Author Topic: The Penobscot Bow  (Read 82457 times)

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Judson

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The Penobscot Bow
« on: December 24, 2008, 07:12:46 pm »
    It was back in 1994 when I first became intrigued with the Penobscot bow, which should in reality be called the Wabanaki Bow, as this basic bow consept was found through out the native American tribes which made up the Wabanaki confederacy.   The people were the Penobscot, Maliseet (sp) Micmac, and the Wabanaki nations.    These nations formed the confederacy so as to be in a point of enough strength  to be able to negotiate with the European settlers from a position of strength.    However the "Penobscot" bow dates much further back then that, as much as 1500 years or more.
    There is a Penobscot legend about a Penobscot chief shooting a Viking chieften with one of these bows from several hundred yards.  Weather the distance is exaggerated or not we can never know but the legend is intresting from the perspective of the bow.
 I think the most fascinating aspect of this bow is it's development.    There appear to be twelve variations to this bow and six distintive designs.   The last design is from the Micmacs and was the only Penobscot built as  "war" bow.    The idea was that the European smooth bore musket had an effective range of under 200 yards and an accuracy range of only 50 yards or less.    It was also slow to load.    A settler with musket was at a sever disadvantage if he encountered a Micmac or two armed with a Penobscot bow, or for that matter any bow.     
       One of the most fascinating aspects of these bows is their progression and development.    A people concerned merely with survival will use the simplest tool for the job.    A complex tool shows that the people creating/ using this tool had leisure time to think and create such tools,  the excellent book Penobscot Man seem to bear this out.
     If his history is of interest to you please let me know, eventually it will lead into building the different variations of these bows.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2008, 08:09:55 pm by Judson »

Offline JackCrafty

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Re: The Penobscot Bow
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2008, 09:10:13 pm »
The only examples I've seen of the Wabanaki bow is in Jim Hamm's encyclopedia of bows, arrows and quivers.  There seems to be only two variations shown: straight and recurved.  I'd like to see illustrations of the other variations. ;D
Any critter tastes good with enough butter on it. :::.

Patrick Blank
Midland, Texas
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Where's the Rock?  Public Waterways, Road Cuts, Landscape Supply, Knap-Ins.
How Do I Cook It?  Light Colors:  200  for 24hrs, 400  for 4hrs, Cool for 12hrs.

Judson

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Re: The Penobscot Bow
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2008, 11:06:36 am »
   I do not have a host for posting pictures of the bows.    However if you go to webshots and either use my name or do a search for Penobscot bows you can see them.   You can find the pictures at Penobscot bows pictures and video on webshots.    I have some better pictures of some of the other Penobscot bows that I built I will try to post them.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2008, 11:24:08 am by Judson »

Offline bowmo

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Re: The Penobscot Bow
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2008, 12:20:59 pm »
one i made a few years ago...

dan










Judson

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Re: The Penobscot Bow
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2008, 03:58:21 pm »
I keep trying to post pictures of some of the various designs of the Penobscot bows.    These pictures are ones I posted at web shots, I do not seem to be having much luck can you people help?   
   If you can get this picture it is of the Micmac war bow
 If you can bring this up it is a picture of the upper nock carved as a wolfs head.    I think I got it thanks for the tip about photobucket!!!
« Last Edit: December 29, 2008, 03:21:22 pm by Judson »

Offline JackCrafty

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Re: The Penobscot Bow
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2008, 09:31:23 pm »
Judson, here is the pic with the wolf's head.


For some reason, webshots does not allow the same type of link to a photo that photobucket allows.  The option above is actually a thumbnail and a link to the actual photo.  I just copied and pasted the URL that is shown for "post to a forum".

Hope that helps.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2008, 09:41:39 pm by jackcrafty »
Any critter tastes good with enough butter on it. :::.

Patrick Blank
Midland, Texas
JackCrafty (youtube)

Where's the Rock?  Public Waterways, Road Cuts, Landscape Supply, Knap-Ins.
How Do I Cook It?  Light Colors:  200  for 24hrs, 400  for 4hrs, Cool for 12hrs.

Offline mitchman

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Re: The Penobscot Bow
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2008, 11:38:41 am »
thats awesome


Minuteman

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Re: The Penobscot Bow
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2008, 11:45:16 am »
I remember that one ,Bowmo. HAND-SHOCKASAURUS REX.Course in all fairness the brace height was too low when I shot it.

Judson

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Re: The Penobscot Bow
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2008, 02:26:22 pm »
Thanks for helping out maby I should try photobucket.

Judson

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Re: The Penobscot Bow
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2008, 03:26:11 pm »
Here are the details of the gilding nock on the back bow on the Micmac bow.   
This is the lower nock on the back bow.    I was told that the Micmacs used Moose antler for the nocks but I did not have any so these are deer antler.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2008, 03:30:46 pm by Judson »

Offline david w.

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Re: The Penobscot Bow
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2008, 05:31:34 pm »
those are beautiful.  I love those bows.  Even a compound company copied off it.

[attachment deleted by admin]
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if it dont go fast...chrome it - El Destructo

Offline david w.

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Re: The Penobscot Bow
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2008, 05:32:06 pm »
That compound bow is the ugliest thing i have ecer seen :P
These pretzels are making me thirsty.

if it dont go fast...chrome it - El Destructo

Offline sailordad

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Re: The Penobscot Bow
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2008, 05:41:17 pm »
now that i can see the pics,that is one sweet a*# bow.
have always thought that was a cool design,never seen anything even close to authentic just ones in kits on various websites.
just incredible work.
how does it shoot?
those nocs are cool as all get to.
i always wanted a harley,untill it became the "thing to ride"
i ride because i love to,not to be part of the crowd

Judson

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Re: The Penobscot Bow
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2008, 06:52:18 pm »
    The Micmac bow is diferent to shoot, it is very smooth drawing, has virtually no hand shock and gains only 3 pounds per inch up to full draw and it's 65 pound draw weight.    The bow seems to like 750 to 800 grain arrows best and these I make out of split shaft blanks of either maple or ash.    Traditionally arrows for these bows were arms length I have been told but my arrows run 31".
    The Penobscot bows are fun to take to a 3d shoot, you end up spending as much time explaining about the baws and the history as you do shooting.    I imagin it is the same with that neat compound, I have heard about that compound but have never seen one, thanks for the picture, who made them?    If all goes well here is a Picture of the Micmac war bow at nearly full draw.    This spring I hope to get back to the 3d shoots.


Offline Woodbear

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Re: The Penobscot Bow
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2008, 12:52:05 pm »
Judson,

You have some fine examples of the Penobscot type here, and in the webshots albums. Nicely executed, and finished work in addition to being a fascinating design. The wolf head is a clever artistic touch.

Since you referred to the webshots album, I had a look at the bows there. .....I did not realize that there were that many variations on the design. Are all these versions (working recurve main bow, static  recurve main bow, R/D main bow,recurve back bow, straight  back bow, string secured at the base of the recurved back bow) copies of historical designs, or is this some experimentation of your own?

In particular, I noticed that you have a set of 4 diagrams of several versions of the bow, along with a chart of some draw curves. The resolution in webshots diagrams was not enough to read the text in the chart, but I see that one of the draw curves shows a dramatic let off at max draw. Is there a way I can see the full resolution versions of these drawings & charts? I am curious to know which version of the Penobscot bow results in the curve with let off, and if the performance of the bow is as good as the potential that the draw curve suggests.

Dave