Buzkashi (بزکشی, literally "goat pulling" in Persian) is a Central Asian sport in which horse-mounted players attempt to place a goat or calf carcass in a goal. Similar games are known as kokpar, kupkari and ulak tartysh, in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan and as kökbörü and gökbörü in Turkey, where it is played mainly by communities originally from Central Asia.
Buzkashi began among the nomadic Turkic peoples who came from farther north and east spreading westward from China and Mongolia between the 10th and 15th centuries in a centuries-long series of migrations that ended only in the 1930s. From Scythian times until recent decades, buzkashi has remained a legacy of that bygone era.
Today games similar to buzkashi are played by several Central Asian ethnic groups such as the Kyrgyz, Turkmens, Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Uyghurs, Hazaras, Tajiks, and Pashtuns. In the West, the game is also played by Afghan Turks (ethnic Kyrgyz) who migrated to Ulupamir village in the Van district of Turkey from the Pamir region. In western China, there is not only horse-back buzkashi, but also yak buzkashi among Tajiks of Xinjiang.
Buzkashi is the national sport and a "passion" in Afghanistan where it is often played on Fridays and matches draw thousands of fans. Whitney Azoy notes in his book Buzkashi: Game and Power in Afghanistan that "leaders are men who can seize control by means foul and fair and then fight off their rivals. The Buzkashi rider does the same". Traditionally, games could last for several days, but in its more regulated tournament version, it has a limited match time.
Kazakhstan's first National Kokpar Association was registered in 2000. The association has been holding annual kokpar championships among adults since 2001 and youth kokpar championships since 2005. All 14 regions of Kazakhstan have professional kokpar teams. The regions with the biggest number of professional kokpar teams are Southern Kazakhstan with 32 professional teams, Jambyl region with 27 teams and Akmola region with 18 teams. Kazakhstan's national kokpar team currently holds a title of Eurasian kokpar champions.
A photograph documents kokboru players in Kyrgyzstan around 1870; however, Kyrgyzstan's kokboru rules were first officially defined and regulated in 1949. Starting from 1958 kokboru began being held in hippodromes. The size of a kokboru field depends on the number of participants .
The buzkashi season in Tajikistan generally runs from November through April. High temperatures often prevent matches from taking place outside of this period, though isolated games might be found in some cooler mountain areas.
In Tajikistan and among the Tajik people of Tashkorgan in China's Xinjiang region, buzkashi games are particularly popular in relation to weddings as the games are sponsored by the father of the bride as part of the festivities.
Buzkashi was brought to the U.S. by a descendant from the Afghan Royal Family, the family of King Amanullah and King Zahir Shah. A mounted version of the game has also been played in the United States in the 1940s. Young men in Cleveland, Ohio played a game they called Kav Kaz. The men – five to a team – played on horseback with a sheepskin-covered ball. The Greater Cleveland area had six or seven teams. The game was divided into three "chukkers", somewhat like polo. The field was about the size of a football field and had goals at each end: large wooden frameworks standing on tripods, with holes about two feet square. The players carried the ball in their hands, holding it by the long-fleeced sheepskin. A team had to pass the ball three times before throwing it into the goal. If the ball fell to the ground, the player had to reach down from his horse to pick it up. One player recalls, "Others would try to unseat the rider as he leaned over. They would grab you by the shoulder to shove you off. There weren't many rules."
Competition is typically fierce. Prior to the establishment of official rules by the Afghan Olympic Federation, the sport was mainly conducted based upon rules such as not whipping a fellow rider intentionally or deliberately knocking him off his horse. Riders usually wear heavy clothing and head protection to protect themselves against other players' whips and boots. For example, riders in the former Soviet Union often wear salvaged Soviet tank helmets for protection. The boots usually have high heels that lock into the saddle of the horse to help the rider lean on the side of the horse while trying to pick up the goat. Games can last for several days, and the winning team receives a prize, not necessarily money, as a reward for their win. Top players, such as Aziz Ahmad, are often sponsored by wealthy Afghans.
A buzkashi player is called a Chapandaz; it is mainly believed in Afghanistan that a skillful Chapandaz is usually in his forties. This is based on the fact that the nature of the game requires its player to undergo severe physical practice and observation. Similarly horses used in buzkashi also undergo severe training and due attention. A player does not necessarily own the horse. Horses are usually owned by landlords and highly rich people wealthy enough to look after and provide for training facilities for such horses. However a master Chapandaz can choose to select any horse and the owner of the horse usually wants his horse to be ridden by a master Chapandaz as a winning horse also brings pride to the owner.
The game consists of two main forms: Tudabarai and Qarajai. Tudabarai is considered to be the simpler form of the game. In this version, the goal is simply to grab the goat and move in any direction until clear of the other players. In Qarajai, players must carry the carcass around a flag or marker at one end of the field, then throw it into a scoring circle (the "Circle of Justice") at the other end. The riders will carry a whip to fend off opposing horses and riders. When not in use - e.g. because the rider needs both hands to steer the horse and secure the carcass - the whip is typically carried in the teeth.
The calf in a buzkashi game is normally beheaded and disemboweled and has 2 limbs cut off. It is then soaked in cold water for 24 hours before play to toughen it. Occasionally sand is packed into the carcass to give it extra weight. Though a goat is used when no calf is available, a calf is less likely to disintegrate during the game. While players may not strap the calf to their bodies or saddles, it is acceptable - and common practice - to wedge the calf under one leg in order to free up the hands.
Rules of kokboru have undergone several changes throughout history. Modernized rules of kokboru are:
It is also prohibited to ride towards the spectators and/or receive spectators assistance or to start a kokboru game without giving an oath to play justly.
In Tajikistan, buzkashi is played in a variety of ways. The most common iteration is a free-form game, often played in a mountain valley or other natural arena, in which each player competes individually to seize the buz and carry it to a goal. Forming unofficial teams or alliances does occur, but is discouraged in favor of individual play. Often, dozens of riders will compete against one another simultaneously, making the scrum to retrieve a fallen buz a chaotic affair. Tajik buzkashi games typically consist of many short matches, with a prize being awarded to each player who successfully scores a point.
Buzkashi is portrayed in several books, both fiction and non-fiction. It is shown in Steve Berry's book The Venetian Betrayal, and it is briefly mentioned in the Khaled Hosseini book The Kite Runner. Buzkashi was the subject of a book called Horsemen of Afghanistan by French photojournalists Roland and Sabrina Michaud. Gino Strada wrote a book named after the sport (with the spelling Buskashì) in which he tells about his life as surgeon in Kabul in the days after the 9-11 strikes. P.J. O'Rourke also mentions the game in discussions about Afghanistan and Pakistan in the Foreign Policy section of Parliament of Whores, and Rory Stewart devotes a few sentences to it in "The Places in Between".
Two books have been written about buzkashi which were later turned into films. The game is the subject of a novel by French novelist Joseph Kessel titled Les Cavaliers (aka Horsemen), which then became the basis of the film The Horsemen (1971). The film was directed by John Frankenheimer with Omar Sharif in the lead role, and U.S. actor and accomplished horseman Jack Palance as his father, a legendary retired chapandaz. This film shows Afghanistan and its people the way they were before the wars that wracked the country, particularly their love for the sport of buzkashi.
The game is also a key element in the book Caravans by James Michener and the film of the same name (1978) starring Anthony Quinn. A scene from the film featuring the king of Afghanistan watching a game included the real-life king at the time, Mohammed Zahir Shah. The whole sequence of the game being witnessed by the king was filmed on the Kabul Golf Course, where the national championships were played at the time the film was made.
A number of films also reference the game. fr: La Passe du Diable (1956), by Jacques Dupont and Pierre Schoendoerfer. The Horsemen (1971) starring Jack Palance and Omar Sharif as father and son is centered on the game. Both La Passe du Diable and The Horseman are based on scripts written by Joseph Heller, although they are not similar in plot or style. In Rambo III (1988), directed by Peter MacDonald, John Rambo (played by Sylvester Stallone) was shown in a sequence playing and scoring in a buzkashi with his mujahideen friends when suddenly they were attacked by the Soviets. The Tom Selleck film High Road to China (1983) features a spirited game of buzkashi. Buzkashi is described at length in Episode 2, "The Harvest of the Seasons", of the documentary The Ascent of Man by Jacob Bronowski. It is put in the context of the development, by the Mongols, of warfare using the horse and its effect on agricultural settlements. The film includes several scenes from a game in Afghanistan. The opening scenes of the Bollywood film Khuda Gawah (1992), which was filmed in Afghanistan and India, show actors Amitabh Bachchan and Sridevi engaged in the game. The game is mentioned briefly in John Huston's film The Man Who Would Be King (1975) based on a story by Rudyard Kipling, the movie Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004) during advertisements for the fictional ESPN 8 (El Ocho) television channel, episode 15 of season 5 of NCIS: Los Angeles (2015), and the Bollywood movie Kabul Express (2006).
The 2012 joint international-Afghan short film Buzkashi Boys depicts a fictional story centered on the game, and has won awards at several international film festivals. On January 10, 2013, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominated Buzkashi Boys for an Oscar in the category of Short Film (Live Action) for the 85th Academy Awards.
Venerated Buzkashi (ulak tartysh in Kyrgyz) player, 82 year old veteran school teacher Khamid Boronov stars in 2016 feature documentary film Letters from the Pamirs by Janyl Jusupjan. Famed Buzkashi players of Jaylgan village Shamsidin and Kazyke appear in a sequence to show the elements of Buzkashi to kids from a town. A spirited Buzkashi match is one of the last episodes of the film made in Jerge-Tal Kyrgyz region in Tajikistan's north.
Buzkashi is mentioned in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty where it is translated as 'Goat Hockey' and is a clue to the location of 'Sean O'Connell'.
Composer Scott Fields recorded a track called Buzkashi on the Clean Feed Records guitar compilation "I Never Meta Guitar" (2010).
American military personnel became aware of buzkashi, and eventually the truism, "Every day is a buzkashi day" and the semi-rhetorical question, "Why is every day a buzkashi day?" became part of the jargon of those serving in Afghanistan. The obvious explanation and answer to the question is that every day is a buzkashi day because every day someone tries to "get your goat."
Aziz Ahmad may refer to:
Aziz Ahmad (buzkashi) (born 1964), buzkashi player from Afghanistan.
Aziz Ahmad (novelist) (1914–1978), Urdu poet, writer, historian and critic from PakistanAziz Ahmad (buzkashi)
Aziz Ahmad (born c. 1964) is a professional Buzkashi player from Afghanistan.
Ahmad was born in a farming village in northern Kunduz to a poor family. He began playing Buzkashi at age 15. At the time that he began playing, Buzkashi was a rite of passage for young men in the Kunduz region.At the age of 18 he was conscripted by the military of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan during the Soviet–Afghan War. He soon defected from the government military to join the Mujahideen.Ahmad initially left Kabul and returned to Kunduz after the 1992 Civil war began. His playing skill soon drew the attention of Mohammed Fahim, who was then a powerful warlord. Fahim offered to sponsor him if he returned to play in Kabul and chartered a helicopter to bring him back. Ahmad remained in Kabul until leaving the city in 1996 shortly before it fell to the Taliban, who then banned buzkashi. He returned to the north and joined the Northern Alliance to fight against the Taliban in the ensuing Civil war.After the fall of the Taliban during the 2001 War in Afghanistan, Ahmad returned to his Buzkashi career and soon became known as the best living player.Buzkashi Boys
Buzkashi Boys is a 2012 film, co-produced in Afghanistan and the United States. It was considered and later nominated for the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.After being nominated for an Academy Award the film was released along with all the other 15 Oscar-nominated short films in theaters by ShortsHD.Carriage driving
Carriage driving is a form of competitive horse driving in harness in which larger two or four wheeled carriages (often restored antiques) are pulled by a single horse, a pair, tandem or a four-in-hand team.
In competitions the driver and horse(s) have to complete three tests including Dressage, Marathon and Obstacle Driving. The International Federation for Equestrian Sports oversees International Shows. The FEI Driving rules are followed in these competitions which aim to protect the welfare of the horse and also ensure fairness in competitions.Pleasure competitions also have classes which are judged on the turnout, neatness or suitability of the horse(s) and carriage.Dharmatma
Dharmatma is a 1975 Hindi thriller movie and the first Bollywood film to be shot in Afghanistan. It was produced and directed by Feroz Khan. The movie is the first attempt in India to localise The Godfather. The cast includes Feroz Khan, Hema Malini, Rekha, Premnath, Imtiaz Khan, Danny Denzongpa, Farida Jalal, Ranjeet, Helen, Madan Puri, Jeevan, Iftekhar,
Dara Singh, Satyen Kappu and Sudhir. The music is by Kalyanji Anandji. This film took Feroz Khan to new heights in his career as this was a hit movie. The same year, Sholay and Deewar were released. The film also has scenes featuring Buzkashi, a Central Asian sport on horses, including aerial shots, which in turn won the film's cinematographer, Kamal Bose, the Filmfare Award for Best Cinematographer.. Dharmatma's plot is loosely based on The Godfather.Hazaragi culture
Hazaragi culture (Persian: فرهنگ هزارگی, Hazaragi: فرهنگ آزرگی) refers to the culture of the Hazara people, who live primarily in the Hazarajat region of central Afghanistan, and the Balochistan province of Pakistan, and elsewhere around the world where the Hazara diaspora is settled as part of the wider Afghan diaspora.
The culture of the Hazara people is rich in heritage, with many unique customs and traditions, and shares influences with Persian, Mongol and various Central Asian cultures. The Hazarajat region has an ancient history and was, at different periods, home to the Greco-Buddhist, and Timurid civilisations, and later the Ghorid and Ghaznavid dynasties. Later in the early 13th century, the Mongols, led by Genghis Khan, settled in the region. Each of these civilisations left visible imprints on the region's local culture. The Hazara people are descendants of the Mongol peoples who settled in the region in the thirteenth century, which attributes their Mongloid physical features. According to genetic evidence, the ethnic group has "patrimonial relations" to Turkic peoples and Mongols, and at the same time is also related to neighboring Persianate peoples thus making them a distinct ethnic group.The Hazara native Hazaragi language is a variation of the Dari dialect of the Persian language spoken in Afghanistan. The Hazara were traditionally pastoral farmers active in herding in the central and southeastern highlands of Afghanistan. They primarily belong to the Shi'a denomination of Islam, following either the Twelver or Ismaili sects, with a small minority of Sunnis. There has been frequent discrimination against them due to sectarian and ethnic reasons. During the 1940s, the Pashtun dominated government in Kabul implemented a variety of initiatives which sought to Pashtunize the ethnic group and suppress Hazara culture.Latif Ahmadi
Abdul Latif Ahmadi is an Afghan film director. He is the president of Afghan Film, the state-run Afghan film company.As the head of Afghan Film, he has been credited with assisting many of the recent films being produced in Afghanistan such as Buzkashi Boys, The Black Tulip (2010 film) and The Kite Runner (film) as well as traveling around the world to introduce Afghan cinema to various audiences.List of Afghan films
A list of notable films produced in Afghanistan.
The highest grossing Afghan film as of 2017 is Osama with over $3,800,000 from a budget of only $46,000. The film was very well received by the Western cinematic world. It gathered a rating of 96% based on 100 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, a website which tabulates the reviews from professional film critics into a single rating.List of Central Asian horse breeds
This is a list of the horse breeds considered to originate wholly or partly in six Central Asian countries: Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Some may have complex or obscure histories, so inclusion here does not necessarily imply that a breed is predominantly or exclusively from those countries.List of equestrian sports
Equestrian Sports are sports that use horses as a main part of the sport. This usually takes the form of the rider being on the horse's back, or the horses pulling some sort of horse-drawn vehicle.Massaccesi
Massaccesi is John Fanning (born 1978) of Hampton, New Hampshire, United States. He is a multimedia artist, utilizing performance, installation, physical art pieces, experimental sound compositions electronic music, video & more, generally using the themes of recycling/re-usage and unique concepts (the sound of trash in refugee camps, building a city out of a city's recycling, performances based on the southern Asian sport of Buzkashi, sleeping, worshiping trash). having released for such record labels as Phthalo. He was previously known as DJ Entox, and he used to edit a hardcore techno/gabber music fanzine called The Skreem. He took his artist alias from the Italian horror film director Joe d'Amato whose real name was Aristide Massaccesi. Massaccesi has had exhibitions of work & performed numerous times around the world.National sport
A national sport is considered to be an intrinsic part of the culture of a nation. Some sports are de facto (not established by law) national sports, as baseball is in the United States and Gaelic games are in the Ireland, while others are de jure (established by law) national sports, as lacrosse and ice hockey are in Canada. These sports do not have to be necessarily the most played or most followed, which would be either association football or cricket in all but a few countries are widely considered to be important to the significant for its culture.Nauruz in Afghanistan
Nauruz (Dari: نوروز; Pashto: نوروز) is celebrated widely in Afghanistan. Also known as Farmer's Day, the observances usually last two weeks, culminating on the first day of the Afghan New Year, March 21. During the Taliban rule (1996–2001), Nauruz was banned and considered an "ancient pagan holiday centered on fire worship". Preparations for Nauruz start several days beforehand, at least after Chaharshanbe Suri, the last Wednesday before the New Year. Among various traditions and customs, the most important ones are as following:
Guli Surkh festival (Dari: ميلهى گل سرخ): The Guli Surkh festival which literally means Red Flower Festival (referring to the red Tulip flowers) is the principal festival for Nauruz. It is celebrated in Mazar-i- Sharif during the first 40 days of the year when the Tulip flowers grow in the green plains and on the hills surrounding the city. People from all over the country travel to Mazar-i-Sharif to attend the Nauruz festivals. Various activities and customs are performed during the Guli Surkh festival, including the Jahenda Bala event and the Buzkashi games.
Jahenda Bālā (Dari: جهنده بالا): Jahenda Bala is celebrated on the first day of the New Year (i.e. Nauruz), and is attended by high-ranking government officials such as the Vice-President, Ministers, and Provincial Governors. It is a specific religious ceremony performed in the Blue Mosque of Mazar that is believed (mostly by Sunnite Afghans) to be the site of the tomb of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the fourth caliph of Islam. The ceremony is performed by raising a special banner whose color configuration resembles Derafsh Kaviani. This is the biggest recorded Nauruz gathering where up to 200,000 people from all over Afghanistan get together in Mazar's central park around the Blue Mosque to celebrate the banner raising (Jahenda Bālā) ceremony.
Buzkashi: Along with other customs and celebrations, normally a Buzkashi tournament is held during the Guli Surkh festival in Mazar-i-Sharif, Kabul and other northern cities of Afghanistan.
Haft Mēwa (Dari: هفت میوه): In Afghanistan, people prepare Haft Mēwa (literally translates as Seven Fruits) in addition to or instead of Haft Sin which is common in Iran. Haft Mewa is like a fruit salad made from seven different dried fruits, served in their own syrup. The seven dried fruits are: raisins, Senjed (the dried fruit of the oleaster tree), pistachios, hazelnuts, prunes (dried apricots), walnuts and either almonds or another species of plum fruit.
Samanak: It is a special type of sweet dish made from germinated wheat, and is normally cooked or prepared on the eve of Nauruz or a few days before. Women have a special party for it during the night, and cook it from late in the evening till daylight, singing a special song: Samanak dar Josh o mā Kafcha zanem – Dochtaran* dar Khwāb o mā Dafcha zanem (* Dochter means daughter, young lady or girl).
Special cuisine: People cook special types of dishes for Nauruz, especially on the eve of Nauruz. Normally they cook Sabzi Chalaw, a dish made from rice and spinach. Moreover, the bakeries prepare a special type of cookie, called Kulcha-e Nauruzī, which is only baked for Nauruz. Another dish which is prepared mostly for the Nauruz days is Māhī wa Jelabī (Fried Fish and Jelabi) and it is the most common meal in picnics. In Afghanistan, it is a common custom among the affianced families that the fiancé's family give presents to or prepare special dishes for the fiancée's family on special occasions such as the two Eids (Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha), Barā'at and Nauruz. Hence, the special dish for Nauruz is Māhī wa Jelabī.
Sightseeing to Cercis fields: The citizens of Kabul go to Istalif, Charikar or other green places where the Cercis flowers grow. They go for a picnic with their family during the first two weeks of the new year.
Jashn-e Dehqān: Jashn-e Dehqan means The Festival of Farmers. It is celebrated on the first day of year, on which the farmers walk in the cities as a sign of encouragement for the agricultural production. In recent years, this activity is being performed only in Kabul and other major cities, in which the mayor and other high governmental personalities participate in watching and observing.
Kampirak: Like "Haji Nowruz" in Iran, he is an old bearded man wearing colorful clothes with a long hat and rosary who symbolizes beneficence and the power of nature yielding the forces of winter. He and his retinue pass village by village distributing gathered charities among people and do shows like reciting poems. The tradition is observed in central provinces specially Bamyan and Daykundi.New Zealand Heading Dog
The New Zealand Heading Dog is a working and herding dog that uses its visual prowess and quick movement to control sheep. Bred from Border Collies, Heading Dogs are a sturdy, long-legged and even-haired breed. They are generally black and white in color, but may also be tan.Pashtun culture
Pashtun culture (Pashto: پښتني هڅوب) is based on Pashtunwali, which is an ancient way of life, as well as speaking of the Pashto language and wearing Pashtun dress. The culture of the Pashtun people is highlighted since at least the time of Herodotus (484–425 BC) or Alexander the Great, when he explored the Afghanistan and Pakistan region in 330 BC. The Pashtun culture has little outside influence, and, over the ages, has retained a great degree of purity.Rally.org
Rally.org is an American social online fundraising platform for use by a wide range of individuals and organizations. It allows users to set up their own fundraising page, through which supporters can find information about their campaigns and make donations through Rally.org's proprietary payment system. The platform is best known for its use by causes including the Make A Wish Foundation and Jon Bon Jovi's Hurricane Sandy relief effort, filmmakers including the director of Buzkashi Boys, and political campaigns in the United States 2012 election cycle. In May 2012, Rally.org closed the largest Series A round of venture capital ever raised online. The company was founded in Austin, Texas, as Piryx, in 2009 by Tom Serres, Brian Upton, Jonas Lamis and Naveed Lalani.Sport in Afghanistan
Sport in Afghanistan is managed by the Afghan Sports Federation. Cricket and association football are the two most popular sports in Afghanistan. The traditional and the national sport of Afghanistan is Buzkashi. The Afghan Sports Federation promotes cricket, association football, basketball, volleyball, golf, handball, boxing, taekwondo, weightlifting, bodybuilding, track and field, skating, bowling, snooker, chess, and other sports in the country.
The Afghanistan national cricket team's win over Namibia in Krugersdorp earned them official One Day International status in April 2009. The Afghanistan Cricket Board is Afghanistan's representative at the International Cricket Council and was an associate member of ICC from June 2013 to 2017. It is also a member of the Asian Cricket Council. Afghanistan became a full member of the International Cricket Council on 22 June 2017, entitling the national team to participate in official Test matches.The Horsemen (1971 film)
The Horsemen is a 1971 Eastmancolor in a Panavision film starring Omar Sharif, directed by John Frankenheimer; screenplay by Dalton Trumbo. Based on a novel by French writer Joseph Kessel, Les Cavaliers (The Horsemen) shows Afghanistan and its people the way they were before the wars that wracked the country, particularly their love for the sport of buzkashi. The film was filmed in Afghanistan and Spain.
|FEI disciplines, Olympic|
|FEI disciplines, non-Olympic|
|Games with horses|
|Working stock sports|
|Horse show and|
|Stick and ball sports|