ancient cultures

How the Bow and Arrow Changed Everything - Victor Kühn

Photo: Victor Kühn,

Photo: Victor Kühn,

The invention of the bow and arrow was one of the biggest feats in the history of human[kind]. Then everything started changing.
— Victor Kühn

I’m so excited to share this fascinating conversation I recorded last spring with Victor Kühn, a master traditional bowmaker and primitive archery expert based in Boulder, Colorado. Here, Victor traces the ancient history of the bow and arrow, revealing how its invention tens of thousands of years ago forever changed the trajectory of humankind. We also talk about Victor’s (née: Vitezslav) remarkable childhood in the aftermath of Communist Czechoslovakia, his passion for the iconic American West, and the intense craftsmanship that goes into his one-of-a-kind bows (he fells his own trees!). 

Show notes:

  • How Victor first discovered bowmaking

  • “Wild times in the ‘90s”: Growing up after the fall of Communism in Czechoslovakia

  • Coming to the US and falling in love with the iconic American West

  • The ancient history of his homeland versus the untouched wilderness 

  • How bowmaking forever changed human history

  • Is bowmaking still relevant in a world with guns? 

  • Why Victor feels called to preserve this art

  • The intense research and craftsmanship that goes into Victor’s traditional bows 

Want to learn more about Victor’s work, take one of his bowmaking or archery classes, or order one of his traditional handmade bows? Visit his website at And don’t miss his beautiful Instagram page: @vikiesbowsandarrows.