The Botto & Pima is a bow and arrow set used in Central Africa. It was the Special Weapon of the Zande Warrior.
The Botto bow is made from polished wood with a length of twisted sinex for a bowstring. It was about 4 feet long. The Pima arrows were 2 feet long and made from cane shafts with iron heads.
- Bow: 4 feet
- Arrow: 2 feet
- Wood, fiber, iron & (Benge) poison
Poison Arrows in Africa
The Border Cave in South Africa has archeological evidence of the use of poison arrows dating as far back as 25,000 BP. The San Bushmen still hunt today with these arrows; Bushmen bows and arrows are extremely small and would be nearly harmless if not for the poison. This poison normally originates from the diamphidia beetle larva, although castor beans can be used as a substitute poison.
The Botto did not have as much penetrating power as other similar sized bows, as evidenced by its inability to pierce the Jaguar's cotton armor. However, the arrows were tipped with Benge, a red powder made from a type of forest creeper vine known by the Zande as a liana. The Benge contains strychnine, which is commonly used as a pesticide.
Fang and Mpongwe peoples of Gabon created poisonous Crossbows by copying the crossbows used by Portuguese explores during their navigation of African during the Renaissance.
Other Poison Projectiles
Poison-tipped darts and arrows have been used by tribes and civilizations around the world. Some noticeable natural sources of poisons used by such weapons include: the manchineel ("beach apple") tree in Florida, the poison dart frog in the Amazon, and the wolfsbane plant (also known as achonite, or monks' hood) in China.