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Wooden arrow with stone point and wild turkey fletching / Phil Cross

Curatorial Remarks

Bows and arrows were used for both hunting and warfare, and arrows are symbolically significant. Sometimes, the staff in a peyote meeting is called an arrow. The Cheyenne have the 7 sacred arrows that symbolize prosperity and protection. Bows and arrow are ubiquitous across North America, and they replaced atlatls or spear throwers. This may have occurred 4,000-5,000 years ago. The Inuit continued to use atlatls because they did not have pliable wood in the Arctic. Some groups added sinew to their bows to make it more pliable. Some of the best wood for bows is called Bois D'arc or Osage Orange. This type was widely distributed in the Midwest. The arrows would have 2-3 feathers attached depending on the region or ethnic group. People would use prehistoric stone projectile points on their arrows. Bows can have many different shapes.

Tags: arrow, flint
People: Caddo, Phil Cross
Places: Southern Plains, Oklahoma
Purpose: domestic use, hunting, warfare

From interviews with Dr. Garrick Bailey, 2018-2020 University of Tulsa, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology

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Wooden arrow with stone point and wild turkey fletching
Phil Cross (Artist)
Native American; Caddo
wood, stone, sinew
Object Type: 
Accession No: 
Not On View

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