Bhutan and the Art of Archery » ARCHERY: BHUTAN’S PRIDE

Archery is the national sport of the tiny, Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. Competitions are held each week in villages and towns all over the country and are a ribald show of color and excitement. Players wearing the traditional dress of Bhutan, called the “goh,” each shoot for targets placed 140 yards apart and matches are lively with singing and dancing and players jeering the other team’s abilities.

Traditionally the game was played with bamboo bows and arrows but in recent years players have turned to American style, state of the art carbonite Hoyt brand bows and arrows. Though the lightening fast, ultra accurate equipment has not dampened the tradition of the sport, it is somewhat ironic that a weapon used mainly for hunting in the United States is used for a blood free sport in the Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan.

Tandin Gyeltshen, 37, readies his bow for a friendly match in the hills above Thimphu, the capitol city of Bhutan.

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