Society for the Promotion of Traditional Archery
SPTA was the first society to introduce this class to English archery, and the specification is simple:
' any bow (except a longbow, which has it's own class) which shoots around the handle and is made from natural materials is a primitive bow.' Of course-many of these bows are far from primitive!
An exception would be a horn and sinew composite bow with a narrow handle where the arrow passes -and these are few and far between, so the 'CLASSIC' class has been created. Bows from other cultures -Bhutanese for instance, or prehistory -such as the Meare Heath & Holmegaard bows are all types which can be shot in this class at SPTA events.
NOTE: Some 'primitive' bows appearing in other societies are laminated rather than 'self' bows made from a single piece of wood -in SPTA it is up to the shoot organiser to decide whether these comply with the spirit of the 'primitive' class (in the SPTA founder's view it isn't!)
Arrows may have plastic nocks, but must be of natural materials-wood cane or bamboo with natural feather fletchings.. Bows made by the archer are encouraged, as well as professionally made bows.
Above: cable backed bow
Below: 'self' flatbow
Above left:The original Meare bow
Left: Holmegaard style