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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

This is a late Ming dynasty Chinese military bow, called the Dashao Bow 大弰弓 (literally means big siyah bow). This design started to appear frequently in the historical text of the 17th century, such as Gaoying and Wubeizhi, but it is difficult to trace its origins of being northern china, Mongolian, or jurchen origin.

This is not really a review but rather a history video about the Dashao

From the Chinese 17th century source, wǔ bèi yào luè, it depicts six types of bows in the Ming Arsenal.

Dashao stands out from the crowd, being the biggest of the bunch and showing a D shape profile instead of the typical M shape profile that is synonymous with other Chinese bows of previous eras. the Description says "These days border troops, whether mounted or foot archers, use this type of bow, its long and wide limbs provide stability". According to another Ming Chongzhen era reference of Jiǎo fěi tú jì 剿匪圖紀, which depicts Ming troops fighting "farmers rebels" and the bows appear to be Dashao Bows (with large size, D shape, long draw, etc.). Today, some people argue that the Manchu bow, was originated from the ming dyanasty dashao bows, due to its very similar resemblance of the later manchu bows. They use the 武备志 wubeizhi printed in 1621. It quotes “Kaiyuan is what is called dashao today”. “The core is 3.5 chi, two (water) buffalo horn stripes, mulberry or elm siyah 1 chi, hardwood grip, the (total) length is 5 chi.” Doing some conversions, the bow’s total length is 160cm. If this is the string length——it is similar size to the imperial Qing bows. Critics have argued that If you look at gaoying's, the dashao bow is more D shape at the handle with less recurve at the tips, however, this is not a realistic drawing of the bow and its clearly not in scale. if you look at the wǔ bèi yào luè, those depictions are much closer to qing dynasty manchu bows.

Others have argued that The mongols were the first to use these manchu bows. After all, the earliest source is from a 16th century record made by a Ming person traveling to the Mongol (虏)regions. In which he describes the Mongols used “long wide bows” and “long thick arrows”. However this could simply be mongol longbows even used today for recreation. And of course, there are people who argue that the jurchens are first to invent these bows, and that earlier depictions of jurchens are merely show that they used xiaoshao bows as well. Then you have folks arguing this is a stone age invention but we just don't have the evidence. The mollegabet bow is not the same
 

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Who argues that a mollegabet bow is anything close to a dashao? They only superficially resemble each other.

If I remember correctly Gao Ying favored xaioshao bows. That may help explain the odd visual depiction of the dashao bow in his text.

Wish we could get a good laminate version of this, or at least a good version of a Kaiyuan bow. For Daoshao's we're unfortunately limited to Yuan or Qing designs.
 

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What do you consider the delineation between changshao and dashao bows? Would you say it is discernible with your classification system?
Both being reflex straight static tips but changshao having no string contact and dashao having string contact.
Or would you say it is more historical/cultural with dashao being late Ming-Qing bows and Changshao being more pre-Yuan bows. If so, what would you call Yuan and early Ming long/big ear bows?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What do you consider the delineation between changshao and dashao bows? Would you say it is discernible with your classification system?
Both being reflex straight static tips but changshao having no string contact and dashao having string contact.
Or would you say it is more historical/cultural with dashao being late Ming-Qing bows and Changshao being more pre-Yuan bows. If so, what would you call Yuan and early Ming long/big ear bows?
based on my classification, it is based on unstrung side profile but we have zero unstrung dashao bows, only guesses. Based on alibows reproduction, they are the same family because both have string contact but the qing one has more aggressive recurve will the dashao is pretty much straight which will still have string contact cuz the string bridge does that.
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Or would you say it is more historical/cultural with dashao being late Ming-Qing bows and Changshao being more pre-Yuan bows.
answer: yes, changshao seems to be the most popular "dark age" bow of china, seems to be influenced from sassanian sources and later mongol ones
they belong to these to, of course depends on how complicated the unstrung handle shape is
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Who argues that a mollegabet bow is anything close to a dashao? They only superficially resemble each other.

If I remember correctly Gao Ying favored xaioshao bows. That may help explain the odd visual depiction of the dashao bow in his text.

Wish we could get a good laminate version of this, or at least a good version of a Kaiyuan bow. For Daoshao's we're unfortunately limited to Yuan or Qing designs.
no one argued the mollegabet is the dashao i just added it in there just in case lol
those bows are ancient and with static tips and are relatively long, reminding me of a stone age dashao
siberian bows also look similar

i used it as a visual image for the sentence "some argue its an ancient invention" cuz i had no other suitable image to find, maybe a black screen was better.
this is my second reply , my first comment talks about classificaiton system
 

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What delineates a changshao from dashao, and would you consider later Qing bows to be a daoshao? Where would you draw the line between these types of bows (if you do consider them separate types of bows)?

My limited understanding is the pre-yuan style non contact static recurve bows evolved (either for changing military doctrine, or new construction techniques) into the yuan / early Mongolian bows. This design then evolved, with lots of cultural influence into the Tatar like xaioshao and Mughal like daoshao. The daoshao contineud to evolve into the late ming period variant in your video and the Manchu bow to suit the emerging military doctrine of the time (shooting javelins). Where as the xaioshao type bow continued usage in Joseon Korea with it military doctrine of light arrow shooting (baby arrows).

Is my understanding completely wrong? You are more studied on the subject than I.
 
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