3-D archery is a test of dexterity and accuracy.
Targets, in the shape of animals, are spaced at varying distances
to increase difficulty. In the past when archery was a matter of
archery was not only a sport but also an important and integral
part of a child's education.
During the long winter nights, children listened as elders told
them the traditions of their people. The following Abenaki tradition,
tells of the origin of the bow and arrow.
"THE CREATION OF THE BOW AND ARROW"
One day, a hunter was out looking for game. Suddenly out of a bush
came a great black bear. The hunter had only his spear and his knife
to protect himself.
- "Awassos", said the hunter, "I have not come here
to harm you so I will leave you in peace".
But the bear, Awassos, had another plan and started to walk toward
the hunter. The hunter, fearing for his life, decided to turn and
walk away. The bear knew he was stronger than the man and soon started
to pursue him.
To protect himself while running, the hunter turned his spearhead
behind him. Seeing a thick bush he ran through it hoping that the
branches would slow the bear.
As the hunter ran, he realized that his spear was caught on a vine
along one of the bushes. In a desperate attempt to free the spear,
he pulled on it with all his strength.
Suddenly, just as the bear caught him, the hunter lost his grip
and the spear flew towards the bear. The vine became a natural sling.
To the hunter's surprise, his spear struck the bear in the chest,
inflicting a mortal wound to the animal.
- "Iahi!" cheered the hunter.
- "Wliwni, Kchi Niwaskw!"
- "Thank you, Great Spirit, for saving my life, and providing
food and clothing for me and my family."
Giving homage to the Great Spirit, he realized that a new weapon
could be made.
- "Enni!" said the hunter, as his wonder became greater.
Instead of using a tree, he could take a branch from a tree and
instead of using a vine; he could make a string from milkweed to
make the new weapon.
The hunter gave homage to the Great Spirit for giving him this new
aid to his hunting.
And this is one story explaining how the bow and arrow were created!
Collected thanks to Joseph Bruchac, Abenaki storyteller.