Here you will discover everything about the Cheyenne bow and arrow. We will be taking a look at what it was made from, the dimensions, and how the Cheyenne bow was used by the Cheyenne tribe.
As always before we go into detail here is a short summary of this article.
Cheyenne bow was usually made from osage orange or whitewood. Its bowstring was made by twisting several strands of animal sinew. The Cheyenne bow itself was 46″ to 51½” in length. The bow tips were wrapped with sinew for added strength and elasticity. In rare cases, even the bow handle of the Cheyenne bow was reinforced with sinew.
If you were only interested in the summary. That was it. Now, if you want to stick around by all means do. Now we go into detail about how the bow looked, its dimensions what it was used for and we discuss the arrows used in conjunction with the Cheyenne bow.
The Detailed Breakdown Of The Cheyenne Bow
As you can see in the above picture the Cheyenne bow was between 46″ and 51 and a half inches long. It was made from osage orange or whitewood. Both osage orange and whitewood were commonly used in Native American Archery. Mostly due to its wide availability.
Now, coming back to dimensions. The bow was between 46″ and 51½” long. The bow handle was an inch to an inch and one-eighth wide and 13/16 of an inch thick. Bow tips on the other hand followed the narrow theme of many other Native American bows and were very slim with just ½” to seven-eighths of an inch wide.
The narrow tips reportedly helped the arrow itself travel faster.
The Use Of Sinew On The Cheyenne Bow
Sinew was an important factor with most Native American bows (there are some rare exceptions). In the case of the Cheyenne bow, they wrapped the bow tips with animal sinew.
This helped not only strengthen the bow but it did provide added elasticity, which in turn helped transfer more power to the arrow.
In some cases, even the bow handle was wrapped in sinew. This was most likely done to provide strength to the bow and prevent any breaking.
Now that we discussed the Cheyenne bow in detail let’s proceed to the arrows the Cheyenne people used.
Cheyenne Arrows Explained In Detail
The arrows used by the Cheyenne were made from dogwood and were between 26¾” to 28¼” in length. Feathers used on the arrows were turkey, buzzard, or eagle feathers. Which was quite common among the Native Americans.
Unlike the other arrows used by other Native Americans, the Cheyenne did not wrap the feathers using sinew. According to the “Encyclopedia of Native American Bows And Quivers“, they simply glued them on the shaft. Using most likely glue derived from tree sap or animal parts.
According to the picture above, it is evident that Cheyenne arrows used stone arrowheads. Most likely flint or obsidian arrowheads. Unlike the feathers, the arrowheads seem to have been wrapped to the arrow shafts using animal sinew. Which again, was quite common among Native American arrows.
Now that we went through the arrows, let’s make a quick detour and check out the quivers the Cheyenne used.
The Cheyenne Quiver
The Cheyenne used quivers made from buckskin. Quivers and bow cases were attached together and carried on their back by hunters or warriors during their hunting expeditions. This enabled them to keep their bows dry and unstrung during long treks toward the hunting grounds of their favorite prey.
The Cheyenne quiver was usually 24″ in length, while the bow case attached to it could go all the way up to 38″ in length. Quivers and bow cases commonly had blue and red paint on them. Again, I could not find any particular reasons behind it.
My guess would be as with the arrows that brightly colored things are more easily spotted if you leave them lying in the grass. And I assume it was easier to differentiate between your equipment and the equipment of other hunters if every gear had its own unique color pattern.
What Was The Cheyenne Bow Used For?
The Cheyenne bow was used primarily for hunting wild animals. Alongside that in times of war, the bow and arrow were used to great effect to inflict damage to the enemy from afar.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Hopefully, you learned something out of it. If you wish to continue exploring Native American Archery I suggest reading the following articles:
“How To Make Your Own Lakota Bow In 7 Steps” – if you wish to read it then click here, it will take you directly to the article.
And if you want to see the weirdest looking Native American bow then go here. It is the Penobscot bow, and I promise you the design of this bow is unlike what you have ever seen.