Fields, Richard

For over 20 years, Richard Fields, a full-blood Cherokee from Kansas, Oklahoma, has been making handcrafted bows, even inventing his own style, for which he teaches to the public through the Cherokee Art Center located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Learning an old craft from the older generation of Cherokee men, Fields was taught by his older cousin, who was taught by his grandfather long ago. "I make three styles of bows; the Cherokee long bow, an old- fashioned flat bow (also known as the "D bow" or "old flat bow"), and my own style, the Guinea Horn bow or "horn bow", which is a bow where the arrow rest is a part of the bow. All my bows are made out of Bois D'Arc Osage orange tree or hedge horse apple tree. I pick my wood and I get it any place I can find good, straight wood. I barter, do it old Indian way; barter wood for a bow. I craft each bow by hand using a draw knife, using other old handheld tools, and I use glass to finish it up. When I make a bow, I put my Cherokee name on the inside of it. I sign all my bows.”

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