Bhutan Archery Federation
Thimphu ~ Bhutan
The Bhutan Archery Federation is the protector and promoter of a living tradition in Bhutanese culture. A combination of physical talents, spiritual influences and mental exercise, archery’s local origins go back to the time of the Buddha. Tournaments take place at all levels from village to national league and archery is prominent in Bhutan’s social environment. Traditional preparations, codes of conduct and performance ceremonies, as well as singing, dancing and feasting, are part of the sporting experience. Both men and women compete, and there is lively audience participation through women’s commentary on the archers’ performance. Started in the 1970s, the members of the Bhutan Archery Federation are responsible for ensuring high standards of quality and training, as well as organising local and international participation in the many tournaments. The Federation is run entirely by volunteer members and it is their commitment that strengthens and engenders renewal of this unique sporting tradition. This first Prince Claus Award to Bhutan honours the members of the Bhutan Archery Federation for their role in sustaining and developing archery as a dynamic expression of local cultural values.