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Traditional chinese bow. (Read 3877 times)
LKH9
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Traditional chinese bow.
Jun 8th, 2008 at 9:17am
 
http://videos.howstuffworks.com/discovery/7251-china-the-bowmaker-video.htm

Sad.... no wonder the art was lost and the people didn't own any bows in those times that was once great.
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Curious Aardvark
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Re: Traditional chinese bow.
Reply #1 - Jun 8th, 2008 at 6:19pm
 
well I can't see any video or information or anything really.
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Bikewer
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Re: Traditional chinese bow.
Reply #2 - Jun 8th, 2008 at 7:29pm
 
There was a much nicer and longer news segment on this gentleman on one of the regular news services last year.   He is one of the very few bowyers left in China producing bows and arrows in the traditional manner.   As he has no apprentice at present, the art may be lost with his demise.

The Traditional Bowyer's Bible has a section on Asian bows; and they are all constructed on somewhat similar lines based on the Turkish laminated composite recurves.   As I recall, the article said that the Chinese made very fine bows, displaying their usual terrific craftsmanship.    The Korean bows were rather inferior copies.
These bows are constructed of laminates of wood, horn, and sinew, and they require a great deal of time and patience to produce. 
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LKH9
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Re: Traditional chinese bow.
Reply #3 - Jun 9th, 2008 at 6:55am
 
The chinese had many lost arts because of their selfishness, just like martial arts. That man said it himself, "it's not to be given to outsiders". They have a lot of their own family secrets in everything, like cooking recipes. When they die, the special techniques are brought into their grave.
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kuggur slingdog
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Re: Traditional chinese bow.
Reply #4 - Jun 9th, 2008 at 7:34am
 
I think there is also a lot of "myth" that surounds these kind of weapons. For instance the fabled katana isnīt the supersword itīs made out to be, the fold/weld smithing technique was mainly used to compensate for pretty crappy steel quality. Alot of swordmaking methods in the west (even the "primitive" vikings) used far more advanced smithing technologie, and produced better weapons.
I strongly suspect this also is true for these bows, after all you cannot put a "lost art" to the test... Wink
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Bikewer
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Re: Traditional chinese bow.
Reply #5 - Jun 10th, 2008 at 10:14pm
 
Last year, on the Primitive Archer site, they put up links to an Asian traditional archery event that's held every year.    All sorts of people came, Mongols, Siamese, Japanese kyudo guys....More than I can easily recall.   Everyone decked out in traditional costume and traditional equipment.   Quite a long photo-essay....Quite interesting.   
I'll see if I can find the link.   

Here ya go:

http://www.atarn.org/letters/ltr_oct03.htm
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LKH9
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Re: Traditional chinese bow.
Reply #6 - Jun 11th, 2008 at 8:36am
 
Thanks for sharing, I've never seen that page before. I remember a chinese programme about traditional archery where those tibetans did the same thing when they hit the targets on hills. They dance and sing around joyfully. I'm not sure if the person who lead that programme/filming is stephen selby.

Those traditional archers should have a competition with those young people using high-tech bows. Roll Eyes
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Curious Aardvark
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Re: Traditional chinese bow.
Reply #7 - Jun 12th, 2008 at 9:03am
 
Wonder why tint missed it :-)
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Dale
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Re: Traditional chinese bow.
Reply #8 - Jun 12th, 2008 at 3:20pm
 
C_A,

I cannot see the video using Firefox (the Flash player is somehow failing to connect with Firefox) but I can see it in Micro$oft Internet Exploiter.

One interesting thing I noted: the bowmen differed about whether the arrow was held on the left side or the right side of the bow.  I even saw Yang Fu-Tze lay the arrow against one side of the bow, and a moment later he released the arrow from the other side of the bow.  Clearly several different video shots were stitched together, but I don't know why he switched sides, or if perhaps he shoots from both sides of the bow.

I came across another reference to Chinese bowmaking, apparently written (or translated) in A.D. 2000 (http://www.atarn.org/chinese/juyuan/juyuan.htm). ; It purports to be written by the son of the man depicted in the video, and his name is withheld and photographs of his father have the face smudged out.  Concern for privacy, or concern that the government will come back to finish the job?  The cultural revolution is over, but the same government that started it, is still in power. BTW, even with the face smudged, the man depicted here is not the man purported to be the bowyer in the video.  They may have substituted an actor.

Korea also has a master bowyer (he is even catalogued by their government as Important Intangible Cultural Properties No. 47).  Both the Chinese and Korean masters look like they are making composite recurve bows.
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LKH9
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Re: Traditional chinese bow.
Reply #9 - Jun 13th, 2008 at 10:16am
 
That organization should invite all traditional archers from all over the world, especially english archers and native americans. Asian only is boring. Sad
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