Archery Photos from Korea

 

 At a local competition in the town of Juminjin, Gangwondo. Archers are required to line up in groups of seven people per target. In this photo, the near competitors are all assigned to target #1, with the target judge sitting behind.   Every archery pavilion is unique in architecture and topography. In this case, the Juminjin pavilion has an estuary that cuts in between the shooting line and the targets. Arrows that fall well short of the target are at risk of being swept out to sea!  Every competing archer is required to wear a uniform that displays both their city and pavilion name. Either Chinese characters or Korean Hangeul alphabets are permitted. This uniform belongs to the Gyeongpo Pavilion in Gangneung City.  A single competition can run several days, and inevitably, the winners must remain unti the very end. In this case, several members of a single pavilion collect individual and team prizes. The banner of the right is kept by the winning team for the duration of the year.
 These four photos are from the Molgije celebration of five different archers. Dressed in traditional Confucian attire, (the woman wears a hanbok), the archers and visitors all kneel to pay respects and honor past archers.  Next, the archers are awarded their belts, which bear their name, the name of the pavilion and city, and commemorate the accomplishment of shooting one perfect end of arrows. (5 arrows)  As part of the ceremony,  archers now 'reproduce' the event. or loosing five perfect arrows.  A target judge calls out every arrow as a hit, as the individuals involved reenact their accomplishment.  At the other end of the field, the same group of archers bows to the target. Again, this is a symbolic gesture to pay respect to the art form, its ancestors, and its ongoing preservation of the sport by  masters and teachers.
     
  The table of offering and thanks at a Korean Archery Pavilion during the celebration of student archers who have accomplished their first perfect end. The ceremony reminds all members of the importance of education and seniority within the pavilion.  Members of the Gyeongpojang Archery Club. Attending a competition together can be a learning opportunity for new archers, and a great chance to share in the celebration of their victorious friends!