Watch: Cherokee Bowmaker Richard Fields
Russ Chastain 11.28.17
This is an interesting little video. It features an Oklahoma Cherokee who learned bowmaking from his cousin and got hooked on it. These days, he even teaches others how to find the right tree, split the wood, and whittle it down to form a wooden bow.
I’m a happy-go-lucky guy, I have a lot of fun, that’s what I do. In bowmaking I do that too, I have a lot of fun with it.
You might not expect it to look at him, but he’s got about as Southern as accent as you’ve ever heard. So don’t be dismayed when he mentions churkey; he’s really saying “Cherokee.”
The wood he prefers is osage orange, a.k.a. bois d’arc, which he pronounced “boys dee ark.” Gotta love it.
The bowyer is uh, really, y’know what ya might say uh, I dunno, he’s a one-of-a-kind person. All the bowyers that I know, we’re all different… I’m more different than anybody.
…he says, while wearing his ZZ Top “Tres Hombres” t-shirt.
This guy has even been named as a National Treasure of the Cherokee Nation.