Buzkashi: Equestrian Sport of Central Asia

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Pita Kelekna over at This Side of the Pond, the American Blog of the Cambridge University Press, has written about one of the most interesting equestrian sports, Buzkashi.

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In case you have been sleeping under a rock somewhere, Buzkashi is a traditional Central Asian (think Afghanistan) team sport played on horseback, which is more or less translated as, “grab the goat.” I don’t understand why Central Asians don’t use balls like polo players, or how the use of a dead goat, emptied of entrails, soaked in cold water for 24 hours to toughen the hide, enhances the sport, but there you have it. It probably has to do with the fact that the goat is a former sentient being. In any case at least the Central Asians are more honest about their “balls” than Americans. It’s closer to its original form (and less “doctored” for emotional deniability than, say, a football, whose pigskin cover has been conveniently removed many steps from the original animal. Nonetheless, some of us know what a football is. Lest any “morally superior” Westerners look down their noses at those “primitive” Afghans, remember: you play ball with the stuffed skin of a pig. You are not that different!

Buzkashi Game

Buzkashi Game

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZpuOn86PYI&hl=en&fs=1]

© 2009 enlightened horsemanship through touch

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