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Historical Tidbit Thursdays - The Comanches - Bow and Arrow Weapon - #TidbitThursday


Welcome to our newest addition to the blog - Historical Tidbit Thursdays!

Today we're going to explore the very recognizable piece in a Native American's arsenal - the bow and arrow.

The wooden bow was vital to the Native American existence as it was a main tool in hunting food. The wood used depended on where the tribe/band was located. The Comanches used Osage orange, Hickory, or Bois d'arc wood. The Omaha Indians referred to Bois d'arc wood as "yellow wood" as it had a yellow tinge to it. A bow took a few days to a full month for a fancier version. Bow strings were typically made from horse tail hair.

Orange Osage
Bois d'Arc

Arrows were considered prized possessions. Young Dogwood or mature Ash wood would be used for arrows. The wood was seasoned by fire for 10-14 days. Then it would be straightened. The shaft was polished and sometimes decorated with paintings or markings. Wild turkey, owl or buzzard feathers were used. Eagle or hawk feathers were not used (they had other purposes).

Before coming in contact with traders, Comanches created arrowheads of flint. Afterward, they preferred metal arrow points. A buckskin wristband was worn on left wrist to protect it from the "twang" of the bowstring. The bow and arrow were carried in a buckskin case hung over the right shoulder.

Bow and arrow was accurate up to 50 yards.

The Comanches: Lords of the South Plains by Ernest Wallace and E. Adamson Hoebel; ISBN#978-0806120409

Photo Credit - Osage Orange Tree - http://www.naturemuseum.org/Media/Default/Blog%20Photos/Andrew%20Wunschel/OsageTree230.jpg
Photo Credit - Bois d'Arc Tree - http://texasforestservice.tamu.edu/uploadedImages/Websites/Famous_Trees_of_Texas/Trees/Freedmen%27s%20Bois%20d%27Arc.jpg
Photo Credit - Hickory - http://texastreeid.tamu.edu/images/TreeImages/hickory_mocker150.jpg
Photo Credit - Bow and Arrow Sunset - https://comanchenationentertainment.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Little-Known-Facts-about-the-Comanche-Bow-Comanche-Nation-Entertainment.jpg
Photo Credit - Comanche Arrows - http://primitivepathways.com/image/cache/data/Bows/comanchearrows1-1280x720.jpg
Photo Credit - Comanche Arrow (Quanah Parker) - http://www.quanahparkertrail.com/Quanah_Parker_Trail/Arrow_List_files/shapeimage_5.png
Photo Credit - Carrying Case - http://media.liveauctiongroup.net/i/28726/25038866_2.jpg?v=8D3C09CB83B5820

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