Archery Everything will kill you so choose something fun Poster Tribesmen of Central Asia (after the domestication of the horse) and American Plains Indians (after gaining access to horses by Europeans) became extremely adept at archery on horseback. Lightly armoured, but highly mobile archers were excellently suited to warfare in the Central Asian steppes, and they formed a large part of armies that repeatedly conquered large areas of Eurasia. Shorter bows are more suited to use on horseback, and the composite bow enabled mounted archers to use powerful weapons.
Archery Everything will kill you so choose something fun Poster Empires throughout the Eurasian landmass often strongly associated their respective “barbarian” counterparts with the usage of the bow and arrow, to the point where powerful states like the Han Dynasty referred to their neighbours, the Xiong-nu, as “Those Who Draw the Bow”. For example, Xiong-nu mounted bowmen made them more than a match for the Han military, and their threat was at least partially responsible for Chinese expansion into the Ordos region, to create a stronger, more powerful buffer zone against them. It is possible that “barbarian” peoples were responsible for introducing archery or certain types of bows to their “civilized” counterparts—the Xiong-nu and the Han being one example. Similarly, short bows seem to have been introduced to Japan by northeast Asian groups.
The development of firearms rendered bows obsolete in warfare, although efforts were sometimes made to preserve archery practice. In England and Wales, for example, the government tried to enforce practice with the longbow until the end of the 16th century. This was because it was recognized that the bow had been instrumental to military success during the Hundred Years’ War. Despite the high social status, ongoing utility, and widespread pleasure of archery in Armenia, China, Egypt, England and Wales, the Americas, India, Japan, Korea, Turkey and elsewhere, almost every culture that gained access to even early firearms used them widely, to the neglect of archery. Early firearms were inferior in rate-of-fire, and were very sensitive to wet weather. However, they had longer effective range and were tactically superior in the common situation of soldiers shooting at each other from behind obstructions. They also required significantly less training to use properly, in particular penetrating steel armor without any need to develop special musculature. Armies equipped with guns could thus provide superior firepower, and highly trained archers became obsolete on the battlefield. However, the bow and arrow is still an effective weapon, and archers have seen action in the 21st century. Traditional archery remains in use for sport, and for hunting in many areas.
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