The Archery Library
Old Archery Books, Articles and Prints
Home > Books > Additional Notes on Arrow Release > Part 13
Additional Notes on Arrow Release
Part 13 of 21

MRS. CLEMENT WATERS sent me a photograph of the bronze doors of the famous cathedral at Amalfi. These doors were made in Constantinople in 1075 A. D. Among the paneled figures is an archer plainly showing the Mediterranean release and probably showing the use of the two fingers. The figures are very archaic. The designs were evidently made by one who was not a Turk as the Turks practice the Mongolian release.

In a famous psalter executed by GEOFFREY LONTERELL, in 1345, the figure of an archer is given shooting at a target, the Mediterranean release is clearly shown. Three fingers are used instead of two as in most of the figures over two hundred years old.

In the Royal Art Museum, Berlin, are a number of ancient Greek vases, red on black, on which an archer is shown using the typical Mediterranean release. In the same Museum is a bronze statue of Eros bracing the bow in English style. The bow being short the lower end rests against the knee instead of the foot.

In the Museum of St. Germain, near Paris, is a remarkable replica of Trajan's Column, in this the Dacians are shown using the Mediterranean release, two fingered. In many of the figures represented the bow is very short.

Realizing that the aboriginal tribes of India were Aryan in origin it was most important to ascertain the methods of archery among the savage tribes in the interior. An East Indian officer, CAPT. JOHN JOHNSTONE, visiting Boston, promised to secure for me, through a brother officer, the method of arrow release of primitive tribes inhabiting the region in which he was stationed. Some months after CAPT. JOHNSTONE'S departure I got a letter from him, accompanied by the clearest drawings showing the arrow release among the native tribes. The following is an extract, "I asked a friend of mine, CAPT. LUARD, who is compiling the Gazeteer of Central India to have some sketches prepared for me for transmission to you and he has sent those I enclose, together with two photographs. I hope they will be of some use to you. The Bhils (pronounced Bheels) are among the most primitive tribes of Central India and are looked upon as aborigines. They do not admit themselves to be Hindus, though when brought into close contact with the latter they are apt to adopt many Hindu customs and deities. They still use bows and arrows in their native haunts chiefly against wild beasts, but occasionally against each other." The following figure (Fig. 21) is a reduced reproduction of one of the drawings. The release is an absolutely perfect Mediterranean with two fingers.

In a collection of photographs published by the London Indian Museum in 1868, entitled "The People of India." Vol. 1, Plate 21, is shown a native of the Korwa group from Chola Nagpoor and regarded as an aborigine; the release is typically Mediterranean.

EDWARD TUITE DALTON, in a work entitled "Descriptive Ethnology of Bengal," figures a number of the Korwas shooting with a bow. These people are considered one of the wildest of the Kolarian tribes. The arrow release is clearly shown and it is distinctly Mediterranean. The Korwas are found in the hills rising in the Sirguja and Jaspur Estates in the Province of Shutia, Nagpur.