Mongolian Archery of the Past

The horse has quickly become a fixture in civilizations throughout history. Regarding Mongolian history, the bow and arrow, and the practice of archery, has become a similar symbol. Archery has been around in Mongolia since the earliest dated history in that region. It can also be traced back thousands of years in many regions, where it played a large part in the rise and fall of empires.

The Mongolians, throughout history, crafted composite bows for their troops. Made from wood, sinew and horn, it was glued together using a substance extracted from the bladders of fish. Due to the drying needs of the glue, a single bow could take up to a year to be properly constructed. The primary difference which makes the Mongolian bow unique, is the fact that the string rests on the limbs once released. The bows also tended to be slightly shorter than most, and the unique design got the most power and draw length it possibly could.

Mongolians wore a ring on their finger, to protect it from the string, and the release. Since their bows were drawn to a longer length, this created much more force. This in turn applied pressure to the finger, and this ring protected it from harm. These rings were normally crafted out of horn, with a tab pointed forward. Some rings had a notch cut out of the tab, used to hold the string. This way, the thumb never actually touched the string.

A European archer normally pulled their string with their forefinger (s). A Mongol archer pulled the string with their thumb, using the thumb ring. This thumb draw was a common practice used by Mongol archers. Gripping the string, the archers would keep their palm faced downwards, and their thumb fell under the arrow. The string, at this point, should be in the middle of the thumb ring. The index finger would then be placed on the thumbs tip and the rest of their fingers are placed into their palm.

When using this style of archery [], always keep your arm perfectly straight and inline with the arrow when drawing. Keep your elbow inline with the arrow. This will mean you will have to lift your elbow up as you draw. You must remember to be relaxed at all times as well. Open your thumb and index finger to allow the string to fire. Pull your hand away from the intended target, to stop the string from sliding forward before it is released completely.