People of the Waters - Oneota
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Object Name:
Bow found in a marsh adjoining a mill pond in Thompsonville, Racine County, WI. Radiocarbon dated: circa 1740 AD
It took time and skill to craft a good bow. The wood must bend equally. It was essential that the maker not to cut through the growth rings, for then the bow would fail. If too much wood was removed, the bow would be weak and not powerful enough for hunting or warfare. A good bow maker would scrape a little wood and then test to see how the bow was bending.

This bow has a crack or break on one end, probably because the maker cut away too much wood in that spot. The bow was discarded by throwing it into a marsh. It sank into the mud and because of a lack of oxygen; it did not decay until it was found about 1940. Radio carbon testing of the wood indicates it was made between 1685 and 1740, during the time of the French Fur Trade.

The bow and arrow arrived in Wisconsin about 1,500 years ago. It was more effective than a spear and was quickly adopted. Bows continued in use even after firearms became common because a bow and arrow was economical.
Racine County, WI
Kannenberg, Arthur P.
Native American, Late Historic
H-2.54 W-2.54 L-166.37 cm
Kannenberg, Hilda
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