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Torres Strait Traditional Bow (Read 4216 times)
hybrid_throwback
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Torres Strait Traditional Bow
Jan 26th, 2010 at 8:33am
 
These have been in the family for years now, there was a third in the set but I have no idea where it ended up.

6 feet or so long, made of blackpalm. SUPER strong, will send a plain bamboo shaft a good 60m on the lightest draw. Requires planting your knee in it's belly to get it strung and the strings were made of bamboo strip around a cm wide, they're long gone now though (they almost always end up giving out just below one loop).

These fire arrows around 5 feet long, of which we used to have stacks with very ornate heads but boys being boys, they're probably still stuck up the trees of our youth Cheesy. Will be making some more soon.

Currently strung with a bit of stray paracord just to complete the picture.

Pretty much the same design as used in a lot of PNG too.

No idea on draw weight really, but they're hard. I'm not too feeble at at anything like a full draw you'd need shoulders like tank parts to not get the wobbles on holding a shot.

These were lacquered with local product once but that was a long time ago.



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hybrid_throwback
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Re: Torres Strait Traditional Bow
Reply #1 - Jan 26th, 2010 at 8:35am
 
detail of "stays" made of natural wrapping.
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hybrid_throwback
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Re: Torres Strait Traditional Bow
Reply #2 - Jan 26th, 2010 at 8:37am
 
Nice cobwebs Tongue Bout time to clean the big shed out, maybe.

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hybrid_throwback
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Re: Torres Strait Traditional Bow
Reply #3 - Jan 26th, 2010 at 8:39am
 
Tall buggers! Most definitely longbows Cheesy
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hybrid_throwback
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Re: Torres Strait Traditional Bow
Reply #4 - Jan 26th, 2010 at 8:40am
 
Arrows are these kind of things...

http://www.tribalarts.com/feature/arrows/index.html
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hybrid_throwback
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Re: Torres Strait Traditional Bow
Reply #5 - Jan 26th, 2010 at 10:32am
 
http://viceroy.eeb.uconn.edu/Iriartea%20photo%20gallery_files/image016.jpg

this bloke is climbing one to get tissue samples for analysis. You can see why people call them the Bamboo Palm.
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David Morningstar
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Re: Torres Strait Traditional Bow
Reply #6 - Jan 26th, 2010 at 11:40am
 
Does the inside of the bamboo form the back (target facing side) of the bow? Or am I looking at it  crosseyed?  Undecided

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Paleoarts
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Re: Torres Strait Traditional Bow
Reply #7 - Jan 26th, 2010 at 1:51pm
 
very cool, HT. i have a similar one in my collection, but much shorter and wrapped with rattan. the actual arrows are some kind of nodeless reed with hardwood foreshafts and rearshafts and are longer than the bow itself.
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visit me at www.paleoarts.net and my new gallery at www.flintknappers.com
 
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wannabeslinger
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Re: Torres Strait Traditional Bow
Reply #8 - Jan 27th, 2010 at 10:50am
 
If you got the wobbles when drawing then I would dare to guess (if you arnt using a bow with a draw high than this already) it is anywhere in the range of 50-65lbs. I'm a big guy but havent used a bow in about three months and I can only hold a bow with a 45lb draw at anchor for about 10 seconds before wobbling a bit. I have a compound (free from a friend who didnt want it) that has a 70lb draw (I dont shoot it or even have arrows for it because im not interested in shooting it) and I need to really force it to get back to anchor. The most common draw weight for adult males is between 40-50lbs.
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hybrid_throwback
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Re: Torres Strait Traditional Bow
Reply #9 - Jan 27th, 2010 at 7:27pm
 
Ah thanks Wanna, I'm not the burliest tool in the shed but I know how to use my leverage and I keep in decent condition (give or take the occasional lapse Cheesy). Holding it back is around the same as holding up 20 or 30l of water, so you're probably right.

The back of the bow is indeed the inside of the tree trunk (though it's a grass species, and not really bamboo at all. the same culture DOES make cheapie bamboo knockoffs that do a pretty good job too, theyre just for show and kids etc, much lighter draw and spongier to shoot), blackpalms nodal spacing varies dramaticlly and people would pass on anything with too short or too long a length between em, on these they are about 30cm apart.

Arrows used where these guys are from (varies by island) were about 2/3 the length of the bow, no fletching, in PNG they tassle them but not in the Straits. Shorter versions from this part of the world are often dance bows, they're useable and based on bird hunting designs to start with but yeah usually thicker, shorter, often with feathers and whatnot added at the top n tail for looks.

I have some canes drying, will make up some more suitable arrows than the bamboo garden canes I am playing with at the moment Cheesy

Must get on to rubbing these back and giving them a light coat of something or other, poor old things.
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