The name Medicinebows comes from the American Indian culture
Medicine bows or bow lances were carried as a special insignia by certain warrior societies of the American Indian tribes.
These bows were seldom used as weapons. The very shape of such a bow had a strong symbolic importance, and its power, coming from the thunder, was strong in battle. The bravest warriors were chosen by their society to carry the bow, and this was surrounded by ceremony and ritual in and out of battle.
The medicine bows had such spiritual power that they were treated with the utmost respect and reverence, for they could not only bring good fortune, but also might bring calamity if improperly handled. The bows were mostly fastened to straight shafts over six feet long with on one end of the shaft a flint blade attached. They were richly ornamented, for example with feathers and medicine bags at the bow curves. Zigzag patterns, representing thunder, were also found painted on the bows.