Mule Creek Cave Arrow Replica (SOLD)

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Mule Creek Cave Arrow Replica (SOLD)

Mule Creek Cave Arrow Replica (SOLD)
Mule Creek Cave Arrow Replica (SOLD) Mule Creek Cave Arrow Replica (SOLD) Mule Creek Cave Arrow Replica (SOLD) Mule Creek Cave Arrow Replica (SOLD) Mule Creek Cave Arrow Replica (SOLD) Mule Creek Cave Arrow Replica (SOLD) Mule Creek Cave Arrow Replica (SOLD)
Product Code: Mule1
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I love putting up new creations, and I'm REALLY excited to offer this unique replica fresh out of the workshop.  This arrow is a copy of one found in Mule Creek Cave in New Mexico back in the 1960's.  This arrow copies the construction techniques, materials, and paint designs as closely as possible to the original.  The main shaft is phragmites reed with a greasewood foreshaft fitted into the front.  The forward portion of reed is wrapped with sinew to reinforce this junction.  The foreshaft is painted with earth paints in the same design and color scheme as the original.  It's tipped with a Pueblo Side-Notched point that I carefully chipped out of translucent agate.  The stone point is secured with pine sap glue and wrapped with deer sinew.  

The fletch is beautiful wing feathers from a ringneck pheasant that have been laid on straight and are secured with sinew on both ends, but they are not glued.  The nock end of the arrow has been reinforced with a wooden plug made from a small dogwood shoot that's been carefully carved to fit just inside the reed.  It's been glued with hide glue and then the nock was carved into the rear of the arrow as though it was solid.  The end of the nock is also wrapped with real sinew.  And finally the paint design at the rear of the arrow copies that of the original.

What you're looking at here is the quintessential arrow that was used in the arid deserts of the western U.S. in prehistoric times.  Large numbers of these composite arrows have been found in caves in western Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, southern California, Utah, Colorado, and southeastern Oregon.  Though the paint designs, the way the feathers were trimmed, and how the nocks were designed or reinforced varied from region to region, the basic construction and materials used were quite similar over a vast area.  The research I've conducted in museums across the country, including the Smithsonian, has revealed a large number of prehistoric arrows that were constructed very much like this one.  

Several years ago, while elk hunting in northern New Mexico, I found the rear half of a small, translucent agate arrow point... I included a photo of it with the others of this arrow.  I wanted to replicate that point for this arrow, so I went through my stone and found a piece of agate that almost perfectly matches the original artifact I found.  I carefully chipped it into the point that now graces this arrow.  Greasewood is a desert shrub that is very dense, hard, and tough, and it was utilized very heavily for arrow and dart foreshafts in prehistory.  While on a recent trip to Las Vegas I found myself driving through expansive areas of greasewood, so I stopped numerous times and collected the straightest, best pieces for foreshafts, just as the ancient ones did.  I also read that tribes in these desert areas would often use grouse or roadrunner feathers for fletching their arrows since larger birds like turkey were scarce, so I followed suit and used the wing feathers from a wild pheasant because its smaller size is more like the feathers the original hunters would have used.  Whenever I make a replica I expend great effort to obtain and use the same materials that were used on the original artifact.  This stunning arrow reflects that...it's archaeologically accurate and a great item for anyone interested in Native American weapons and history.   

 It always amazes me how fragile a piece of reed feels when I first hold it, and yet how robust it becomes after reinforcements like foreshafts, sinew wrapping and nock plugs are added.  It's a real testament to how human ingenuity can transform a seemingly lightweight, almost useless material into an accurate, deadly projectile.  Though this arrow is designed for display, rest assured no corners have been cut in its construction.  It is identical to the reed arrows I actually use for hunting.  This arrow is fully capable of being fired and would fly beautifully off a 48-50 lb bow.  If I wasn't selling it I would put it in my quiver and hunt with it this fall.   

   

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