BOWS & ARROWS ; Mongolian-Style; Two Friends Practice Archery Using Equipment Based on Ancient Asian Design

By Calwell, Ben | The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV), July 2, 2014 | Go to article overview

BOWS & ARROWS ; Mongolian-Style; Two Friends Practice Archery Using Equipment Based on Ancient Asian Design


Calwell, Ben, The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV)


bcalwell@cnpapers.com 304-348-5188

rchery is a sport that appeals to many, but when Michael Kane and Keith Mosteller get out their bows and arrows, they use equipment of a style dating to ancient Asia. The two friends use Mongolian- style bows from the period of Ghenghis Khan. Mongol bows date to the Huns in 600 A.D. and were used by warriors on horseback, said Kane, who is a Ph.D. criminal justice professor at West Virginia State University.

"The Asians, starting with the Huns, and going into Ghenghis Khan with the Mongols, and even into China, used what they call composite bows, said Kane, during a recent practice session at the archery range next to Morgan's Kitchen in St. Albans.

"It's an Asian bow, the opposite of a European bow, which is the long bow, Kane said.

The original Mongol bows were "composites consisting of a layer of bone, layer of wood and animal sinew. They have a very unique style to them, Kane said.

The Mongol bow is "the forerunner of the compound bow, with the wheels on it, he said.

Kane, of South Charleston, shoots his Mongol bow with three fingers, but he said the Mongols and the Huns pulled their bow strings with their thumbs, which he said was well-suited to horseback warfare, in which warriors shot their arrows quickly.

"They were horse archers. You can shoot these upside down, and you can shoot them backwards, and that's what the Mongols were famous for, Kane said.

Kane's hobby is studying ancient Asian philosophy, and learning about Mongolian archery and using a Mongol bow appeals to him. He also has an interest in samurai swords and armor.

"That's my academic hobby, he said.

Mosteller, a criminal justice major at WVSU, acquired two, Mongol- style bows, and Kane purchased one from him. The two meet at 10:30 a.m. on Thursdays and Sundays at the archery range along MacCorkle Avenue in St. Albans to practice with their Mongol bows. …

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