In chapter 12 of The Sign of the Beaver, Matt decides that he wants a bow like Attean's. He is impressed with Attean's skills at hunting and wants to be able to contribute himself. He has made bows before that he played with when he was younger and thinks he can do the same now. Of course, the bow that Matt initially makes is not high-quality, and Attean decides to help him make a proper one. Attean selects just the right wood and cuts it to the correct height. He then supervises Matt as he removes the bark from the wood and helps him make the proper cuts for the grip and the notches. This is slow work, and Attean has to frequently remind Matt to work slowly and carefully.
Attean tells Matt that the wood needs to be treated with fat. He says that bear fat is best, but they will need to use whatever is on hand. Matt suggests that they use fish fat from some cooling soup they had been eating. Apparently, this is good enough. Attean carefully rubs the fish fat from one end of the new bow to the other so that it sparkled when the sunlight hit it.