Bowled Over by Bhutan - 2007

so far away! Women do not shoot and it would appear that it is chiefly men who

form the enthusiastic crowds watching the contests. We enjoyed observing archery

contests in several towns and cities. It seemed to us that Bhutan should do very well in the

archery competitions of the Olympics since they excel at these distances which are longer

than those required in the Games.


The national animal is the takin a bovine species existing nowhere else in the world. It looks

a little like a bison, but it is smaller. The color of its coat is yellowish-brown and it is

luxuriously curly. The takin’s face is rather sweet but not particularly intelligent looking.

Both male and female have swept-back horns, though the males are quite a bit more


The takin is connected with one of the most important lamas in Bhutanese history: the

“Divine Madman,” Lama Drukpa Kunley. It is said that he actually created the takin from the

skeleton of a cow and the head of a goat—one of his many miracles to convince the

people of his powers. As a possible support for this theory of the animal’s origin, even

today taxonomists are befuddled as to exactly where the takin should be placed among the

cow-like and/or goat- like creatures, and some question if it is actually either one!

Made with FlippingBook Learn more on our blog