Archery played a significant role during Medieval times and into the Renaissance. Of course, Japan mastered the craft as well. However, Armenian archery is particularly important for the role it played in the formation of the culture itself.
According to tales as old as 3,000 years, Hayk and his clan left King Bel (sometimes call Nimrod) when the arrogant king made himself king over all others. Hayk and his clan of about 300 fled to a lush green valley at the base of Mount Ararat (located in Eastern Armenia, but lost to the Turks during WWI). They formed a village and named it Haykashen. King Bel decided to march against Hayk with a massive force supporting him.
Fortunately, Hayk was warned ahead of time, so he assembled his own army along the shore of Lake Van and told them that they must defeat King Bel or die trying. Otherwise, they were doomed to die or become Bel’s slaves.
According to folklore, Hayk was a handsome, friendly man with curly hair, sparkling eyes, and strong arms. He was a man of giant stature, a mighty archer, and fearless warrior. Hayk and his clan were descendants of Noah and Japheth.
During the battle of the giants, when Hayk’s army was hopelessly outnumbered, Hayk stepped to the forefront of the battle, and spotted King Bel behind his soldiers. Hayk drew back the string on his legendary bow and with mighty arms let fly an arrow (a nearly impossible long shot) that sailed over the armies and landed solidly in King Bel’s chest. Seeing their king slain so suddenly cast the Babylonian army into a state of disarray. They picked up their king and fled back to their home. Hayk's clan became the Armenian people and flourished at the base of Mt. Ararat.