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Long Swords, Bows and Arrows

Wearing long swords is highly favored by the Lhoba men, not only as symbol of manly spirit, but also a common tool and important weapon, which come into being due to the harsh natural environment. Long swords are used for defense against wild beasts, cutting bamboos, building houses and rattan net bridges, hair cutting, and scissoring furs and skins.

Besides long swords, bows and arrows are also indispensable to the Lhoba men as important hunting tools. Skilled in both making and using them, they begin learning shooting arrows from a very young age. They have excellent skills in making bows and arrows. In making a bow, they are very critical about the type, age of the bamboo chosen, and have specifications for the length and thickness of the bow. They also show great arts in making arrows and choosing of shafts and arrowheads materials. It takes bout 20 days to make a good bow.

They also have a type of bow and arrow named "Guma," which is laid on the ground where beasts often appear. When a beast steps on the opening device, the arrow will automatically shoot out towards its fatal point. It depends entirely on one's experience to set a "Guma." The arrowhead of "Guma" is made of a kind of pointed and baked bamboo rather than steel.

Adeptness in hunting is the pride of a brave hunter. And a young excellent hunter is often in the favor of the young girls. Actually, to congratulate someone on the birth of a child, a bow and arrows are often given as a gift. When building a rattan net bridge, arrows are shot across the wide and rushing water of a river, bringing with them cables made of rattan or palm or bamboos.

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