Scenes from the Eastern Woodlands
A Virtual Tour ~ Circa 1550
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Learning to shoot our arrows ...
You will see that our bows are longer and straighter than in other regions of this great "Turtle Island." Our bows do not need to be short, because we don't hunt from horseback. We hunt only on foot or sometimes from a canoe. We make our bows from the wood of ash, hickory or locust. We paint our bows sometimes with designs which make them uniquely ours. In the woods, the patterns act as a disguise, so that the animals can not see a clear outline of the bow. We usually only get one chance to make our shot count, so accuracy is very important, in both the making of the arrow, and the aim of our shot. We use dogwood, witch hazel or viburnum for our arrow shafts, and we attach split feathers to the ends with deer or elk sinew.
Our wild turkey feathers are good to use for fletching because they are very sturdy. We usually make our arrow points from types of stone such as flint, chert or quartz. In recent years, we've started making our points out of brass sheet metal. Metal points are sturdier than our stone points and do not need sharpening. Since we started trading with Europeans, we've exchanged some of our furs for heavy brass kettles. When the kettles wear out from cooking, we recycle the brass. We cut and hammer brass pieces from the kettle into triangular arrow points, and many other items like spoons and jewelry.
This series is now available as a soft-cover book:
"Woodland Windows," with expanded descriptive
text and additional resource materials
Text and Graphics
© 1994 - Tara Prindle
unless otherwise cited.