Over the weekend of April 25-26 A.K. held its first primitive arrow making class. This class focused on the steps it takes to produce a primitive arrow. The first day was spent harvesting arrow shafts of Viburnum and learning how to straighten them. We went out on a resource walk and shared how to locate and choose the perfect arrow shafts. We ended up with a dozen or more great viburnum shafts. The process of straightening can be achieved two ways with heat or slowly straightening the shaft over the course of several months. We did use fire to tweak the seasoned shafts to make them perfect! We ended up supplying some already seasoned and straightened shafts in trade for a few unseasoned ones. Each person then scraped and sanded them down to their finished state.
We Then began the process of grinding our bone peices into the finished arrowheads out of bone. the participants were introduced the students to a primitive vice, some would call it a glorified clothespin, we call it a skin and knuckle saver. At the end of the day the points were looking great.
The second day of the class we spent finishing the bone points, processing sinew, and preparing the feathers for fletching. Once all of our materials were processed it was time to carve our nocks for hafting the point and attaching the feathers.
After the nocks were carved into both ends of the shaft we began the construction. We oiled and fire hardened the completed points and put on their final edge. We then applied the pitch and hafted the point to the shaft with sinew. Once everything was cooled down we began fletching the arrow. Its always a treat to watch someone make there first arrow. The tedious process of pitch application and fletching is always a bit comical in its difficulty.
Once the fletching was attached with the sinew and hide glue we trimmed our feathers using coals from the fire. The completed arrows were not only beautiful they are deadly. I hope to harvest a deer with mine this season.