Traditional Disciplines of the Turkish Archery
There were several kinds of sportive archery contests in
Ottoman. The foremost contest was long distance shooting. It was
a fact that Ottoman archers had been shooting to tremendous
The second kind of contests was target shooting. Due to the name
of targets (Puta), these were called "puta shooting" and
the bows using were called "puta bows" and even the arrows were
"puta arrows". The feathers and the forms of those arrows were
suitable for target shooting and arrow points in form of olive
stones as it is used today were common.
|Turkish target called "puta".
Leather bag stuffed
with sawdust or cotton seed.
(Military Museum, Istanbul)
Disciplines of penetrating hard objects and horseback archery are the
other kinds of performance shooting or archery games
Penetrating thick wooden logs and hard
metal plates with hardened steel arrowheads was a spectacular
performance. A powerful archer with high technique of shooting
could easily penetrate a couple of metal plates stick together.
Those bored objects can be found in museums. These shootings
were called "darp" shootings. The "ayna" targets named after the
big metal plates of mirror armour were other kinds of targets.
Another performance shooting named "Kabak (gourd) shooting"
was performed on horseback. This kind of shooting done to a
target placed at the top of a long pole while the archer was
riding at full gallop. The archer made his shoot when he was
going just under the target. The name of the shooting came after
the targets were gourds in general. In this kind of shooting,
concentration, condition of archer, the abilities of riding and
shooting were at their top levels. As the entrance of ungulates
to ok-meydans was forbidden, the places for gourds (kabak-meidan)
were used for this kind of shooting.
Details from Kabak game
performed by Murad II. (1402-1451)
(Hunername, 16th century)
Pounding shootings to ploughshare and bell. (Military