On the second day of La Battaglia per Barga – the Battle for Barga (images and video from the first day can be seen here) out came the birds of pray for a demonstration outside the Duomo of falconry.
Falconry is an art. It requires long hours, constant devotion, finesse, subtlety and skill. The falconer must train a bird of prey to fly free, hunt for a human being and then accept a return to captivity.
“Falconry is not a hobby; it’s a lifestyle”
Evidence suggests that the art of falconry may have begun in Mesopotamia, with the earliest accounts dating to approximately 2,000 BC. There are also some raptor representations in the northern Altai, western Mongolia.
The falcon was a symbolic bird of ancient Mongol tribes.
Falconry was probably introduced to Europe around AD 400, when the Huns and Alans invaded from the East.
Frederick II of Hohenstaufen (1194–1250) is generally acknowledged as the most significant wellspring of traditional falconry knowledge. He is believed to have obtained firsthand knowledge of Arabic falconry during wars in the region (between June 1228 – June 1229)
Historically, falconry was a popular sport and status symbol among the nobles of medieval Europe, the Middle East, and Mongolian Empire
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