These courses are for beginners with little or no experience in bow making and the courses will concentrate on making a simple wooden “self bow”, or “ neolithic flat bow”. A self bow is made from a single piece of wood or stave, using basic tools. Although simple to construct, requiring no sights or shooting aids, these bows are very efficient hunting tools and weapons that are easily capable of killing all but the largest of prey. Archeological finds of ancient bows in Britain and Europe, that have been dated to over 5000 years old are almost identical to these simple flat section wooden bows that have been seeing a revival in recent years. Relics recovered from peat bogs of these ancient bows show us that the hunter gatherer tribes that used to inhabit these islands used this exact same bow made from a variety of indigenous native woods, including Oak, Ash, Elm and Yew.
Atlatl & Dart making –
This course is an introduction into the components and materials that go into the making of an ancient and universal weapon. Invented in the upper Paleolithic period the atlatl (or spear thrower) was one of humankind’s first mechanical inventions and was an incredibly efficient and deadly weapon for hunting and combat. Cultural variations of it existed almost everywhere until it was gradually replaced by the bow & arrow around 1000 B.C. The atlatl is essentially a stick with a handle one end and a hook to engage a light spear or “dart” on the other. The atlatl serves as an extention of the throwing arm and this combined with the shaft flexibility, propels the dart much faster and further than it could be thrown by hand alone. The making process will involve a number of challenges such as making spear points from flint, hardwood and bone, nettle cordage, fletching and pine resin glue.