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Additional Notes on Arrow Release
Part 14 of 21

EDWARD HORACE MANN, Esq., in his work "On the Aboriginal Inhabitants of the Andaman Islands"[4] says, "It is a singular fact that the mode in which the tribes of Great Andaman discharge their arrows differs from that in vogue among the Jar'awa. While the latter are said to adopt the plan usual among ourselves of holding the nock of the arrow inside the string by means of the middle joints of the fore and middle fingers and drawing the string with the same joints, it is the practice among the former to place the arrows in position between the thumb and the top joint of the forefinger and to draw the string to the mouth with the middle and third fingers." The Jar'awa then practice the Mediterranean release while the others practice the secondary release. As an illustration of the instability of arrow release among savages, I refer to the archery number of the Badminton series in which MR. LONGMAN presents some reproductions of photographs taken by MR. M. V. PORTMAN from his unpublished notes. These I have copied, (Fig. 22) and they represent in turn the primary, a modification of the tertiary, Mediterranean and Mongolian, and the one described above is certainly secondary. It may be of interest to remark that here is one of the lowest savage groups of people, the only pure negrito people existing, so MR. PORTMAN says, so low that they are in an amorphous condition regarding archery. A crooked wooden stave for a bow, arrows without barbs and, according to MR. PORTMAN, who lived among them for fourteen years, the poorest shots imaginable and yet presenting examples of the five pronounced releases known. They are in such an embryonic condition that they have not yet established a permanent release. The Onge Tribe inhabiting the Little Andaman practice the Mediterranean release (Fig. 23).

In the third volume of Ratzel's History of Mankind, page 356, is an illustration of a Veddah of Ceylon in the act of shooting the bow. The photograph from which it was derived was made by EMIL SCHMIDT of Leipsic. The release is Mediterranean, three fingered. (Fig. 24).

At the St. Louis Fair I saw members of a tribe called Bagoba from the Philippines. One of them shot for me and he used the primary release. The arrows were not feathered and their flight was crooked. A negrito child among them, 19 months old, shot for me in the most vigorous manner. He used the tertiary release with thumb on the string, the bow held vertical. (Fig. 25).