Shillong, India (AP) — Thirty archers armed with bamboo bows and arrows sit on a platform awaiting instructions. Then they aim the straw his cylinder 60 feet away from him. They each shoot his 34 arrows in 4 minutes. They shoot arrow after arrow, their movements lazy and disciplined. The next round of competition immediately follows, with the shooter having to shoot 24 arrows in his three minutes.
The ancient art of archery thrives in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya in northeastern India. The event takes place every day except Sundays and holidays next to his motor garage behind the liquor store.
Archery is part of the traditional rituals of the indigenous people of Meghalaya, with folktales about its origins passed down through generations. The rules of the event are set by the Khasi Hills Archery Sports Institute. Khasis with Jaintias and Garos are the indigenous peoples of the state.
Matias Jyrwa, 58, has been attending events with his father at the same venue since he was 11 years old. He is an accomplished marksman and has taught his sons to follow the tradition. “There’s not much interest, especially among young people in the city. But it’s still popular in the villages, where most of the archers come from,” said Jirwa, who is also general secretary of the Archery Association.
Villages throughout the state practice more traditional forms of archery. The archer must hit a much smaller target mounted on a stick, and uses a poetic form called “fawar” (his four lines composed on the fly) to sway his opponents.
But a strange blend of this traditional event with a betting business called “Teer” helps keep the tradition alive.
Known for its hip cafés, football and popular live music scene, the capital is dotted with dozens of tiny kiosks made from recycled griddle and wood. These kiosks let you bet small sums of money by predicting the last two digits of an archery outcome, and if your guess is correct, you can multiply that money many times over. Because the stakes are small, the reward attraction is strong and the counter sees good traffic all day long.
The last two digits of the results will be displayed shortly after the event ends, with bettors and Kiosk Managers watching the event live on YouTube.
The name of the local Khasi bet is ‘Tim’, derived from the English team. When the British occupied India and had a strong presence in Shillong, betting was on the polo team, but the locals adopted the idea of betting. Archery results.
According to local legend, the most successful bettors are guided by their dreams when choosing the correct or lucky numbers to bet on. However, some have adopted more modern means to help determine the numbers better. Banteay, a young man who works at one of his kiosks, offers an app on his smartphone that helps customers find their lucky girlfriend numbers and place bets.