Where are the Archery Quivers?

Started by DrowElfMorwen, February 05, 2014, 06:54:46 AM

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I'm in the midst of going over the battle scenes again in Avatar, and not once do I see a quiver (I'm still looking, though). When I told a friend all I see is the Na'vi holding arrows in their bow-hand, she mentioned to me there was a culture that did that, as it's a lot faster than using a quiver. But the Na'vi must be carrying extra arrows somehow, somewhere, but not once do I see where the arrows are actually coming from. I want to reference Tsu'tey's final fight scene as well, but my computer won't stop crashing my DVD player ~_~

Taronyu Leleioae

Always an interesting question based on the number of arrows they shoot during battle scenes.  But the Na'vi do not have quivers.  As shown with both the standard hunting bow that Neytiri uses in the first scene (as Jake passes under), the Omatika clan bow, and even the bows being held when the initiates reach the top of Iknimaya, you will notice an arrow holder (in modern archery think bolt on quiver on the main handle) for just a couple of arrows.  This keeps the arrows secure as the Na'vi hunters travel.  Interestingly, they put arrow points up instead of down and that makes a bit of sense in that the arrow fletchings (feathers) will constantly brush against leaves and branches as they push through the flora (plants).  This would end up being less damaging to the feathers over time.  There are no side or back quivers.  In fact, quivers would get in their way in the forest, even though they make logical sense otherwise.  (Back quivers are a modern invention btw.)  As to shooting, except in the battles against humans, speed is not a factor here.  Hunting is slow and stalking.  Not making unnecessary movements.

Somewhere I think in the film (as I'm not seeing it in Avatar ASG book), there is a picture that the saddle/harness actually has a quiver type mount on the right side to carry a bow in flight.  (Originally, the ASG defines that there is a bow optimized for shooting from an ikran not dissimilar in concept to an Earth Mongolian horse bow.)  But that has been the only evidence I've seen of any type of quiver or holder.

Historically, not having quivers does not surprise me at all.  Many early cultures (Japanese, and even evidence of Greek) show images of a side quiver clipped on to a belt.  Some native American tribes have had this (theirs was soft without a frame).  These are exceptions rather than common in our own history.  In the European medieaval period, quivers did not exist and were not used in battle.  (As proof by lack of inventories and never shown in paintings.)  In our own 15thC there was a wicker type transport (think basket weave tube) that would hold 24 used by the Burgundian military (European 1440-1475 era).  Another variation was the cloth arrow bag with round leather "spacers" inside to keep the arrows apart.  But these were only for transport.  Never for battle.  They would also not work nearly as well with the large arrow points the Na'vi use.  

(Adds note about crossbow bolts.  There were crossbow bolt quivers in Earth medieval history carved from wood and covered in leather and parchment.  And while we have words and documentation the Na'vi have crossbows, I've never actually seen one in the film being shown and/or used.)

If I had to make a guess, and we have no proof whatsoever of this, that the Na'vi plausibly (again my guess only) simply had leather ties around a bunch of arrows.  (It's possible they might have had some sort of leather cover to protect them.  But I'm doubting it.)  Similar to carrying a regular bow by means of the string over their shoulder, the same could be done with the arrows in a bundle with a simple leather strap.


Quote from: Taronyu Leleioae on February 05, 2014, 08:01:33 AM
But the Na'vi do not have quivers.
They have quivers...
...but the Na'vi itself don't wear it. :)

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Taronyu Leleioae

Ma Tìtstewan,

I think you misunderstand the word.  A quiver is normally worn.  This would be a side quiver (attaches to existing belt or has its own).  Or a back quiver which is a recent invention/creation and while initially logical, there are reasons one would NOT wear one into battle and certainly not for hunting.

This ikran mounted "holster" is the exception as it secures not just arrows, but the bow itself.  I would not call it a quiver as that is specific to retaining arrows.  As to this holster, I have never seen one for a pa'li even with the plains tribe scene.

However what is interesting, is that with this scene, you have proof of possible technology with other carriers.  (Again Cameron territory culturally.)  But with this type of construction, it's canon proof that stitching and creating carriers with leather and other weaving is possible.

It's also rather important to observe, that it is mounted on the right side.


Maybe I misunderstood it, but the basic idea to use someting for transport, they have...

Quote from: Taronyu Leleioae on February 05, 2014, 08:47:14 AM
As to this holster, I have never seen one for a pa'li even with the plains tribe scene.
Ok, and this?
old gallery link?id=5431[/img]

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Taronyu Leleioae

I wish we had better pictures of those pa'li "saddlebags".  But if you frame by frame that whole sequence, all the Na'vi of the plains are holding their bows.  Which actually might make sense as they would have to carry some amount of food and even water to survive a long ride across the plains.  Not to mention extra materials such as bow strings, warpaint, light armour, etc.  

From an Earth standpoint, there were no "holsters" for bows even in the (European) medieval period.  The only saddle attachment was sometimes an extra "cup" attached to the right stirrup to rest a lance vertically.  (Although this must have put the saddle off balance with the weight imo.)  For long distance campaigns, the bulk of the bows were carried on wagons.  The arrows often transported in light barrels.

(Adds side note/comment.  Comparing to our own medieval history, and even to our own native history isn't proof or disproof of anything Na'vi.  However, the technologies are the same and to understand one helps to understand the other.  Even native American archery had many many variations based upon experience, and local materials available to each people.  Further, one cannot study archery by itself.  It is part of a "combat system".  There is a logical progression to everything.  How they hunt.  How they shoot.  How they ride.  And the Na'vi are definitely about progression and tradition.)

But, back to the original question >>  no Na'vi quivers (specific to arrows).  Although I still think it probable (certainly possible) that sheafs (bundles) of arrows would have been carried with leather straps.  Perhaps with a leather wrap (thin piece of talioang or yerik hide) to keep the fletchings dry.

Reiey fpi Sìtaron

During the battle scene you can see an ikran-mounted quiver holding 4-5 arrows (see attachment for image).

I've always wondered what holds the arrows in place on the bow-mounted holders. We see Neytiri remove one without loosening it and the second arrow stays in place.


That quiver on this ikran has the same design like that one on Neytiri's ikran! :D

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Taronyu Leleioae

I agree.  It's part of the holster/quiver for arrows for flying.  Which makes a lot of sense.  Further tactically, an ikran would make a wise choice to resupply others if needed.  However I still have yet to find anything for ground based warriors.  Trying to go through the frames with the pa'li charge against the RDA starting the final battle.  Yet nothing yet for any evidence that quivers are actually worn by the archer.  Nice find in the clip btw.