Author Topic: Heat-treating in the old way?  (Read 4764 times)

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Offline PatM

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Re: Heat-treating in the old way?
« Reply #75 on: September 06, 2019, 09:25:42 pm »
You can find old literature on quick curing by "washing the sap out"   and an equal amount claiming that's the best part and time is needed to bring out the best.

   Cut more wood than you can use and eventually you end up with stuff that's ten years old and you find out the truth.

Offline Halfbow

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Re: Heat-treating in the old way?
« Reply #76 on: September 11, 2019, 06:20:44 am »
Well, can confirm. I was in the woods yesterday and just happened to find some sapwood-less osage.



I didn't cut this, I found it like this. The tree was still attached to the ground, looking very old and gnarled and on its last legs, but it wasn't quite dead yet. Not sure what to make of it.

I doubt there is any textual information directly referring to native Americans heat treating their bows in the earliest colonial explorations/conquests of the Americas, but I have a few translated works handy (from Spanish/Portuguese) of the Narvaez (1527ish?) and De Soto expeditions (1539-42?), and they had all sorts of interesting things to say about native archery (while some accounts were probably at least a little exaggerated). A common theme in these accounts was that the European explorers/would-be conquerors were apparently very impressed by their skill and strength (this is in the S.E., called "La Florida" overall by the Spanish, and pre-1600s).  And this was all before the 1545 sinking of the Mary Rose, so some of them would have been aware of English archers somewhat. 

I'll give that another look through and let you know if I find anything.  (Otherwise I'll post some notes on what I've found/some of my theories in another thread since this is a barely related tangent)

Please do post, I'm really interested.

Offline wstanley

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Re: Heat-treating in the old way?
« Reply #77 on: September 13, 2019, 12:12:58 pm »
COOL TOPIC!! In regards to nomads/or sedentary tribes stashing staves:

I agree they probably all had two bows each. In regards to the staves, I also believe they would have had several stashed away. You don't have to carry it with you (plains tribe or not), and perhaps its a better to stash away in a safe dry place; benefits of this: don't have to carry it around, wont loose it, wont get stolen, someone else you trust can get it, you can think of all the other possibilities. For nomadic people you were usually moving in a circular pattern, or at least staying within a region. So riding your horse to the rock outcrop where your bows are stashed, after breaking your last bow, would be quite efficient and effective.

I doubt few tribesman didn't have several backups of already made bows, and staves.

A comparison to this can be made by a biface cache that was found where I live. Cant say where due to legalities (I'm an archaeologist). Its was a cache of over 100 obsidian biface blanks - pre forms, also called trading blanks. These people were constantly on the move -Western Mono from the foothills, valley floor, and to the mountains. The cache was in a random spot you would have never guessed to look in a million years. Uncovered by large machinery. My point is they didn't carry all these tools with them, they would be stashed about at camps and other secretive places or places of power.

I'm new on here by the way. And really enjoying the topics!


Offline sleek

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Re: Heat-treating in the old way?
« Reply #78 on: September 13, 2019, 12:48:45 pm »
COOL TOPIC!! In regards to nomads/or sedentary tribes stashing staves:

I agree they probably all had two bows each. In regards to the staves, I also believe they would have had several stashed away. You don't have to carry it with you (plains tribe or not), and perhaps its a better to stash away in a safe dry place; benefits of this: don't have to carry it around, wont loose it, wont get stolen, someone else you trust can get it, you can think of all the other possibilities. For nomadic people you were usually moving in a circular pattern, or at least staying within a region. So riding your horse to the rock outcrop where your bows are stashed, after breaking your last bow, would be quite efficient and effective.

I doubt few tribesman didn't have several backups of already made bows, and staves.

A comparison to this can be made by a biface cache that was found where I live. Cant say where due to legalities (I'm an archaeologist). Its was a cache of over 100 obsidian biface blanks - pre forms, also called trading blanks. These people were constantly on the move -Western Mono from the foothills, valley floor, and to the mountains. The cache was in a random spot you would have never guessed to look in a million years. Uncovered by large machinery. My point is they didn't carry all these tools with them, they would be stashed about at camps and other secretive places or places of power.

I'm new on here by the way. And really enjoying the topics!

WELCOME! And thanks for the informative post!
Tread softly and carry a bent stick.

Dont seek your happiness through the approval of others