XINING, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) — Dana Dotsko never imagined himself traveling from Indiana in America to the mountainous county of Jainca in China’s Tibetan plateau to competitively shoot arrows toward a triangle target invented by Tibetans some 1,100 years ago.
Unlike the five-ring archery targets popular in the Olympic Games and other international contests, the triangle target, about 80 cm high and with a bottom width of 70 cm, is made of earth and placed on the ground. A small wooden stick called Jiama in Tibetan, which originally means “scale” is put in the middle of the target.
According to the Tibetan competition rules, whoever shoots an arrow to the top of the stick wins.
The four-day biennial Magical Arrow International Ethnic Archery Invitational Tournament, one of China’s top three ethnic archery contests, opened on Saturday. Archers from 11 countries including the United States, Brazil, Turkey, Mongolia, Hungry, Poland, Malaysia and the Republic of Korea and 35 domestic archery teams will use their own traditional bows and arrows to compete for the first time in line with the Tibetan rules.
To get used to the triangle target, Dotsko started practicing on a smaller target at a longer distance a month ago.
“It’s a very challenging target. It offers a great deal of difficulty even at a closer distance,” said the 55-year-old radiology technologist who taught himself shooting from horseback 18 years ago.
Dotsko is amazed by the beautiful mountains on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and is eager to explore a different archery culture.
“I am anxious to see different styles of shooting. Tibetans shoot very differently. I have only seen them shoot on YouTube on the Internet,” he said.