I’ve been doing some research over the past few months on the Korean Horn Bow for my latest WIP.
But I really wanted to get a clearer sense of how the bow worked and felt. So I dragged my family to downtown Seoul, Gwanghwamun to the Pavilion of Yellow Storks (Hwanghakjeong).
The reason for this is its made up of 8 different materials all glued together by the croaker fish glue. No chemicals are put inside of this bow either. The outside of the bow is made up of a water buffalo horn, which creates the power within the bow.
It takes a master craftsman 1 year to make 50-100 bows, depending on their speed. This is a picture of an archer stringing his bow, which is very difficult. After the wood has been stretched, it must be put under heat.
The archer keeps his horn bow in a silk pouch called the goong dae. After the archer takes the bow out, she ties the goong dae around her waist where it holds five arrows.
We also got to see a demonstration of a group of people shooting their bows so far away that I could hardly see the target! And they were hitting the targets. Amazing.
I also got to try out the bow. The Master also gave my hubby and I a lesson.
You begin with, “Please forgive my archery”. Then the Master says, “I wish you success.”
To shoot this bow, you:
1. Use a thumb ring to draw back the string.
2. Raise the bow obligatory to the target
3. Focus your heart (this is a critical part of the culture)
4. Chest is wide open
5. Hands in line
6. Draw back the string past the shoulder
7. Aim slightly upwards
8. Allow the heart to guide the arm
9. And let go!
Wow. What a rush!