During the war between the Liao and the Song (979-1004), the place where our Yinan County is located was a battle field. Back then, the transportation was inconvenient. So people made bows locally. This place is also called Langya County. The bows made in the county are named after “Langya bows”. I’m Yu Wanfa. I’m the representative inheritor of Langya ancient military bow. When I was 8 or 9 years old, I started to learn making bows from my fourth granduncle Up till now, it has been thirty years. It is hard to search for materials. Luckily, I met a friend who deals with wood carving. He said he collected one piece (of cudrania wood). It is not cudrania wood, is it? The wood is used to make the limb of bow. To cover it with cattlehide and press forming. What about boxwood? Boxwood is not OK , it is not flexible enough. The number of cudrania trees is small now. Now, all people in our place say that the wood can cure physical injuries. They even use it to make walking stick. Actually, it is a kind of superstition. The plant is wasted. For making bows, there are 12 steps in general. We can observe the annual rings to figure out how old the wood is. If you add such details as a whole, the producing procedure contains about 50 steps. (Making limb) We use cattlehide and cudrania wood in producing. At first, I need to select the material of cattlehide. For this material, we need to pick up the cattlehide aged over two years. You can seize it with your hand. If the cattlehide is too rough, the softness is poor. If too tender, the material is easy to break. After removing the hair of the material, we will soak it in lime water. When the cattlehide is soaked enough, it has flexibility. When it extends, we will steam the cattlehide. When it extends, we will steam the cattlehide. After that, we will cut the moistened cattlehide Into a long strip in line with the width of the bow you want to make and scrape the moistened part off the material. Then we will store the cattlehide right away. Linen is a must in the storing process. The cattlehide and storing sink can be separated so that they won’t stick together. Such cattlehide is easy to obtain, for large production and low cost. It has good flexibility so that the bow made from it has great shooting force. In the middle, we put cudrania wood, then stack up and press it into the sink in order to make it solid gradually. We need to use six bricks in total. After three months, when the cattlehide and cudrania wood are pressed, the bow’s limb is finished Later, we assemble bow tip and grip with strings and cover linen on it. This process is already done. This knife is a special cutting tool, which my granduncle left to me. He passed away quite early and gave me many tools, but some of them can’t be used. To smear evenly a layer of glue made of fish maw and cover linen cloth. This way of bow string is called “leg-bented stringing” Holding your legs: one against and another up the limb and using your hands. You see, the bowstring in this part should be “slanting”. You see, the part of the slanting string and the limb are at the same level, which is an unique feature for military bow. For the string, we should draw it to the red line as the scale. For military bow, it has a different point from ordinary one. We should check it after the production. We call the measure gauge as “jiaoli”, and two “jiaoli” are about 80 kg heavy. The scientific name for cattlehide-made bow should be cattlehide-linen bow. According to “Zi Zhi Tong Jian” ( a Chinese historical recordation), the bow has a history of over 2,000 years. During the Han dynasty, the bow was quite popular. The tool can be used as regular bow or composed into crossbow as well. The way of shooting in ancient times was for sieging castle. (Well, let me demonstrate it to you.) (The hand should be clenched, and hold it.) The cattlehide-made bow can’t bring me enough money to make a living and support my family. The reason why I continue to do it is that I can also produce ceramic products excerpt making bows. I use the money earned from ceramic products to the production of bows. Now, I only make a small number of bows for museums and some bow collectors. Because of my family affairs, I was sent to my granduncle’s home since I was little. So I watched and learnt how to make bows from him. My granduncle didn’t have offspring. Later, he left all things to me. Why I still do it? Because I feel sorry for him He raised me up since I was little. He split a steamed bun for me and my elderly brother, while he didn’t eat instead. I would have thought he could rely on me. However, he passed away very early. What can I do? The only thing I want is to pass down his craftsmanship of making bow.