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Home > Books > Arab Archery > XI. On bracing, which is the same as stringing
XI. On bracing, which is the same as stringing
Part 5 of 5

The whole operation can be performed in reverse by holding the lower siyah with the left hand and the upper siyah with the right hand, raising the right knee and placing it against the belly of the bow, drawing the siyah gently toward you, and inserting the eye with the left hand. For this reason—namely, the possibility of carrying out these two methods in reverse the two bracings of the archers have been regarded as constituting four methods.

The tenth method of bracing consists in releasing the eye from the nock of the upper siyah, placing the lower siyah against the base of your right or left thigh while the bow lies along your side and back and up past your neck, and then holding the upper siyah with one hand and drawing gently until it reaches the position of bracing. Thereupon, you insert the eye in the nock with your right hand if you had the lower siyah at the base of the right thigh, or with your left hand if you had it at the base of your left thigh. This has also been considered to constitute two methods of bracing.

The eleventh method of bracing is performed by freeing the upper eye of the string clear of the bow, stretching the right leg and bending the left to a kneeling posture—or, if you wish, you may reverse the operation by extending the left and bending the right—and then, with the belly of the bow toward you, placing a hand on the back of each siyah close to the nock, press against the grip of the bow with either the right or left foot, depending on which was the one outstretched. You then draw the siyahs gently toward you, while the foot makes counterpressure on the grip, until the bow reaches the position of bracing. Thereupon, you place one siyah against your bent knee, after you have raised it a little from the ground, and insert the eye into the nock with the hand that is thus freed. This has also been regarded as constituting two methods of bracing.

The twelfth method of bracing is used in the case of very strong bows where the preceding methods are of no avail. It consists of grasping the grip with both hands while the back of the bow is toward you, placing your left foot against the back of its lower siyah and your right foot against the back of the neck of its upper limb next to the eye of the string; then, simultaneously drawing the grip with both hands and pushing with your feet, the left foot remains against the back of the lower siyah while the right foot slides with the eye along the neck of the upper limb toward the nock until the eye settles therein.

The principles involved in all the methods of bracing are four: putting the lower siyah of the bow in a place where it will be held firmly, like the hollow of the foot or the base of the thigh; grasping the grip with the left hand; pressing the palm of the right hand against the neck of the upper limb; and, with the index finger and thumb of the right hand, straightening out the eye and pushing it into the nock[18].

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