Hawk Training in The Traditional Falcon Village

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Among the Changbai Mountain lies Dayulou Village, a village famous for Falcons for hundreds of years. And the hawk history may date back to Nurhachi (1559-1626), the ancestor of Qing Dynasty emperors. He set organizations here to seize and train hawks.

The training process are as follows:

1.Hawk Seizing


As a tradition of the Man ethnic people, they need to sacrifice to the Eagle God before traps are set to seize hawks. To seize a hawk, a dove is tied with a string out of the trap, and behind it hides the hunter who drags the string and provokes the dove to attract hawks.

2.Hawk Training

As young hawks are captured, they are firstly weighed as a start. And during the training process, the weight is seen as a index to know how the hawk is trained.

3.Starving the Hawk

Hawks are starved at the beginning to a large extent and then beef, rat and dove meat is provided on the hunter’s arm as food. Each time before food is given, the hunter, standing 10 meters away, phonates a special sound to establish a conditional response. And the hawk has to feed with his feet tied to a stick.

4.Preying

A group of at least two people companies the hawk to go praying. The hawk is let go when pheasants are driven out of weeds by people with long sticks. The hunter needs quickly to get to the hawk feeding on the prey in case the prey is finished. Or the hawk won’t prey for the hunter with stomach full.

5.Living together

The hawk would be part of the hunter’s body in everyday life. The hunter walks around with it standing on his hand and talks with other hunters on their experience. When night falls, the hawk is set on a stick beside the hunter.

6.Setting Free

Some hawks would be set free in spring to produce offspring.