Asian Traditional Archery Research Network (ATARN)

A1, Cloudridge,
30, Plunkett’s Road,
The Peak, Hong Kong.

Tel: (852) 2895-4488
Fax: (852) 2808-2887
April 29, 2001

Letter from Peking (September 1998) Letter of November 1998 Letter of December 1998
Letter #2 of December 1998
Letter of Jan 1999
Letter of February 1999 Letter of March 1999 Letter of April 1999 Letter of May 1999
Letter of June 1999 Letter of August 1999    

Dear All,

    Woops! I missed September. Excuses, excuses.

    Actually, I went up to Peking for a meeting and met up with Liao Wanzhen ('Arrowhead Wang'). He has written an article for ATARN on whistling arrowheads. I need to get around to translating it. My collection of Chinese and national minority arrowheads is now up to about 70 different sorts, while Mr Liao has over 500. I am thinking that we should record them all on digital images. Have any others of you got collections of Asian arrowheads? Please let me know if you have. It is often very difficult to date them accurately and we need to get opinions of you experts out there.

    I hope my book, "Chinese Archery", will come out this month. I and the publisher have been struggling with the final illustrations and the cover design. I shall send out a letter when it is ready. Keep some space in those Christmas stockings!

    In September I was at a conference in Shanghai entitled "The Dragon Culture of China". It was organized by a society called the Yan Huang Culture Society. (Yan Huang is an Ancient Chinese sage king.) Talking to the office-bearers of the Society, I had the idea of organizing a conference on Chinese archery in Peking in about October 1999. The title would be "The Archery Culture of China". The purpose would be to review the position of archery in Chinese history and culture over the past three to four millenia.

    An outline of the programme could be like this:

An introduction to ancient Chinese culture A history professor at Peking University
The archeology of Chinese archery An archeologist from Xinjiang
Archery symbolism in the ancient Chinese writing system. A professor from Taiwan
The role of archery in ancient Chinese ritual To be decided
Archery in Chinese historical military theory and practice A speaker from the People's Liberation Army
The construction of the traditional Chinese bow. A Chinese bowyer
The theory of Qigong and its role in Chinese archery Master Hu Guangfa
Chinese philosophy: Taoism and Confucianism expressed through archery Stephen Selby
Chinese arrowheads: their origins, development and distribution Liao Wanzhen
Archery in China since the establishment of the People's Republic of China. Xu Kaicai/Li Shulan

    The arrangements for the conference would be quite special. There would be interpretation into English. It would be held in a resort hotel in the Western Hills on the outskirts of Peking which is  near to a large, well equipped archery range as well as an indoor archery range and club. We would try also to arrange an exhibition of historical artifacts at the Chinese Military Museum, and the bowyer would set up an exhibition of his own activities.

    What I want to know now is: would any of you sign up to it and travel to Peking to attend? (No commitment at this stage.) I don't want to hold it earlier than October because that would conflict with other important events planned in the USA. Any later than October and Peking would be getting seriously cold.

    Let me know what you think.

Yours faithfully,


(Stephen Selby)