Comparison of Arrows
The California Indian made a better arrow than did the Plains Indian. The Hupa arrows (pl. 11, figs. 5, 6, 7) are of really excellent workmanship. Their balance and proportions mark them for accurate flight up to the limit of their range, say 150 yards. Shooting these with the Hupa bow, they fly in excellent form, and at distances up to 40 yards their impact is sharp and penetrating.
Figure 8 in the same plate is an ingenious bird arrow. At its point it has four small sticks bound with sinew in a square about the foreshaft. This enlarges its striking diameter, so that it increases the marksman's chances of getting his game. The feathers on this specimen are arranged in a spiral position, which again shows the good sense of the maker. This arrangement not only serves to rotate the otherwise difficult head and thus promote steadiness in flight, but the increased friction tends to stop the arrow after 10 or 20 yards, so that it is more easily found when shooting in the trees or in the brush.
The Negrito bird arrow shown in plate 8 employs the same principle of spreading the striking point. Here a series of bamboo spikes are arranged concentrically and make a formidable head for hitting birds. The other two arrows shown are typical fish arrows, hence they have no feathers. These shafts shot at distances greater than 10 yards tend to float and dive in most erratic gyrations. The bird arrow flies heavily but straight. None of these can be shot much over 100 yards from the bow shown on the same plate.