and setting (artificially strewn if on
                  a playing field.) Yes, a marshall might have a fit finding a
                  suitable area at an event, but ...

                  what a challenge!

                  kinjal




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                • Sol
                  I would like to thank the people who responded to my initial inquiry regarding period archery target competition documentation: Michael, Shadhra, Padraig,
                  Message 8 of 8 , Sep 7, 2005
                    I would like to thank the people who responded to my initial inquiry
                    regarding period archery target competition documentation: Michael,
                    Shadhra, Padraig, Allan Bluehood, Caedmon, Kinjal, James Wolfden,
                    Laebeth, Robert Runewald, and Charles Connor. My apologies for the
                    delay in responding. I am now returned from the premier session of
                    the Northshield Academy of Swordless Martial Arts (though it may be
                    called something else next time, the equestrian community objects to
                    the swordless part:)) and in a much saner frame of mind.

                    I took note of the novelty competitions described and will keep them
                    in mind when I sponsor a novelty shoot in the future. I also
                    appreciate a quick source for interesting target faces.

                    I look forward to checking out the books that people recommended
                    (Payne-Galwey (Crossbows) and Chinese Archery). I am afraid I did not
                    have sufficient time to peruse them before the event.

                    I had previously explored the images in the Files folder, but did not
                    observe closely enough to see the target on the right border of the
                    xbows image. Thank you for (re)directing me to this.

                    I expect that this is the beginning of a long-term project, once I get
                    some other obligations out of the way.

                    As always, this group is a wealth of support and information.

                    Sol
                    humble archer
                    Barony of Jararvellir, Northshield
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