Were Cherokee bows decrowned?

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Were Cherokee bows decrowned?

DraggingCanoe
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February 16th, 2012, 7:46 am #1

Or were they worked flat within one ring?
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DraggingCanoe
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February 16th, 2012, 11:54 pm #2

I'll have to try to get that some time. Thanks.
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DraggingCanoe
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February 18th, 2012, 3:21 pm #3

Does anybody know, though?
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Anhurset
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February 18th, 2012, 5:31 pm #4

Seeing as this is the historical replicas section I am going to disagree with the suggestion of referencing Cherokee Bows and Arrows.

While Herrin's book is indeed useful, it is also a bit out of date and relies more on modern Cherokee bow making techniques than on surviving bows, with many of the bows represented in Cherokee Bows and Arrows being very “modern” in their design. I believe Herrin has changed his out look on bow woods (I'm not positive on this though), however, due to the age of Cherokee Bows and Arrows he also heavily pushes the use of osage for Cherokee bows. While it is a good book to have, I would not call it the be all end all of how to make Cherokee bows.

To answer your question, however, no, it appears as though most Cherokee bows were not decrowned but followed a single growth ring.
At least once every human should have to run for his life, to teach him that milk does not come from supermarkets, that safety does not come from policemen, that 'news' is not something that happens to other people. He might learn how his ancestors lived and that he himself is no different--in the crunch his life depends on his agility, alertness, and personal resourcefulness. 
 Robert A. Heinlein
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Thumper1945
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February 18th, 2012, 9:18 pm #5

Anhurset, if you have any other information please feel free to reference it as we all would like the opportunity to learn specifics rather than "generalizations".

Gary- Admin
"Your job is to ask how, my job is to see that you do the job yourself"
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Anhurset
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February 19th, 2012, 12:12 am #6

Unfortunately outside of Cherokee Bows and Arrows there is little written information of Cherokee bows, so the best I can do is say go look at the specimens housed in the museums here in the southeast.

I have no issue with Dr. Herrin nor do I wish to belittle the information on Cherokee archery which he puts forth, it is good information. I do, however, feel that the information in Cherokee Bows and Arrows is very focused on the western Cherokee and, as I stated before, is very osage focused, or “Osagecentric” which is not necessarily appropriate for the southeastern Cherokee.

Also Cherokee Bows and Arrows is 23 years old and has seemingly never been updated. The focus of the book is not archaeology, but it does edge into that department and 23 years is a long time when dealing with a topic that even vaguely touches on the realm of archaeology.

My information on the construction, the following of growth rings, is based on the two Cherokee bows which I have seen in museums, one of black locust the other of hickory, both of which appeared to follow one growth ring and did not appear to be decrowned. Admittedly I was not given the opportunity to handle either piece and there was a piece of glass between the bows and myself. I was, however, able to get within twelve inches of both bows, the lighting was good and, more importantly, the positioning was good with the limb tips visible.

Again I meant no insult to Dr. Herrin and believe his book is a very good reference, but I feel, considering its age and its narrow focus on the western Cherokee, that it does need to be updated and expanded on.




Bryan
At least once every human should have to run for his life, to teach him that milk does not come from supermarkets, that safety does not come from policemen, that 'news' is not something that happens to other people. He might learn how his ancestors lived and that he himself is no different--in the crunch his life depends on his agility, alertness, and personal resourcefulness. 
 Robert A. Heinlein
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Thumper1945
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February 19th, 2012, 4:58 pm #7

Bryan, thank you for your considerate response. Please see pages 27 and 28 of his book for reference to preferred bow woods for the Eastern Cherokee before and after the "move" to reservations in Oklahoma. Incidentally, I have a bow that was made for me around 58 years ago - from a Cherokee elder that visited our farm often and traded venison for vegetables my mother grew. That is a whole series of stories in itself.
The wood is Black Locust- 60 inches long, around 25 lbs @ 24 inches- typical diamond nocks, heartwood with one annular ring on the back of the bow with "smidges" of sapwood. Flat back and belly - "D" configuation when braced. Obviously I don't allow it to be braced anymore because of its age and the rawhide string has long since "bit the dust".

I realy should post a pic (when I learn how to).

Gary
"Your job is to ask how, my job is to see that you do the job yourself"
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2traxx
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February 20th, 2012, 4:45 pm #8

I had a conversation,years ago with a man who was a friend of Mr Herrins.In disussing the book,i mentioned,that i thought there could have been a bit more info on the D bow construction,as that was the Traditional style.He told me,that Mr Herrin ran into,quite a bit of opposistion,in the telling of too many of the Traditional Cherokee ways in this Book.So,Mr Herrin had to make it a "How,I do it"book,to please those opposed.
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Salvador 06
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February 20th, 2012, 7:04 pm #9

Gary, I would very much like to see that bow, I can help you post pictures, or even post them for you, let me know.

The only thing I can add to this conversation is from an article in Traditional Bowhunter from sometime in the mid 90's. Dr. Herrin was not convinced by the design theories then being re-introduced by the first Traditional Bowyers Bible. He felt that some woods are just inherently better, and he likes osage, as so many of us do.
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Thumper1945
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February 20th, 2012, 8:36 pm #10

Sal, I'll bring the bow next Pasadena gathering- don't like to let it out of the house often. I refinished it about 5 years ago to preserve the oils but that's the only thing I've done. Wanted to keep it as close as possible to the original finish. As I mentioned before the string is "kaput" being a single strand of barreled rawhide - time plus mice got to it.


Yeah, I need a lesson on how to post pics. I keep getting pms from the Paleo fellows about posting my bows and haven't been able to accomodate their requests.

Gary
"Your job is to ask how, my job is to see that you do the job yourself"
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2traxx
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February 21st, 2012, 11:37 pm #11

Thumper,
I wouldnt mind hearin those series of stories and seein pics of that bow either.
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mikekeswick
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February 23rd, 2012, 7:27 am #12

Me too!
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Shamusrobert
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February 27th, 2012, 4:54 am #13

A 58 year old Cherokee bow, that's pretty cool!
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animalhands
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March 17th, 2012, 9:16 pm #14

The bow Gary is talking about is one of the most astounding bows Ive ever seen.
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2traxx
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March 18th, 2012, 4:14 am #15

OK,
Prove it then.LOL
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Thumper1945
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March 18th, 2012, 4:37 am #16

You guys are too much- all right, my good buddy Ken (Toxophileken) took pictures of that bow and several others along with some arrows- I have to figure out how to post them- remember, I'm old and modern to me is a chisel and rock.

Gary
"Your job is to ask how, my job is to see that you do the job yourself"
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2traxx
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March 18th, 2012, 6:30 am #17

Lookin foreward to it.Might as well,throw them stories in with em.
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BuildsTheFire
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October 15th, 2012, 12:12 am #18

Keen to see this bow too... pictures are worth a thousand words.
my blog: http://ancestralskills.blogspot.com

Mitakuye Oyasin
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2traxx
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October 15th, 2012, 1:12 am #19

BTF,
This bow was posted on another thread.Ill see if i can dig it up for ya.
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2traxx
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October 15th, 2012, 1:24 am #20

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