Archers and bows in Africa

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,710
There were some other archers than Nubians but with scant written record and archeological finds due to materials its is difficult to evaluate.

I would be very interested if anyone know of even Nubian examples other than written or Egyptian pictoral?
 

cachibatches

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
2,354
There were some other archers than Nubians but with scant written record and archeological finds due to materials its is difficult to evaluate.

I would be very interested if anyone know of even Nubian examples other than written or Egyptian pictoral?
Yes of course- Nubians were still used, of course primarily by the Muslims, as archers during the crusades. Even into almost modern times their ability and reputation as archers saw them recruited.

Another great example of the African prowess with bow would be the Mali empire. The cream of the Mali army were the knights and other cavalry, but most of the army was made up of supporting infantry. Of these 3/4 were archers.

As I understand it, the African bow in the Mali army was not always the most powerful due to the poorness of natural woods, but this was somewhat compensated by the use of deadly poisons on the arrows. Since only 1/4 of the infantry had to be spearmen, it can be inferred that the archer was extremely deadly.

The Nubian bow, which I personally presume had to be some kind of composite bow, was immensely powerful, as evidenced by a story recorded by Herodotus. When the Persians wished to invade his land, and he handed the Persian emissary his bow with the challenge that even one Persian could now string it. By most traditions, none could, and by a few, only Emperor Cambyses' brother could (leading to his death by jealousy).
 
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dreamregent

Ad Honorem
Feb 2013
4,346
Coastal Florida
There were some other archers than Nubians but with scant written record and archeological finds due to materials its is difficult to evaluate.

I would be very interested if anyone know of even Nubian examples other than written or Egyptian pictoral?
References do exist. However, as you know, examples are hard to come by.

Found in the context of the Pan Grave culture:



Also, according to the Oriental Institute:

Hunters using bows and arrows appear in Nubian rock art as early as the Neolithic period and hunting provided subsistence for Nubians throughout much of their history.
 

Frank81

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
5,125
Canary Islands-Spain
In Africa, javelins probably overpassed bows in importance as range weapons. This is specially true in the northern part of the country.

However, bows were used by sahelian people, from Nubia to Mali. As cachibatches commented, Nubian bow was powerful, while Malian bow was of lesser power and arrow points needed to be poisoned to increase effectiveness. People of Guinean forest used bows too, as they were used against Europeans.