Human-horse sensory engagement through horse archery

Natasha Fijn*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    The Mongol horse stems from ancient stock, similar to the first horses ridden on the Central Asian grassland steppe. Mongol horses subsequently migrated with their human counterparts throughout Eurasia, as far to the east as Japan. During archery festivals in Japan, horses gallop along a narrow runway within a temple complex in the heavily populated city of Kyoto. In Mongolia, with the recent re-emergence of the ancient practice, horse and rider still gallop across the expansive grassland steppe. The euphoria one feels in riding fast on horseback with the wind against one's face can be symbolised by the concept of khii mor’ in Mongolia, which is connected with the vitality between human and horse in the practice of horse archery. Through sensory ethnography, in combination with multi-species ethnography, this article explores embodiment between horse and rider in two quite different socio-ecological contexts.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)58-79
    Number of pages22
    JournalThe Australian Journal of Anthropology
    Issue numberS1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


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