Hwarang Bow is a native Korean weapon designed for shooting the arrows with velocity towards the target. The traditional Korean bows were designed and made by bowyers such the Myong-won Park and Do-min Park among others. Korean bows are highly refluxed and are designed to use the thumb in throwing the arrow. The bow is made to create tension when the arrow is drawn throwing it to a long distance towards the target. The bows were made for hunting and defense purposes in the Korean traditional society. Use of these bows has widely spread to other regions in the world where they are used for hunting hobbies. Hwarang bow is beautifully designed with artistic decorations on it making it attractive to people from different backgrounds.
History of Hwarang bow
- Use of different versions of hwarang bow can be traced back during the Korean wars against Chinese dynasties and other nomadic communities. These wars too place in the better part of the first century BCE. According to the available literature, Korean king and founder of Goguryeo was the first to use the reflex bows with which he would catch about 5 flies with a single arrow. Use of the bow later gave the Korean warriors victory in the wars against their enemies.
- History has it that use of bows as part of Archery in the Korean military came to be after the Mongol conquest of Korea. Before the conquest, the Korean army used the sword and spear but they damped these weapons to adapt the composite bow introduced by Mongol. Later in 1899, Prince Heinrich from the militarized Prussia dynasty visited Korea and had the archery demonstrated to him which included use of the bow. He suggested the introduction of the Korean bow to the national sports. This brought about use of the bow together with arrows in the sporting and recreation activity.
- The introduction of use of the bow in the sporting activities led to popularity of the bow to other regions. This resulted to its modification especially by the native Korean bowyers creating a great difference between the modern and traditional bows. For example, the modern bow is made of spring derived from fiberglass and wood making it a synthetic bow. This causes the bow to flex easily compared to the traditional one.
Features of a Hwarang bow
The Hwarang bow is slightly longer compared to other versions of Korean bows. Its distinct features include;
- Bow flex– The flex of hwarang bow is smooth and long. The flex is strong enough to withstand a prolonged pull back with great weight of about 70. This is a plus for this type of the bow because the majority can only withstand the pull back weight of about 50. In addition, the flex shows no signs of stacking and the users do not experience hand shock.
- Bow core– The core of this type of Korean bow is made of around three bamboo wood material lamination. In order to make it durable, a glass fiber lamination is added near the back.
- Belly– The belly of the bow is derived from black paper pulp. This makes the bow very durable.