Mongol Archery
traditional sport

Mongol archery was the main advantage of ancient Mongol soldiers along with their skillful horse riding. Legends about the archers were widely circulated in oral traditions and recorded.

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The most famous one is the stone inscription dated back to 1226 where Genghis Khan’s nephew Yessunge struck the target in 575 yards or about 536 meters.

19th century Mongolian writer, Injinash, writes a story of Chuu Mergen who hit a target from on horseback at about 130 meters and many others shooting at a cap of deer leather placed on the ground up to 600 meters. All could hit the target with one of three shots.

The following video will give you perfect picture of modern day sport of Mongolian Archery but the narration talks about the religion.

Mongol Archery is one of the three traditional sports that are kept in Mongolia from ancient times. Though it is called manly sport, today, women have equal participation in this sport. The difference men lay 40 arrows from a distance of about 246 feet but women compete with 20 arrows from 197 feet.

It has three main divisions based on regional styles of archery and different construction of the Mongolian bows. Khalkh style is the tradition of the people of the central part of Mongolia. Another style is Buryat practiced by the people of the northern eastern region of our country. There is also Uriankhai style which represents the Western Mongolian people.

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The targets and distances are varying. In the Buryat style archers shoot at 35 meters, in the Uriankhai at 45 meters and in the Khalkh style at 75 meters. Buryat and Khalkh archery have many women competitors.

Uriankhai archers are by tradition men. Each of the traditions has a special style of singing which is used by the scorer to indicate the score of each competitor. The umpires tell from a distance how our shooting is progressing.

There are different sizes and draw-weights to suit men, women and children. The three styles of bow are ‘Gung’ – a deep form of bow based on the Manchu style; ‘Iron’ and ‘Half Horse’. The ‘Gung’ style comes from the east of the country, the ‘Iron’ style from central, Khalkh area, and the ‘Half Horse’ from the Western Uriankhai region. Mongol archery videos