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Traditional Bow “Giray”

250.00 $

Bow “Giray”. Stylization of medieval Crimean-Tatar bow.

DRAW WEIGHT

Description

Giray — stylization of the Crimean-Tatar bow, a composite bow made of the wooden core with a horn on the belly and sinews on the back, with stiff siyahs. Such bows were widely used in Eastern Europe during the late Middle Ages. To this day, some of them are preserved in museums and private collections. Crimean-Tatar bow differs from the Turkish bow of the same years, in its larger length, the presence of a noticeable bend in the shoulders. The historical Crimean-Tatar type of bow is associated with the Crimean Tatars and the Crimean Khanate, but such bows also could be made in Turkey and other neighboring countries.

Giray – Crimean Tatar bow
Crimean Tatar bow from the Hungarian museum

The Crimean Khanate originated in the early 15th century when certain clans of the Golden Horde Empire ceased their nomadic life in the Desht-i Kipchak and decided to make Crimea their homeland. The Crimean Khanate existed from 1441 to 1783 and was the longest-lived of the Turkic khanates. The population of Crimea consisted mainly of Kipchaks (Polovtsians), Greeks, Goths, Alans, and Armenians.

The name of the bow is taken in honor of Giray – the first Khan Hacı I Giray, who was on the throne of Crimean Khanate from 1441 until 1466 and founder of the Giray dynasty. The House of Giray was the Genghisid/Turkic dynasty that reigned in the Crimea Khanate from 1441 to 1783.

The great Crimean Khan Islam III Giray. Engraving of the 17th century
The great Crimean Khan Islam III Girayof the Giray dynasty (reigned in 1644–1654). Engraving of the 17th century

In 1475 Ottoman forces conquered the Greek Principality of Theodoro and the Genoese colonies, thenceforth the khanate was a protectorate of the Ottoman Empire. Nevertheless, Ottoman sultans treated the khans more as allies than subjects, they paid them for providing skilled outriders and frontline cavalry.

A miniature depicting the Ottoman campaign in Hungary in 1566, with Crimean Tatars as vanguard
A miniature depicting the Ottoman campaign in Hungary in 1566, with Crimean Tatars as the vanguard

One of the main weapons of the Tatars was a bow with arrows, which had damask tips. The arrows were carried in a quiver of 30-40 pieces. Guillaume Le Vasseur de Beauplan wrote that the Tatar warriors shoot with a bow so accurately that they hit the target at a distance of 60-100 steps.

The tactics of conducting battles on the part of the Tatars were quite complicated and required good discipline. S. Herberstein wrote that they boldly enter the battle from afar, then turn to feigned flight and, choosing a convenient moment, shoot arrows back at the pursuing enemies, then, suddenly turning their horses, again attack the scattered ranks of enemies.

Crimean Tatar horseman on the engraving of the Flemish engraver Abraham de Bruin (1575).
Crimean Tatar horseman on the engraving of the Flemish engraver Abraham de Bruin (1575)

Giray – is a fiberglass laminated recurve bow that repeats the shape and size of the original Crimean Tatar bows. Ash or maple is used for the wooden core. Bow tips reinforced with black overlays fiberglass.

The bow is suitable for horse archery, it is quite compact – its length is 55″ (140cm). Giray bow may especially appeal to those who are interested in the history of the Crimean Tatars. Its max draw length 30-33” depending on the draw weight and draw weight up to 49 pounds. Shooting will be better with using a thumb ring. Also, Giray bow will be comfortable for shooting for archers with different skill levels.

Materials: ash and other hard wood, fiberglass
String material: Dacron B-50 (analog)
Total length tip to tip along the belly:  55″ (140cm)
The length of the string: 52″
Draw weight: 25-49# (at 28”)

Max. draw length depends on the draw weight:
for 25-30# draw weight – 33″ max draw length (draw weight is specified for draw length 28″)
for 31-39# draw weight – 32″ max draw length (draw weight is specified for draw length 28″)
for 40-45# draw weight – 31″ max draw length (draw weight is specified for draw length 28″)
for 45-49# draw weight – 30″ max draw length (draw weight is specified for draw length 28″)

 

 

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