This painting shows a scene of Buzkashi game. Buzkashi 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 has come in KPK from Afghanistan. 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. During the rule of the Taliban regime, buzkashi was banned in Afghanistan, as the Taliban considered the game immoral. After the Taliban regime was ousted, the game resumed being played.
July 6th, 2018
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