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The Assassin Ratonhnhaké:ton wearing a quiver with his bow

A quiver is a container used to carry arrows, bolts, or darts that is normally worn on an individual's body, whether on the back or at the waist. It thus serves as portable storage for the ammunition of an archer, crossbowman, or any other wielder of a type of ranged weapon aside from firearms. In this capacity, it is generally an indispensable part of an archer's equipment, a necessary complement to a bow.


A quiver is most often designed as a portable cylinder with a strap that allows it to be fastened to an individual's back or at the waist. The former is more popular among archers while the latter is more standard for crossbowmen. It is traditionally constructed from wood, furs, leather, or other natural materials. As a container, the cylinder is hollowed out to allow storage of ammunition, with the top open to the air. Generally, there is no lid over the container, allowing users to conveniently reach to draw ammo from the quiver at any time.[1]



A Borgia crossbowman wearing a quiver at his waist

The quiver has been used by civilizations across the world for the entire course of human history, as ubiquitous as the bow it is meant to serve. Whenever a military provided archers, those archers invariably equipped themselves with quivers to hold the arrows for their bows.

Thus, quivers were among the standard equipment of Saracen and Crusader archers alike during the Third Crusade. The Templar slaver Talal, favoring the bow over close combat, regularly carried a quiver with him, as did the Teutonic Grand Master and secret Templar Sibrand.[2] Italian crossbowmen and archers of the Renaissance era wore quivers to hold their bolts.[3]

Use of the quiver declined with the advent of firearms, as they were not befitting the smaller ammunition of shots, bullets, and cartridges. Nevertheless, among cultures that continued to rely on bows, such as the Kanien'kehá:ka, quivers were still a common asset. During the American Revolution, the Kanien'kehá:ka Assassin Ratonhnhaké:ton continued to carry a quiver of arrows and a bow with him at all times even when he acquired access to pistols.[1]