When I was 6 or 7 I decided to make a bow and arrow one day. I had never seen or handled one in real life, but it was intuitively obvious to me from TV that they way to do this was to tie the ends of a stretched rubber band to the ends of a stick. This would have worked, after a fashion, except that the rubber band broke when I nocked the arrow and drew back. I asked my father to solve this problem, but he said that this wasn't the way Indians made their bows. He said they had no rubber bands and that the bow strings actually didn't stretch at all: it was the springiness of the bow that supplied the 'elastic' function. Now, it's true I had noticed that the bows in movies bent when the string was drawn back, but I had taken that to be an irrelevant flaw in the sticks they used: too flimsy, and was sure the 'spring' that impelled the arrow was the elastic string, which had to be some sort of very strong rubber band that Indians knew how to make. In fact, I thought an improved bow could be made by using a stout stick that didn't bend at all so that all the springiness was relegated to the operative rubber string. That latter supposition was almost true: it may not be improved, but a none-the-less effective arrow launcher can actually be made from a stout stick and strong rubber band, like a bungee cord. Regardless and however, the point of the story was my cultural inside-the-box thinking had lead me astray: being aware of rubber bands, I immediately conceived of the bow and arrow as working by rubber bands, and couldn't conceive of what I had seen in the movies as working by any other means. Having only ever seen them on TV and in movies, never having touched one in real life, but being aware in real life of rubber bands, having actually handled them, I came to the conclusion bow strings had to be strong rubber bands. So, I'm wondering how prevalent this misconception may be among small kids. Did you also assume bow strings were rubber bands when you were little? And, if you never thought about bows and arrows as a kid, feel free to post any misconception you arrived at all on your own about how anything worked.