Hunters of Northeast
“You must not aim right,
But Draw the bow with all your might” – Henery David Thoreau
Archery has been one of the chief sports of Hunters, gatherers & tribes from prehistoric era. In Meghalaya, it is more than just a traditional pastime adventure, besides having a cultural significance it’s a means of making a quick money for indigenous people who bet in a large number with the anticipation of making a handsome fortune. Game is played in many regions of Jaintia hills, Jowai & Mawlynnog.
History of the sport dates back to the early 20th Century when people from various sections of societies and from different villages came about to hold a weekly archery contest with the objective of making this wild & adventure sport into a professional one. By and By game caught the fancy of opportunists and gave way to betting & gambling. Its called Teer sport in Meghalaya and has lured a huge mass for the chances of making easy monetary gains are fair & good.
Hunters of Northeast
You will witness a salvo of numerous arrows (teers),piercing the air, carrying the hopes thousands who betted on the game, launched from the bamboo cane bows, handcrafted by locals and in a jiffy teers are struck all around at the target. People rushing towards the targets to make the scrutiny of their fates.
Betting is done on the Booths selling lotteries, bearing a value in numbers. The person who buys a lottery has make a prediction as to how many teers would hit the target out of the number of written on this lottery. There are lottery available at various prices from rupees 50 to 500 and likewise increases the amount of Prize up to rupees 5 lacs.
State govt legalized the gambling in 1982 because of its cultural significance and intends to regularize the betting by laying down the set of rules for fair play and slapping 5 % tax on the daily collection as it has become a swell business worth crore now but a bill still awaits the nod of Governor.
Being a game of riff-ruffs & rowdies, it needs to be regularized because they are prone to raise a Cain, especially when most of them are the case of one too many (drunk yards), sometimes even a small tiff can turn into serious fighting.
The equipment needed for this traditional sports like bamboo cane bow, terr and target board are made by local craftsmen. State should promote the procurement of gears from these tribal craftisans in a more professional manner.