Clash of the Clans (Archery)

Archery is the national sport of Bhutan. Spectators marvel at the dexterity of the Bhutanese and gasp at other members of a team who stand close to the target and sidestep the flying arrows. The traditional bows and arrows are made from bamboo. There are 2 painted targets placed at each end of the range at about 120 meters apart. Two teams of 11 archers compete, each player shoots two arrows and the first team to get 33 points wins the match. The method of scoring is a little complicated. The best archers wear multi colored scarves tied to the back of their belts. Each time an arrow hits the bulls- eye a short victory dance is performed by the team. 

Today you will take part in a traditional archery tournament but with a twist – the archery match will be between two rival villages. The rivalry dates back to many generations and the rivalry only comes alive during the archery matches, otherwise the villages coexist peaceful. You will all be dressed in Bhutanese outfit, the ladies will accompany the dancing team while men join the archers. Each team is encouraged by its supporters and “cheer leaders”. These are women who dance and sing, extolling their team while teasing and mocking the opponents to make them lose their concentration. In Bhutan the archery tournaments are strategized with consultations amongst astrologers and elaborate rituals are conducted to appease the local deities to provide supernatural assistance and backing.

Note: Subject to availability at the time of booking