Mabinogion – Welsh, 12th C AD

These arrows are based on a textual reference, the Golden Youth passage from The Lady of the Fountain, the first book of the Mabinogion, dating to between 1100 and 1190.

… and at the extremity of a plain I came to a large and lustrous Castle, at the foot of which was a torrent. And I approached the Castle, and there I beheld two youths, with yellow curling hair, each with a  frontlet of gold upon his head, and clad in a garment of yellow satin; and they had gold clasps upon their insteps. In the hand of each of them was an ivory bow, strung with the sinews of a stag; and their arrows had shafts of the bone of the whale, and were winged with peacock’s feathers. The shafts also had golden heads…

The Mabinogion – Iarlles Y Ffynnawn (The Lady of the Fountain)

My Reconstruction

Mabinogion Arrows
Mabinogion Arrows

Being completely out of the bones of a whale, I’ve made do with painted mountain ash shafts. I checked the parts box and I’d also run out of golden heads, these are brass and more or less a type 5 shape. Peacock feathers were spilt and cut to size. The profile is swine-backed, a medieval semi-circle shape associated with hunting arrows. Binding is yellow polyester because I couldn’t get a yellow silk thread that wouldn’t snap when tieing.


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