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Home > Books > Mason > North American Bows, Arrows and Quivers > Vocabulary - Part 1
Vocabulary of Archery
Part 1 of 2

ARCHER, old French archier, Latin arcarius, from arcus, a bow; one who shoots with a bow; whence archery, shooting with a bow.

ARM-GUARD. The Japanese, in releasing, revolve the bow in the left hand; a guard is worn on the outer side of the forearm to catch the blow of the string.

ARROW, a piercing, stunning, or cutting missile shot from a bow. The possible parts are the pile or head, barb-piece, foreshaft, shaft or stele, feathering, nock, and seiz ings.

ARROW CEMENT, substance used in fastening the arrow-head-to the shaft. A few tribes use glue or cement in making the sinew-backed bow.

ARROWHEAD, the part of an arrow designed to produce a wound. The parts of the primitive stone arrow-head are the tip or apex, faces, sides or edges, base, shank or tang, and facettes.

ARROW STRAIGHTENER, a piece of bone, horn, wood, or ivory, with a perforation to serve as a wrench in straightening arrow-shafts, barbs, etc.

BACK (side), the part of the bow away from the archer.

BACKED. A bow is backed when along the outside are fastened strips of wood, bone, horn, rawhide, baleen, sinew, or cord to increase the elasticity.

BALDRIC, the strap supporting a quiver or sheath, being worn over one shoulder, across the breast, and under the opposite arm; generally much ornamented.

BARB-PIECE, the piece of ivory, etc., on some arrows attached to the true head, and having barbs on the sides. This should be carefully discriminated from the foreshaft, which has another function altogether.

BASE of an arrow-head, the portion which fits into the shaft.

BELLY (inside), the part of a bow toward the archer, usually rounded.

BOW, an elastic weapon for casting an arrow from a string. (See Self-bow, com pound bow, backed bow, grafted bow, built-up bow.) It is the manual part of the weapon.

BOW ARM, the arm holding the bow.

BOW CASE, a long bag or case of wood, skin, leather, or cloth, in which the bow is kept when not in use. Same as quiver.

BOW STAVE, the bow in a rough state. Bow-staves were an important item of commerce prior to the use of gun-powder and every thrifty Indian kept several on hand to work on at his leisure.

BOW-SHOT, the distance to which an arrow flies from a bow.

BOWSTRING, the string used in discharging a bow. The substances used, the method of treatment, and of nocking are important to notice.

Bow WOOD, the substances used for bows, generally wood, but horn, antler, bone, and metal have been employed.

BOWYER, a maker of bows. In many tribes these were professional bowyers.

BRACER (wrist-guard), a contrivance for protecting the archer's wrist from being galled by his bow-string.

BRACING (stringing), bending the bow and putting the eye of the string over the up per nock preparatory to shooting. The different methods of bracing throughout the world form an interesting study.

BUILT-UP BOW, one made by glueing pieces of elastic wood and other substances together, as in Asiatic examples (H. Balfour, Jour. Anthrop. Inst. vol. xix.)

BUTTS, pyramidal banks of earth used formerly for targets.

BUTT-SHAFT, a blunt arrow for shooting at a butt, the ancient style of target.

CHIPPING HAMMER, called also hammer stone, a stone used for knocking off chips or spalls in making stone arrowheads. There are really two kinds of these hammers, the hammer stone and the chipping hammer.

COCK-FEATHER, that feather of an arrow which is uppermost when the bow is drawn.

COMPOUND BOW, made of two or more pieces of wood, bone, antler, horn, or whale bone lashed or riveted or spliced together.

EYE, the loop of a bowstring which passes over the upper nock in bracing.

FACES, the broad, flat portions of an arrowhead.

FACETTES, the little surfaces left by chipping out a stone arrowhead.

FEATHERING, the strips of feather at the butt of an arrow, including the method of seizing or fastening.

FLAKER, the pointed implement of bone, antler, etc., used for shaping flint arrow heads, spearheads, etc., by pressure.

FLETCHER, and arrow MAKER, akin to flèche.

FOOTING, a piece of wood inserted in the shaftment of an arrow at the nock.

FORESHAFT, a piece of hard wood, bone, ivory, antler, etc., at the front end of an arrow to give weight and to 6erve for the attachment of the head or movable barb.

GRAFTED BOW, a species of compound bow formed of two pieces joined together at the handle or grip.

GRIP, the part of a bow grasped in the hand. The same term should be applied to the corresponding part of swords, daggers, etc., where it is differentiated in any manner.

GUARD (wrist guard), a shield of leather or other substance fastened to the wrist of the left hand to prevent injury from the bowstring (see bracer).

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