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Falconry

People have practiced falconry for several millennia, and although it is commonly known as a form of hunting, its true meaning goes well beyond this definition.

The practice of this art is, in fact, something much more complex and profound, and it transcends other recreational activities.

From east to west, many different peoples have practiced it, and it is therefore strongly sedimented in our culture, traditions, and history, so much so that in 2010, UNESCO inscribed falconry on its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Frederick II of Swabia

To this day, even after eight centuries, Frederick II of Swabia is still the symbolic figure of falconry in the western world.

He was a cultured and uncommon man, an emperor, whose boundless possibilities rendered him a compelling character.

Albeit he might have had a thousand commitments to distract him, Frederick II dedicated much of his time to falconry, practicing it and loving it a lot.

A master of this art, he also wrote a treatise on falconry, “De arte venandi cum avibus”, which even now is the go-to book for falconers and for those who wish to become familiar with the history of falconry.

the empereor of the falconers

To be a falconer

Frederick II of Swabia interpreted and explained the art of Falconry as a kind of discipline which deals with science but also implies moral and ethical behaviour, one that requires commitment.

To the falconer, it becomes a way of thinking, a forma mentis that seeps into daily life.

What needs to be tamed is not the wild animal but the ‘wild human’ and his impulse, because dealing with this discipline is not something about strenght but finesse and reasoning.

It’s the falconer, the Human, which has to train and educate himself to art to therefore behave in the right way on it.

In this sense, Frederick II argued that falconry helps us become better people because it teaches us to be patient, to control ourselves, to persevere, to make decisions swiftly, and to think strategically.

Thus, falconers must be diligent, conscientious, sincere, loyal, and ready to acknowledge their errors to correct them.
Falconry today still stands by these principles.

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Our philosophy about falconry

Artistic espression

Falconry is a form of artistic expression that embodies a strong sense of aesthetics and symbolism. It is, most of all, a mind game which  requires  creativity and skill as well as commitment and focus. Its elements must converge harmoniously.

Power of nature

 

It’s not about predation end in itself, but about a combination of technique and aesthetics which help us appreciate better the astonishing power of nature, human included.

Nourishment for the intellect

 

Falconry is a form of nourishment for the intellect, not the body, so much so that in its golden age it was practiced even with non-edible prey, for the sole purpose of observing the beauty and spectacularity of it.

Ethics and respect

 

In the practice of falconry, what matters most is how man and falcon act together in the chase for prey. Catching the prey is not the ultimate purpose of falconry, but it is the reward for a well-executed action. In this game, even the prey, which sometimes escapes its chasers with skill and cunning, receives its just reward. Predator and prey stand on an equal footing; the greatness of falconry resides in this as well.

Neither a sport nor a hobby

 

Falconry is neither a sport nor a hobby. It is a very complex discipline that captivates, engages, and directs much of the life of those who practice it. This is what makes falconry a form of art.

Time machine

 

 

Falconry is a formidable time machine that works for real. Whoever practices it knows full well that they are facing time and history, that they are echoing the gestures, thoughts, and emotions of people who lived in a different time and a different world. With this, falconers realize that the world has changed, but humans stood their ground.

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