Bamboo: It is easily acquired from the surrounding forests in the region.
Cane: The artisans buy cane from weekly haats.
Eagle feathers: These are attached to rear part of the arrow to impart aerodynamic form.
Melted lac from Babul tree: Used to fit feathers and arrowheads on arrow.
Metal (Iron): The main part of arrow which pierces on the target.
Coal: Used for heat generation while hot working.
Tools & Technology
Daratha: A locally made sickle used to cut bamboo in forests.
Bogda: It is a long knife used to slit cane and bamboo.
Hathodi: Locally made hammer used to make metallic arrowheads.
Aari: Locally made saw to cut bamboo.
Air blower: Used to increase flame while hot forging.
Abrasive wheel: It can be manually powered or motorized, used to sharpen the cutting tools.
Metallic or wooden plank: Used as a base while working on bow and arrow.
From the days when humanity was setting its foothold on different regions, one of the first tools and weapons he invented for personal assistance and safety was 'Bow & Arrow'. The technique of making this primitive set of weapon has evolved into a very efficient form and design, so much that a Bhil warrior can aim the target from one mountain to another. The artisans have honed the art of choosing best material that would mature into a well-made set of bow & arrow.
In the whole process of making a bow and arrow, two types of craftsmen are involved. There are Lohars, who make arrow heads through hot forging and sharpen them on abrasive wheels. Then these arrowheads are bought by bow and arrow makers.
The process of making bow and arrow can be divided in two parts:
The bow is crafted from Bamboo. 4 to 4.5 inches of solid bamboo, it is first split into half and then sanded properly. It is then heated and two slits are made on either side, to which the Pincha or the flat thin piece of Bamboo is tied, which acts as the pull. Generally, two are tied. If one breaks, the other can be used.
The arrow is made using cane. The metal head piece is sharpened on stone and shaped. It is then inserted into a notch made at the top of the cane. The hot metal is inserted and hot lac is used as an adhesive. Nylon strings are wound around this joint for strengthening. The eagle's feather is split into two and stuck on either side of the base. A string is then wound around the feather and the base.
When the arrow flies straight, the narrow part of the fletching on the back is in line with the flight path and provides very little resistance. It's like a feather being dragged through the air by its point. Flip the arrow so its broad side is moving through the air and the resistance increases considerably, to the point where it takes effort to drag it through the air. When the point of an arrow wobbles, the fletching on the end is turned so that it gets a considerable push of resistance. That push is directly opposite to the way the arrow turned, and so it puts the arrow back in line with its flight path.