Synopses & Reviews
No one knows for certain just when the bow and arrow came into use in America, but they were in use from the far North to the tip of South America when Europeans first arrived. Over the hemisphere the equipment ranged from very poor to excellent, with the finest bows of all being made in the Northwest of North America. Some of these bows rivaled the ancient classic bow in beauty of design and workmanship.and#160;
The attitudes of whites toward Indian archers and their equipment have ranged from the highest of praise with mythical feats rivaling those of William Tell and Robin Hood-and#150;o mockery and derision for the Indians' short, "deformed" bows and small arrows. The Laubins have found most of the popular conceptions of Indian archery to be erroneous-as are most of the preconceived notions about Indiansand#151;and in this book they attempt to correct some of these false impressions and to give a true picture of this ancient art as practiced by the original Americans.
Following an introduction and history of Indian archery are chapters on comparison of bows, bow making and sinewed bows, horn bows, strings, arrows, quivers, shooting, medicine bows, Indian crossbows, and blowguns. Those wishing to learn something about the use of archery tackle by American Indians, something of the ingenuity associated with its manufacture and maintenance, and something about the importance of archery in everyday Indian life will find in this book a wealth of new, valuable, and important information.
"American Indian Archery is a very readable personalized account of one man's amble through Indian archery, past and present. Laubin's aim is to bring about a revival of 'interest in another nearly forgotten Indian art.' He ranges freely over the history and culture of all the tribes to prove specifically that Indian bows had real power and accuracy, and were perfectly suited to their need. Armed with arrows of uncommon practicality, the Indian hunter proved to be a formidable marksman. . . .Hunting practice, material culture, mythology, social customs and games surrounding bow and arrow use all come into the book at various point."-Journal of Ethnic Studies. "A methodically researched and interestingly presented work, whose title does not do credit to its contents. There are chapters on comparison of bows, making of bows, making of arrows, and comparisons between Indian and English archery. The illustrations are excellent and in sufficient detail so that one if he wished could make his own bow."-Choice. "It is evident that the book is a masterpiece on bow-making, especially in its details on sinew-backed and horn bows."-Western American Literature.
About the Author
Reginald and Gladys Laubin, his late wife, have devoted their personal and professional lives to the preservation and interpretation of American Indian dance and culture. They are recognized authorities on and performers of Indian dances and ceremonies. In 1972 for their contribution to dance they were presented the Capezio Dance Award, the first ethnic dancers to be honored with this highest award of the dance world. They were presented the Catlin Peace Pipe Award by Red Dawn, Sioux. They are the authors of The Indian Tipi: Its history, Construction, and Use and American Indian Archery, both published by the University of Oklahoma Press.