3-D archery is a test of dexterity and accuracy. Targets, in the shape of animals, are spaced at varying distances to increase difficulty. In the past when archery was a matter of survival 3-D archery was not only a sport but also an important and integral part of a child’s education.
3-D archery is a test of dexterity and accuracy. Targets, in the shape of animals, are spaced at varying distances to increase difficulty. In the past when archery was a matter of survival 3-D archery was not only a sport but also an important and integral part of a child’s education.

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

During the long winter nights, children listened as elders told them the traditions of their people. The following Abenaki tradition, tells of the origin of the bow and arrow.

"THE CREATION OF THE BOW AND ARROW"

One day, a hunter was out looking for game. Suddenly out of a bush came a great black bear. The hunter had only his spear and his knife to protect himself.

- "Awassos", said the hunter, "I have not come here to harm you so I will leave you in peace".

But the bear, Awassos, had another plan and started to walk toward the hunter. The hunter, fearing for his life, decided to turn and walk away. The bear knew he was stronger than the man and soon started to pursue him.

To protect himself while running, the hunter turned his spearhead behind him. Seeing a thick bush he ran through it hoping that the branches would slow the bear.

As the hunter ran, he realized that his spear was caught on a vine along one of the bushes. In a desperate attempt to free the spear, he pulled on it with all his strength.

Suddenly, just as the bear caught him, the hunter lost his grip and the spe Read More
During the long winter nights, children listened as elders told them the traditions of their people. The following Abenaki tradition, tells of the origin of the bow and arrow.

"THE CREATION OF THE BOW AND ARROW"

One day, a hunter was out looking for game. Suddenly out of a bush came a great black bear. The hunter had only his spear and his knife to protect himself.

- "Awassos", said the hunter, "I have not come here to harm you so I will leave you in peace".

But the bear, Awassos, had another plan and started to walk toward the hunter. The hunter, fearing for his life, decided to turn and walk away. The bear knew he was stronger than the man and soon started to pursue him.

To protect himself while running, the hunter turned his spearhead behind him. Seeing a thick bush he ran through it hoping that the branches would slow the bear.

As the hunter ran, he realized that his spear was caught on a vine along one of the bushes. In a desperate attempt to free the spear, he pulled on it with all his strength.

Suddenly, just as the bear caught him, the hunter lost his grip and the spear flew towards the bear. The vine became a natural sling.

To the hunter’s surprise, his spear struck the bear in the chest, inflicting a mortal wound to the animal.

- "Iahi!" cheered the hunter.
- "Wliwni, Kchi Niwaskw!"
- "Thank you, Great Spirit, for saving my life, and providing food and clothing for me and my family."

Giving homage to the Great Spirit, he realized that a new weapon could be made.

- "Enni!" said the hunter, as his wonder became greater.

Instead of using a tree, he could take a branch from a tree and instead of using a vine; he could make a string from milkweed to make the new weapon.

The hunter gave homage to the Great Spirit for giving him this new aid to his hunting.

And this is one story explaining how the bow and arrow were created!

Collected thanks to Joseph Bruchac, Abenaki storyteller.

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

The Yahi people lived in what is now Northern California. In 1911, Ishi, a member of the Yahi, was discovered wandering alone near Oroville, California. The local sheriff uncertain what to do, jailed Ishi. Two anthropologists, Alfred Kroeber and Thomas Talbot Waterman, freed and befriended Ishi who appeared to be the last survivor of the Yahi. From 1911, until his death in 1916, Ishi lived at the University of California, Berkeley, assisting Kroeber and Waterman in their research.
The Yahi people lived in what is now Northern California. In 1911, Ishi, a member of the Yahi, was discovered wandering alone near Oroville, California. The local sheriff uncertain what to do, jailed Ishi. Two anthropologists, Alfred Kroeber and Thomas Talbot Waterman, freed and befriended Ishi who appeared to be the last survivor of the Yahi. From 1911, until his death in 1916, Ishi lived at the University of California, Berkeley, assisting Kroeber and Waterman in their research.

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

In 1914, Kroeber photographed Ishi making a bow and arrow from start to finish. The wood for the bow was mountain juniper, Ishi’s favourite for this purpose. What these pictures cannot demonstrate is the skill and workmanship that go into making the perfect bow. No two bows are completely alike as each is made for a particular person or use. The bowmaker has to take into account both the draw (the amount the bowstring is pulled back) and the size of the person wielding the bow, to maximize its effectiveness and power.
In 1914, Kroeber photographed Ishi making a bow and arrow from start to finish. The wood for the bow was mountain juniper, Ishi’s favourite for this purpose. What these pictures cannot demonstrate is the skill and workmanship that go into making the perfect bow. No two bows are completely alike as each is made for a particular person or use. The bowmaker has to take into account both the draw (the amount the bowstring is pulled back) and the size of the person wielding the bow, to maximize its effectiveness and power.

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

Bow

Producing a mountain juniper bow. Deer Creek, Tehama 1914.

Alfred L. Kroeber
Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley.
c. 1914
Accession 4690, numéro de catalogue 15-5685,
© Ethnographic Photographs of California Indian and Sonora Indian Subjects by Alfred L. Kroeber


Arrow

Peeling hazelwood for an arrow. Deer Creek, Tehama 1914.

Alfred L. Kroeber
Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley.
c. 1914
Accession 4690, numéro de catalogue 15-5688
© Ethnographic Photographs of California Indian and Sonora Indian Subjects by Alfred L. Kroeber


Arrowhead

Ishi flaking a stone arrowhead. Deer Creek, Tehama 1914.

Alfred L. Kroeber
Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley.

Accession 4690, numéro de catalogue 15-5695
© Ethnographic Photographs of California Indian and Sonora Indian Subjects by Alfred L. Kroeber


Ishi

Ishi shooting the arrow from his bow. Deer Creek, Tehama, 1914.

Alfred L. Kroeber
Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley.

© Ethnographic Photographs of California Indian and Sonora Indian Subjects by Alfred L. Kroeber


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Relate the Abenaki tradition describing the origin of the bow and arrow;
  • Explain who the Yahi people are, and relate the story of the last living Yahi;
  • Describe the steps in making a perfect bow.

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