Ancient Sport of Horseback Archery


Click to enlargeBrice Portolano photos

❝ It’s almost hard to believe Brice Portolano’s photographs that look straight out of a medieval era only came about because of social media.

Portolano, a photographer from Paris, first discovered horseback archery when he saw pictures on Facebook that his friend Anna Minkkinen had posted of Iranian world champion Ali Ghoorchian.

❝ Minkkinen, a Finnish student who had been practicing martial arts, sent Ghoorchian a message asking if she could come to Iran and learn more about horseback archery. Ghoorchian said yes, and Portolano tagged along on assignment for a Finnish magazine.

Portolano stayed for 12 days to photograph Minkkinen and Ghoorchian and the intricacies of the ancient sport, which is on UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Fascinating article. History, art-form, martial arts and sport – all come together in this National Geographic article.

3 thoughts on “Ancient Sport of Horseback Archery

  1. Fistmele says:

    “Yabusame (流鏑馬) s a type of mounted archery in traditional Japanese archery.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yabusame “Nowadays, the best places to see yabusame performed are at the Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū in Kamakura and Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto (during Aoi Matsuri in early May). It is also performed in Samukawa and on the beach at Zushi, as well as other locations.
    There are two famous schools of mounted archery that perform yabusame. The Takeda style has been featured in classic samurai films such as Akira Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai” (1954) and “Kagemusha” (1980). The famed actor of many samurai films, Toshiro Mifune, was a noted student of the Takeda school.”

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