Sunday, March 4, 2012

How long is that bow? How long is that arrow?

I was doing some image research and came across this picture of a Philippine "aboriginal war long bow and arrow" with a indigenous native in the "Investigating US History" pages of the CUNY website.

Now, we're not known for our height, and I'd assume that the longbow is about right, based on longbow pictures and their relative size to caucasian bearers. But that arrow seems, well, huge! Is it just me, or does it rate extra damage dice? If we assume that the user is less than 5 feet tall, does that make the size of that arrowhead more in line with regular arrowheads? It looks like a spear being launched by bow!

"Speak softly, but carry a big -- holy frijoles -- is that a longbow?"
By the way, for my non-Filipino site visitors, Negrito -- which, as you might guess, means "little black person" -- isn't really looked upon fondly as a term to reference one of the 'races' of early indigenous residents in our archipelago despite its use elsewhere in the region.

Then again, we're used to the naming game, having been called Indios at one point (the Spanish word for 'Indian') because European explorers kept mistaking different places for India. Other names included "Luzones Indios" (a reference to the northern region of the archipelago), "Manilamen" (a reference to the city), and "Indios Bravos" during the time of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade.

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