It is hardly necessary to call attention to the importance of a more systematic study of the methods of archery and paraphernalia of the archers than has yet been done. I would point out the necessity of observing greater care in copying drawings, rock-inscriptions, frescos, bas-reliefs, etc., also the minor details, - such as the position of the hand, the shape and character of the ends of the bow and arrow, and the shape of the feathers ; also the possibility and importance of. identifying among ancient objects and drawings arm-guards, thumb-rings, arrow-rests, etc. Travellers and explorers ought also not only to observe the simple fact that such and such people use bows and arrows, but they should accurately record, (1) the attitude of the shaft hand; (2) whether the bow is held vertically or horizontally; (3) whether the arrow is to the right or to the left of the bow vertical; and (4), of which no comment has been made in this paper, whether extra arrows are held in the bow-hand or shaft-hand. The method of bracing the bow is of importance also.
The remarkable persistence of certain forms of arrow-release among various nations leads me to believe, that, in identifying the affinities of past races, the method of using the bow may form another point in establishing or disproving relationships. By knowing with more certainty the character and limitation of the forms of arrow-release, another clew may be got as to the date and nature of fragments of sculpture representing the hand. The peculiar attitude of the archer might lead to the interpretation of armless statues.
The author would be very grateful for any information regarding the methods of arrow-release of tribes and peoples. Particularly would he desire the release as practiced by the Veddahs of Ceylon, the Hill tribes of India, the tribes of Africa, South America, and especially the Fuegans. Indeed, any information regarding the methods of arrow-release in any part of the world would be acceptable. Such material in the shape of descriptions, photographs, drawings, and if possible specimens of bows and arrows, may be sent to the author, Peabody Academy of Science, Salem, Mass., U.S.A., for which full credit will be given in a future publication on this subject.
In addition to those already mentioned in these pages to whom the author is under obligations, he would mention Gen. Charles A. Loring, Mr. Edward Robinson, Prof. Otis T. Mason, Rev. W. C. Winslow, Mr. T. F. Hunt, Dr. W. S. Bigelow, Prof. John Robinson, Mr. S. R. Koeller, and Prof. E. F. Fenollosa who have in various ways rendered him kind assistance.