Bow, Crossbows and Arrows – the weapons for Chinese minority groups

Ancient Chinese weapons mainly comprise halberd, giant axe, axe, bow, crossbow, arrow, knife, fork and sword. The bow, crossbow, sword and spear constitute the major category of the weapons used by Chinese minority. Weapons spanned at least 10,000 years and evolved with social development. Many ethnic minorities lived in remote mountains or deserts. The stress of their living environment and production capability resulted in the limited weapons available. The bow, crossbow, arrow, spear and chopper were used as weapons and production tools as well. They became people’s partner and symbolized power.

The integration of weapons into the life of minority community has also derived accessories, decorations and rich culture and customs in regard of bow, crossbows and arrows. The weapons are cultural identity of the minority groups. Mongolian bow, Jingpo knife, Va dart, Nu crossbow, Tibetan leather armor and the spear used by Yi all represent the pride and power of a minority group.

The minority weapons presented here are collected from Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Yunan, Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan, Guizhou, Beijing and Taiwan. They span approximately 4,000 years from Neolithic Age to modern era.

The item displayed include: Oroqen Arrow, bone arrow head, crossbow, arrow box, arrow bag used by Nu, spear, fork, armor, Tibetan hauberk, helmet, firelock used by Tu and gunpowder tube used by Miao.

Location: 2nd floor, Bai Branch Museum, South Park