India | Kerala


Ambeyyal is a traditional game held during Onam in Kerala. In this game two groups of young men shoot blunted arrows to a semicircular stop-butt. The bows for this game are made out of 18-inch long bamboo. The midrib of the coconut palm leaves, ripped off the leafy part with just a little portion on one end, serves as the arrow.

The players stand 23 m to 27 m away from the concave side of a semicircular stop-butt, which is about two feet in the highest parts. The target consisting of a piece of the plantain tree about 3 inches in diameter is kept at the center of the stop-butt. It is pointed at the top in which is stuck a small stick convenient for lifting the cheppu or the mark which is the immediate objective of the players.

The players shoot in a random manner at the mark and who hits carries all the arrows lying on the ground. The game is accompanied by much shouting gesticulation and laughter.

Updated on 15th July, 2014


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