Traditional wooden weapons may start to extinct these days. Stones and metals made the best and the strongest weapon from time to time. But, the main question is, are they easy to reform? This question has been pondering people in the ancient days. The answer is simple. When it comes to emergency, we have one material that is easy to find, easy to shape, but reliable as a weapon and that is wood.
Traditional Wooden Weapons, Efficient yet Strong
As strong as it could be, wood has one fatal weakness. Because it is easy to reform, it is also easy to lose its strength property as a weapon. For example, sharpness. That is why people move from a sharpened stick, to a sword or dagger. They start to use metal as a blade but they stay with wood for the other part of the weapon for the sake of efficiency. These 5 best traditional wooden weapons will show you how strength can meet efficiency.
Spear is the advanced mode of sharpened wooden stick. It consist of wooden shaft with a pointed head made of steel. Originally discovered in Europe around the medieval age, the spear was used by the cavalry to initiate a battle.
In Indonesia, spear was originally used as a hunting weapon. The wooden shaft is made from ulin tree or besi tree as they both are extremely strong.
Bow and Arrow
Designed as the first version of ranged weapon, bow and arrow is made of lightweight and elastic wood. The bow is made of semi elastic wood with a string connected at its both ends. The string becomes the part where the archer (the man who use this weapon) put the long-shaft projectile called arrow.
As a traditional weapon, bow and arrow was used for battle and hunting. The most commonly used wood for bow is tanjung wood, salam wood, and jeruk bali wood as they are not easy to break. For the arrow, the best wood to use is rotan wood as it’s very lightweight.
As a result of double-stick development, nunchaku is very popular in Asian martial. It is simply a 30 cm double stick, with a knife hidden inside every stick. The types of wood used to make nunchaku are meranti, rotan, ulin, and coconut tree wood as they are strong and light.
Sumput, or sometimes called sipet, is another ranged weapon beside bow and arrow. This weapon is an original weapon by Dayak, the original tribe of Borneo Island.
Sumpit consist of a wooden hollow shaft. To use this weapon, one has to put a dart into the hole from one end and blow it from the other end. Dayak people say it takes a lot of practice to gain accuracy from the use of sumpit.
The hardest part of creating this weapon is to make a completely straight hollow shaft. In the older days, only experts from Dayak can do this. But, thanks to technology, sumpit can now be made by a drilling machine.
Not only in traditional weapon, wood is also used in a modern one, such as riffle. Many engineers believe that riffles are too heavy to be carried by the army. That is why they refer to the traditional material, which is wood. As it is impossible to make a whole riffle from wood, engineers decided to change to use wood for the shoulder stock and leave the others with metal.
Wood, with all its beneficial properties, has helped people to make efficient and strong weapon from the ancient days to the modern. After developing so many types of weapon from wood, those 5 weapons are known to be the most powerful and reliable traditional wooden weapons in history.