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WHAT TO DO IN MONGOLIA. 8. TRY ARCHERY SHOOTING & FEEL THE POWER OF THIS ARM

Blog | published: 2018-12-26

8TH THINGS YOU SHOULD DO IN MONGOLIA IS TO ENJOY ARCHERY SHOOTING

Blue Mongolia Tour agency names the one of the best things to do in Mongolia is to try and enjoy archery shooting with Mongolian bow.

Ancient rock paintings dated to back to B.C3000 – bronze age tell us that Mongolian nomadic tribes were using bow and archery and used it as hunting for animals to have food. Bow and arrows were designed by people as a house holding – hunting items and it was made of wood and skin of animals. Later by B.C 1000 tribes have iron and the people needed to fight each other, so they designed the long targeted firm bows using the bones of animals, horns of animals and wood and very good glue from fish and birds intestines. Generally, Mongolian bow is a part of the Asian composite bow tradition. The core is a birch, with wild sheep horn on the belly (facing towards the archer) and sinew on the back, bound together with water dissolved glue. A source from China during the Tang Dynasty (c.618 -907 CE) stated; “Steppe inhabitants can hit at full tilt a running hare with a single arrow”.  Later the arrow is made with feather of birds and arrow heads shapes become different depending on the long target and close target, with fire or without fire, with sounds or without sounds.  

An inscription thought to be from 1226 was found on a stone stele in the south of Baikal lake. This inscription says that while Chinggis Khan was holding an assembly of Mongolian dignitaries and lords after his conquest of Sartaul tribe, Esungge general shot a target at 335 alds in mongolian - 536m in European and 333 miles in american. 

In the historical novel Khukh Sudar by Injinashi, the Mongolian philosopher, historian and writer, imagines the competition amongst all Mongolian men in about 1194–1195: Five archers competed. Each hit the target three times from a distance of 500 alds- 800 meters.

The normal length of an arrow is between 80 and 100 cm, and the shaft's diameter is around 1 cm. Arrow tail feathers were mainly made of hawks or buzzards, sometimes crane feathers are favored. Eagle feathers make a particularly exclusive arrow. The reason to fletch is to make the arrow flow less smoothly through the air and reach at the long target. The Mongols characteristically paid close attention to minutest of detail; the placement of the fletching in relation to their size, and what part of the bird they were taken from, is of great importance for correct rotation and good balance in the air.

The arrowheads, or points are made from wide iron blades, and those are mainly used for hunting and fighting. In addition to these kinds of arrows, whistling arrows are useful during the fighting, because the effect on animal of an arrow whistling away high above the ground is to make it stop, curious to see what is in the air, but whistling sounds made men to be frightened and got into the panic. After shooting whistling arrows, no archers launched a second arrow with a sharp edge to kill the animal. These whistling arrows made of animal bones with holes, which channels air and makes a very audible sound.

The Mongolian draw is a thumb crab and draw, uses only the thumb, the strongest single digit, to grasp the string. Around the back of the thumb, the index and/or middle fingers reinforce the grip. But in European and Mediterranean countries the thumb pinch and draw, or the mainly, it is pinch with ring and middle fingers draw. Why the thumb draw is used, maybe because of this helps to avoid string pinch with shorter bows and keeps the balance during galloping on horseback. The three fingers do not release at exactly the same time, and it can not be so quickly shooting. Until today Mongol archers wear a thumb ring made from leather, bone, horn, and in some cases silver to protect the thumb.

So, talking too much about the archery, now we welcome to Mongolia to try and enjoy archery shooting. For the tourists we have prepared 3 kinds of bows: for ladies and gentlemen and for children. We also offer 3 kinds of arrowheads: plastic heavy head for shooting enjoy, special whistling head for gentlemen’s enjoy, heavy metal arrow for the photographing.

We prepare 2 kinds of target: ancient style target and modern naadam festival target. Ancient target is that the bull’s big skin is drawn between 2 big woods. The modern naadam target is that cylinder shaped objects, which are interlaced with animals’ blue skin pieces, are aligned on the ground.          

Narrated by Blue Mongolia Tour LLC

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