Author Topic: Native American arrows?  (Read 1467 times)

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Offline trail walker

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Native American arrows?
« on: December 25, 2017, 08:10:12 pm »
Ok so i have been a little paranoid about something for a while  and i need some opinions before i go nuts. So in reading the account of Ishi  making arrows and several other sources nowhere have i found that the Native Americans spined there arrow shafts to exactly mach their bows. It seems like they take the time to make the arrow and then use it. :o , It has always confused me that so much attention is payed to arrow spine. So if i am reading correctly (you tell me) they did not wast tones of time making and rejecting shafts. So now the question i lay to you, how did they compensate?

did there alternative arrow releases change things?
shorter arrows?
Would they just get in closer to the animals?

Please i would love all the input i can get. I am a little scared this topic could start WW3, but like i said i have been going nuts!

Offline Pat B

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Re: Native American arrows?
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2017, 05:12:15 am »
I doubt that primitive man spined arrows as we think of it today but feel the spine of each shaft by flexing then getting them close. On my primitive arrows I only check spine to find the stiff side so I know how to line up the arrow. Stiff side goes against the bow. Many shoot and cane arrows are tapered at least slightly fo that helps plus, on mine I make them 30" for my 26" draw. I think the extra length helps the arrow get around the bow.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline bjrogg

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Re: Native American arrows?
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2017, 05:58:39 am »
Anything I say here is just purely a guess. I have absolutely know knowledge of how the natives did or didn't spine shafts. I suspect like Pat says in that some makers could feel the spine fairly well and had a pretty good idea from feel what would or wouldn't match a bow well. I also suspect they became familiar with the materials they were using they probably had a pretty fair idea from physical size and weight. I also suspect that just like today some makers were more fussy than others and had a deeper understanding of how length, point weight, stiffness and weight F.O.C. Effected their arrows flight. It seems to me in my uneducated but unbiased opinion that many different levels of skills would have been scattered around the world.
Bjrogg
PS I also suspect some arrows didn't fly well and were discarded or tried with different bows.
A hot cup of coffee and a beautiful sunrise

Offline DC

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Re: Native American arrows?
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2017, 07:35:20 am »

PS I also suspect some arrows didn't fly well and were discarded or tried with different bows.

+1
Vancouver Island

Offline trail walker

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Re: Native American arrows?
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2017, 08:25:22 am »
ok that makes sense. how off does an arrows spine have to be to throw you off badly at like 40 yards?

Offline Pat B

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Re: Native American arrows?
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2017, 09:29:58 am »
By 40 yards the fletching has time to straighten the arrow out. At 10 to 20 yards spine is more critical I think. Most of us are hunting archers and 40 yards would be a very long shot.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline bjrogg

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Re: Native American arrows?
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2017, 09:59:09 am »
I agree with Pat, its those real close hunting shots that you need a better tuned arrow for your bow. When I bareshaft I do it close. I like my arrow to straighten out it's flight in five yards or less. I'm sure there are much better shots than me on here but I think most guys Hunting are usually trying for that 15 yard or less shot without the animals knowing before releasing. At least that's my goal.
Bjrogg
A hot cup of coffee and a beautiful sunrise

Offline Pat B

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Re: Native American arrows?
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2017, 04:19:52 pm »
In England and Europe where war bows are shot 100, 200 300 yards they don't spine their arrows at all.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline StickMark

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Re: Native American arrows?
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2017, 04:29:54 pm »
Wish some ethnographer had interviewed about 500 to 1,000 Native Americans and wrote what they did regarding archery and hunting.   

Offline dieselcheese

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Re: Native American arrows?
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2017, 10:03:19 pm »
I had to reread Ishi's process of making arrows, and no where in there can I find mention of anything resembling a spine test or even a flexibility test. 
Trying is the first step to failure
-Homer Simpson-

Offline Pat B

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Re: Native American arrows?
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2017, 05:34:42 am »
If your life depended on your bows and arrows I guarantee you would be able to determine which arrows would shoot properly from your bow without a spine tester. Spining arrows is a relatively modern situation in the 12,000 history of archery, probably less than 100 years in practice.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Silver John

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Re: Native American arrows?
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2017, 06:30:42 am »
Help clear something up for me.  Pat said he puts the stiff side of the arrow against the bow. When you flex an arrow, the inside of the flex is in compression and the out side of the flex is in tension.  Which is the "stiff side", compression or tension side?

Offline Pat B

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Re: Native American arrows?
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2017, 06:51:44 am »
The up side that has the highest spine value.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Silver John

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Re: Native American arrows?
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2017, 02:25:52 pm »
Thanks.

Offline loefflerchuck

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Re: Native American arrows?
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2017, 08:12:03 pm »
Maybe I can have some short bow shooters with short draw -24" back me up on this. A short bow with a short draw can handle any arrow as long as the spine is stiff enough. So a 23.5" arrow shaft with a 70# spine will still shoot well from a 50# bow. Other than that I would think if your mind was always on your game and bow and you had idle hours in the day to work on arrows. You would see what arrow shot best from your favored bow and mimic that arrow over and over. I understand same size shoot shafts don't have the same spine. No doubt they knew this too.