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Arrow Release - A term for the method of holding the arrow nock on the bowstring in shooting.  There were several methods used by Indians.  The simplest form was one that still is used by small white boys when they first shoot bows and arrows.  The nock end of the arrow is pinched between the thumb and first joint of the forefinger.  This is known by students of archery as the "primary release," preferred by the navajo, Chippewa, Micmac, and Penobscot Indian tribes.

The second method is called the "secondary release."  Here the arrow is pinched as before, but the middle and third fingers are laid along the string.  This was the method used by the Ottawa, Zuñi, and some of the Chippewa.

The third, or "tertiary release," consisted in holding the nock end by pinching it between thumb and forefinger, with the forefinger and second finger hooked over the string.  The Omaha, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Assiniboin, Comanche, Cow, Siksika, and some Navajo tribes used this method.

A fourth method and one used by the white man in archery, is known as the "Mediterranean release."  In this the string is drawn with the tips of the first, second, and third fingers, with the nock end resting between the first and second fingers.  The Eskimo generally used this type of release.

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[ Arrow ][ Bow ][ Bowstring ]