Kingdom of Archers


1h 17min



When the Kingdom of Bhutan joined the United Nations in 1971, archery was designated as its national sport. Indeed, archery in Bhutan is a rich part of the cultural fabric, as traditional archery matches are community-wide events involving song, dance, food, and drink. However, both internal and external forces have begun to change the face of the traditional game in Bhutan. For one, imported compound bows and aluminum arrows have become extremely popular in Bhutan, and have fundamentally changed the traditional game. In addition, in an effort to perform better at international-level archery competitions, the Bhutan Archery Federation has begun a grassroots campaign to introduce Olympic-style archery to every school by the year 2020. Kingdom of Archers explores the many facets of archery in Bhutan through several individual stories, and addresses the challenges of cultural preservation against the forces of modernization, westernization, and economic development.

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