Brotherhoods of the Rooster are one of the most interesting phenomena in the world of shooting. At the times of chasing the most efficient and most emergent weaponry, members of those fraternities are loyal to historical inventions. What are the brotherhoods of the rooster and how does it look to participate in their work?
Everything started back in the Middle Ages. With the rapid development of cities it was often needed to defend them, as plenty of wars were based on the attack on city walls. It was soon obvious, that knighthood want suffice to efficiently push back the aggressor. That’s why new organisations, capable of teaching citizens about weaponry emerged, to prepare them for the necessity of defending their lives and goods. Brotherhoods of the Roosters were those organisations. Initially they were established in the western Europe and in time, first fraternities were created in Poland, shortly after our cities grew considerably bigger. Brotherhood of the Roosters were successfully cultivating shooting traditions amongst citizens up until Poland had lost its independence. After that, their fate was depending on the country that was controlling the territory after the Third Partition of Poland. Under Russian rule, all kinds of shooting organizations were disbanded, while under Austrian rule, they could still exist. However, to fully return to their functionality, Poland had to reclaim it’s independence, which happened in 1918. In the Second Commonwealth, all fraternities functioned as United Brotherhood of the Rooster, uniting 132 fraternities.
In times of PRL, authorities did not allowed for Brotherhoods to function, and again all shooting movement had to wait until the end of 80s in 20th century, for the changes in government of Poland, as the Third Commonwealth emerged, and United Brotherhood was established again in 1991.
What are the duties of emergent fraternities? There are the organizations that are uniting all enthusiasts of historical shooting. Often, those people are great historical connoisseurs, not only in terms of militaries. Brotherhoods of the Roosters are cultivating shooting traditions, especially connected to black powder. Specific competitions are defined by the current organisers. Many events are opened to anyone who wants to attend.
The most important event is the yearly competition for the title of Kur King.
Competitions organised by Brotherhood of the Roosters are very spectacular, as shooters are not only focused on the shooting, but also on looking like their predecessors. Depending on the fraternity they can perform in various types of uniforms, citizen outfits or detailed noble regalia.
Nowadays, Botherhoods of the Roosters are not only organizing competitions and shooting events. Associations are very often involved in charity parties, as good-being is one of the parts of their specific ethos. They are also propagating the history of Poland, including history of marksmanship in form of picnics, festivals and other events, which are typically opened to anyone, who wants to attend. There are also many attraction for the youngest participants. Fraternities can be also involved in many patriotic and historical events, representing the country in their spectacular outfits and following rules of etiquette.
Brotherhoods of the Roosters are also supporting propagation of shooting ranges in Poland, not only because their members can practice there, but because it works toward increasing of firearm proficiency of whole society.