Re: What's Real, What's Hollywood?
> Mon Mar 10, 2008 8:27 pm (PDT)There could be exceptions, however there is no proof. While the statement may be
> The thing about making generalizations about anything, is that there
>are ALWAYS exceptions.
>Examples: The Natives of the Great Lakes Region are known to have
>used ash self-bows, most likely capable of the same range as the ELB.
>The "Nez Perce" of the Pacific Northwest (primarily modern Idaho) are
>known to have made, used and traded hornbows (prized for their
>strength and durability). source: Dr. Grayson's website.
>To say that "Indian bows were, compared to, say, English longbows,
>fairly weak" is just too much of a generalization. Same with saying
>that Native Americans did not become proficient in horseback archery:
>There were relatively few "tribes" which possesed the "White Man's
>weapon" (and those that did have guns did not have enough for every
>hunter - and guns were prized for their advantage in **war**). In the
>short time between the (re)introduction of the horse and the arrival
>of the "White Man", the Nez Perces alone became such proficient horse-
>people that, from all the descriptions I have ever read, they rivaled
>even the Mongols in riding and breeding; Lewis & Clark wrote that the
>herds they saw were better than any breed the "White Man" possesed.
>I have no doubt that many (no, not all) "tribes" had "warriors"
>capable of supreme horse archery -- even in the latter decades of the
>19th century, when "all the Indians" had firearms.
>--Artúr - Never believed the Hollywood version of European archery,
>either...where every peasant had a hand-crafted yew self-bow that
>even the King would pay a ransom for.
a broad generalization, it is still a generalization based on knowledge at hand.
Indeed I have not observed a flatbow of period design and profile, to out cast a
similar poundage ELB. That's not to say that one could not have existed, but it
is unlikely. Though Ash, Oak, Elm and Hickory are strong woods, it just isn't in
those woods to make a far-casting bow. The ELB, or should I say, the bow that the
English army made historically notable during the 100 Years War, ('cause neither
the English nor Welsh invented it) is fairly unique in the using of the
sapwood/heartwood and how those differences work together to make a natural
spring. I'm not even sure that situation exists in other conifers.
In period, all bows were hand-crafted and most households had one for helping to
put food on the table. Yes, this was a "every man's weapon". They did not
associate the value with a 'hand crafted yew bow' as we do today, because it was
just common. It is not common today, to have a hand-crafted anything. There were
probably different levels of quality, depending on the bowyer, as there would be
with anything else. A wonderful product from a fine bowyer would obviously cost
more than a rough tillered stave.
As far as Hollywood? Go to the movies to be entertained, not enlightened. ;)
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- Though Ash, Oak, Elm and Hickory are strong woods, it just isn't in
> those woods to make a far-casting bow.I would hope they worked similarly since the English commonly used Ash
and forms of Elm for making their ELBs, in addition to Yew. Another
thought to consider is the nature of the handcrafting of the ELB.
Bows were, as rifles, et al. are today, ordnance. When the English
crown levied archers, they also levied bowyers, fletchers, and the
like to produce the weapons for the levied archers. They were
handcrafted but they were intended to be "mass produced", as with
other weapons. Archers may have had personal bows, but those would
have stayed at home. The crown or it's nobles would have equipped the
archers. These bows should be functional but not anywhere near the
level of product that of a modern, high-end, commercial Yew ELB (that
is certainly redundant).