Falconry: 4000 year hunting art that unites humankind

November 2012, European Parliament, Brussels.

Different cultures celebrate achievements in different ways and at the end of 2012, IAF went on to provide the blueprint and materials for another celebration, this time back in Europe. Falconers from 18 countries gathered with EU decision-makers, this time in the European Parliament Building in Brussels to launch a unique exhibition: IAF and FACE once again joined together with European Parliament's Sustainable Hunting Intergroup President, Véronique Mathieu and MEP Bogdan Marcinkiewicz who co-hosted the event.

The purpose behind this Brussels falconry event was to show to Members of the European Parliament and officials - Lawmakers - the many international and cultural aspects of falconry. Every MEP, all 742, was invited to visit the four day exhibition and to the inaugural reception. VIPs from UNESCO, national embassies, NGOs and hunters? organizations also attended and, since the exhibition was in the main lobby, large numbers of visitors to the European Parliament either deliberately or accidentally made falconry part of their tour. At the opening ceremony 450 people were served drinks and fine game meat from Poland (provided by MEP Marcinkiewicz).

This unique international exhibition brought together displays of images, falconry equipment, tools, books and historical artifacts to convey the deep artistry at the heart of falconry and hunting?s global cultural heritage. There was a photo-opportunity for the MEPs and officials with falcons and hawks of the Club Marie de Bourgogne outside the main entrance of the European Parliament, Place du Luxembourg and also inside the expo. This was accompanied by opening fanfares from traditional jagdhorn blowers of the Czech Republic and the Trompes du Duché de Limbourg. It was a chance for falconers, fellow hunters and other conservationists to meet with EU decision-makers and for the MEPs to meet falconers and to gain a greater understanding of the important place hunting has in communities in Europe and throughout the world.

The focus of the exhibition was in the twenty three striking poster panels, two metres high and a metre wide. Each one illustrated an aspect of falconry with a background image and one or two professional quality photographs selected from among the hundreds offered by delegates and friends of IAF. A short text on each one appeared in five languages, sympathetically translated to stress the cultural side of falconry. In the central floor area was a green felt ?weathering? with artisan made falconry furniture (mainly exquisitely turned blocks by Tony James) as well as a display of Arab blocks, hawking bags and antique hoods. On the opening night hooded gyr falcons also graced this weathering area.

1. What is Falconry?

Falconry is the art of capturing wild quarry in its natural environment with a trained bird
of prey, with or without the aid of a dog. As all hunters are, so are we.

La Fauconnerie, c’est quoi? La fauconnerie c’est l’art de capturer un gibier sauvage dans son milieu naturel avec un oiseau de proie entrainé à cet effet, avec ou sans l’aide d’un chien. Nous, fauconniers, allons à la chasse avec notre oiseaux comme vont les chasseurs avec leur fusil.

¿Qué es la Cetrería? La cetrería es el arte de capturar presas silvestres en su medio natural con un ave de presa adiestrada, con o sin la colaboración de un perro. Los cetreros son tan cazadores como el resto.

Was ist Falknerei? Falknerei ist die Kunst, mit abgetragenen Greifvögeln auf Wildtiere in ihrer natürlichen Umgebung mit oder ohne Jagdhund zu jagen. Wie die Jäger mit der Waffe, gehen wir mit unseren Beizvögeln zur Jagd.

Cosa si intende per falconeria? La falconeria è l’arte di catturare prede selvatiche nel loro ambiente naturale, utilizzando rapaci addestrati al preciso scopo, con o senza l’aiuto di un cane da caccia. I falconieri sono dunque dei cacciatori.

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2. Hunting Tradition

The 20th century’s rejection of hunting was part of a cultural landscape where the space reserved for traditional values, virtues, passions and activities tended to shrink. In nature a predator hunting and killing its prey is praised as a thing of natural beauty. If a man trains the predator to do this in his company, modern cultural discourse condemns it as bloodthirsty. Rejecting hunting destroys those very activities that bring understanding of nature and positively shape identities friendships.

La Tradition de la Chasse Au vingtième siècle le rejet de la chasse fut causé pour une part par le fait que dans le paysage culturel l’espace réservé aux valeurs traditionnelles, aux vertus, aux passions et activités se réduisait. Dans la nature un prédateur chassant et tuant son gibier est loué comme quelque chose de naturellement beaux. Si l’homme entraine le prédateur à le faire en sa compagnie, le discours culturel moderne le condamne comme assoiffé de sang. Rejeter la chasse détruit ces activités qui aident à comprendre la nature, qui façonnent positivement l’identité et entretiennent l’amitié.

La Tradición de la Caza El rechazo a la caza durante el siglo XX formó parte de un escenario cultural donde el espacio reservado a los valores tradicionales, virtudes, pasiones y actividades tendía a su reducción. En la Naturaleza, un depredador cazando y matando a su presa es considerado como algo naturalmente hermoso. Si el hombre adiestra al depredador para hacer lo mismo en su compañía, el discurso cultural moderno le tacha de sanguinario. Rechazando la caza se destruyen aquellas actividades que aportan la comprensión de la naturaleza y crean positivos sentimientos de pertenencia a identidades.

Jagdtradition Die Ablehnung der Jagd im 20. Jahrhundert ist Teil der kulturellen Entwicklung, in welcher der Platz fü traditionelle Werte, Tugenden, Passionen und Aktivitäten zu verkümmern droht. In der freien Natur ist das Jagen und Töten eines Beutetieres durch den Greifvogel ein Teil der Naturgesetze. Wenn sich eine Person jedoch die Eigenschaften eines Greifvogels zu nutzen macht und mit ihm jagt, dann wird dies als blutrünstig in unserer modernen Kultur verurteilt. Die ablehnende Haltung zur Jagd stört das Verhältnis zum Verstehen der natürlichen Vorgänge in der Natur, sowie das positive Prägen von Persönlichkeiten.

La tradizione della caccia Il rifiuto per la caccia del 20esimo secolo fa parte di uno scenario culturale dove lo spazio riservato a valori tradizionali, alle virtù, alle passioni e alle attività tende a ridursi. In natura il predatore caccia e uccide, e questo istintivo processo viene percepito come uno spettacolo dalla naturale bellezza. Se un uomo invece addestra un predatore per cacciare in sua compagnia, costui per la cultura moderna viene condannato come un assassino. Rifiutando la caccia si distruggono le attività stesse che portano la comprensione della natura e permettono di plasmarne in modo positivo l’identità e di consolidare le amicizie.

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3. Falconry and UNESCO

In 2010 Falconry achieved status on UNESCO’s List of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity,
lauded as the best prepared and most deserving of inscriptions.

Fauconnerie et UNESCO En 2010 la Fauconnerie fut inscrite sur la liste de l’UNESCO en tant qu’héritage culturel intangible de l’humanité, inscription reconnue comme la mieux préparé et la plus méritoire.

Cetrería y UNESCO En 2010 la Cetrería fue reconocida por la UNESCO como Patrimonio Cultural Inmaterial de la Humanidad, siendo destacada como la mejor preparada y merecedora de las candidaturas.

Falknerei und UNESCO 2010 wurde die Falknerei in die Unesco Weltliste des immateriellen Erbes der Menschheit aufgenommen. Aufgrund der hervorragend orbereiteten Präsentation erklärte man sie zur meist verdienstvollen Eintragung.

Falconeria e UNESCO Nel 2010 la Falconeria è stata riconosciuta dall’UNESCO come Patrimonio Immateriale per l’Umanità, iscrizione dichiarata come la meglio preparata e la più meritoria di candidatura.

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4. Community

Falconry is a paradox, an individualistic activity that also bears a strong sense of community.

Communauté La Fauconnerie est un paradoxe, une activité individualiste qui demande aussi un fort sens de la communauté.

Comunidad La cetrería es una paradoja, una actividad individual, que conlleva un fuerte sentido de comunidad.

Faktor: Gemeinschaft Die Falknerei ist quasi ein Paradox, einerseits handelt es sich um eine individualistische Aktivität, die andererseits aber einen hohen Gemeinschaftsgeist in sich trägt.

Comunità La falconeria è un paradosso, un’attività individuale che tuttavia porta con sè un forte senso di comunità.

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5. Societies

The preservation of falconry is crucial not just to the benefit of a handful of hobbyists, but to the benefit of whole societies. It opens a door to direct, personal experience of universalism and cross-cultural contacts.

Sociétés La préservation de la Fauconnerie est cruciale pas seulement pour une poignée de passionnés mais pour le bénéfice de toute la société. Elle ouvre une porte vers une expérience personnelle et directe d’universalisme et de contacts multiculturels.

Sociedades El mantenimiento de la Cetrería es crucial no solo para unos cuantos entusiastas, sino para el beneficio de toda la sociedad. Abre una puerta hacia una experiencia directa y personal de universalidad y de contactos multiculturales.

Societies Die Erhaltung der Falknerei ist nicht nur unerlässlich für eine kleine Gruppe von Liebhabern, sondern für die ganze Gesellschaft. Sie öffnet die Pforten für direkte, persönliche Erfahrungen der Vielseitigkeit und interkulturelle Kontakte.

Società La salvaguardia della falconeria è importante non solo il beneficio di pochi appassionati, ma per l’intera società. Apre una porta verso un’esperienza diretta e personale dell’universalismo e sviluppa contatti multiculturali.Download Poster (PDF) +