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Home > Books > Additional Notes on Arrow Release > Part 12
Additional Notes on Arrow Release
Part 12 of 21

DR. BOVALLIUS, of Stockholm, described to me a release which may have been identical to that described by DR. STEINEN, namely, a two-fingered Mediterranean. This was practiced by a tribe of Indians on the south-eastern coast of Costa Rica known as the Talamanca Indians, Bribri tribe. He was sure of the release as he had often shot with them. They use this release in shooting fish in the water. The arrow is six feet long and without barbs, and is held between the tips of the first and second fingers, the thumb is held at the butt of the arrow which is truncate. The end of the arrow is slightly thickened with gum and cord so as to give a firmer hold. The bow is held nearly horizontal. (Fig. 20). Despite the statement of DR. BOVALLIUS as to the method of release of the Talamanca Indians we find in the National Geographic Magazine, Vol. XLI, No. 2, an article by PAUL B. POPENOE, on Costa Rica in which is given a picture of these Indians. In some respects the picture agrees with DR. BOVALLIUS' statements; the arrows are six feet long, they are evidently shooting fish but the attitude of the hand in all three indicates the tertiary release.

At Manchester, England, I met a traveler, whose name I have misplaced, who told me he had been among the Botocudo Indians of Brazil, and he had observed that in using the bow they drew it with two fingers on the cord, which indicated the Mediterranean release.

WILLIAM JNO. STEAINS, employed by an English firm in constructing a railway in Brazil undertook, at his own expense, the exploration of the Rio Doce and its tributaries. This valley is inhabited by wild Botucudo Indians. These Indians practice the Mediterranean release using two fingers unless the bow is very stiff when three fingers are used.

In STRUTTS "Sports and Pastimes" there is the figure of an archer copied from Saxon Manuscript of the eighth century. The release shows three fingers on the string with the arrow between the first and second fingers, indicating a typical Mediterranean release. Usually the figures of ancient archers show only two fingers.

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