Bows and Arrows of the Indian Subcontinent

This book may not have the title „Indian Archery“. Not because there already is the book by G.N. Pant of 1978 with this title, but because this title cannot really correspond to the contents of this book. In fact, there is no „Indian Archery“ except what I have described in detail in my books „Dhanurveda“ (German translation) and „Dhanurvidya – Classical Indian Archery“. Nevertheless, the bow as a weapon and hunting device was there already existing more than ten thou- sand years ago. And there are still ethnic groups in the Indian subcontinent who are using the bow, though this is not welcomed by the Indian government and officially is strictly forbidden. And there is one, albeit small, but versatile archery scene in India that has also won Olympic gold, training and shooting following the olympic/international rules.

Like many parts of this earth, the Indian subcontinent, especially its northern parts, has a turbulent history. So, this book needs to handle as much as possible all the bows, arrows, and whatsoever that originated on this subcontinent, or have been introduced by invading peoples, thus affecting the few „Indian bows.“ Thus, to give the reader an overview, this book must begin with a historical part. In addition, the bow weapons of the invading peoples and their techniques are described, as they had great influence on the development of this weapon on the subcontinent. Finally, but no less in detail, the indigenous peoples of the Indian subcontinent are to be processed as far as they are relevant with regard to the bow. This area seems to me to particularly important and interesting, although there is very little literature about it, as these ethnic groups were either expelled, used or considered inferior by the invading peoples.

The fact is that in the fifteen or so books, published and supported by the Indian government in the early twentieth century, like books on the „Castes and Tribes of India,“ there is only one single photograph of a native boy with a bow and arrow. On the other hand there are hundreds of photographs depicting natives at Hindu events. My own fieldwork flows into this book, but can only reflect what has been in India since 2003.

Hendrik Wiethase in April 2019

ISBN 978393763242-1 Hardcover 276 pages, A4, more than 480 mostly coloured pictures, 70 graphics and 15 Maps … available for 79.- Euro plus shipping, in Germany shipping is free, when ordering via that site or