How to Make an Original Indian-Style Bow and Arrow

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Recreate an Amerian Indian bow and arrow set.
Recreate an Amerian Indian bow and arrow set. (Image: L'Indien image by Paty Cullen Wingrove from Fotolia.com)

American Indians lived all over North America, and many tribes used bow and arrows to hunt with. Hunting with a bow and arrow to bring food to the tribe was considered an honor for the American Indian. The American Indian created the bow and arrow out of objects that can be found in nature. It is possible to recreate an original Indian-style bow and arrow using the same objects that the first American Indians used years ago.

Things You'll Need

  • 5- or 6-foot green stick made out of ash, elm, or willow (more flexible trees)
  • Piece of string, 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 feet long
  • 6 pieces of string, 1/2 foot long
  • Carving knife
  • 6 straight ash, elm or willow branches
  • 6 feathers

Check your 5- to 6-foot green stick to make sure that the wood will bend. Flex the wood in your hands. It should feel "springy" and it should not feel like it will easily crack. A dry piece of wood will crack and is not good to use for a bow. Hard trees such as pines do not make good bows. Ash trees, willow trees and elm trees are all good for making American Indian bows.

With the knife start carving a notch at one end of the 5- to 6-foot tree branch. The notch will help to hold the string in place. Carve another notch at the other end of the branch. Each notch should go into the branch about an inch.

Place the bow flat on the ground and hold your longest piece of string up to the bow. Place the string in the notch at one end of the stick and wrap the string around the stick several times before tying a knot into the string.

Place the other end of the string in the notch at the other end of the stick and pull the string tight until you create a bend in the stick. Wrap the string around the stick and make sure the string is tight by pulling lightly on it. Tie a knot with the remainder of the string.

Place one of the smaller sticks in front of you. Carve an arrow point into the stick with your knife. Turn the stick over and place a feather on the other end of the stick. Tie the feather to your stick with one of the 1/2-foot pieces of string. Complete this process with each of the six sticks to create six arrows.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a rock with a pointed end as an arrowhead. Tie the rock to your stick where the point is located.

References

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