Almost every culture in the world has a special bow design in their history. They are crafted in local materials and designed in form and function to fit the environment in which they are made. The production of an authentic replica requires using the correct natural materials and going through the traditional process. This includes carefully selecting bow staves directly from the forest, with a focus on environmental preservation and the continued health of the trees themselves. The wood is seasoned for at least a year before being worked; we never use machined boards.
Our bows are tillered to be functionally shooting bows as well as accurate replicas of museum objects.
Natural bowmaking has had a wonderful resurgence in the last decade.
At Occpaleo, we are focusing on bringing ancient archery back to the present. We believe that most archers want to get a feel for the past, and that is why they are practicing archery in the first place. After close examination of original ethnographic and archaeological bow artifacts, it is possible to bring back some of that experience if the same materials and techniques are used.
The Chippewa quiver (right) was made in the same canoe birch bark as the original. The shoulder strap is authentic braintan buckskin and acts differently than the modern chromed tan leathers. Together, these materials bring archery back to its roots.
Testing Eastern Woodlands Archery equipment where it should be tested
In a natural bow stave, the growth rings flow around knots like water around a rock in the stream. A major difference from a board.