Chinook Indian Talk

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Chinook Bows and Arrows, where to see them.......

From: Steady Eddie
Date: 1/8/2002
Time: 8:59:25 AM
Remote Name:


At the re-constructed Ft. Clatsop, near Astoria, Oregon, there is a display of local Indian items. They have a real bow and a quiver of real arrows there. Because they rotate the display items periodically, thay may not be on display all the time, but I assure you that they have it. The oddity is that the Chinook used an arrow that had a two-specie wood shaft. That's right, first there was the arrow-head, lashed to a hardwood shaft a few inches long. That was then glued to a longer cedar (light weight) shaft, which was long(er) and fletched with feathers like a normal arrow. Upon first knowing the Chinook arrow shafts were two-piece, for me it was like, "that's odd", then it hit me. How did the Chinook come to invent a glue strong enough to glue the two shafts together?? I mean, these were "dumb, ignorant savages" right?? Wrong.

I have since found out that the "glue" invented by the Chinook was used for many things, canoe-building for one. That tells me that their glue was not only very strong, but waterproof.

How good were the Chinook with a bow and arrow?

They played a game, where a hoop of a wooden sapling was suspended from a tree-branch by a rope, like 4 feet off the ground (like a tire rope swing). This hoop was small in diameter (6 to 8 inches) and set into motion swinging back and forth. From 20 paces away (a pace is nearly 3 feet) , the Chinook could put an arrow through the hoop in motion, every time. This feat was observed by Lewis & Clark who were equally amazed when the bow was handed to a woman, and SHE put the arrow through the hoop!

Steady Eddie

Last changed: January 08, 2002