The Buzkashi is the oldest, the most unique and probably the most dangerous sport of the people of Central Asia. Buzkashi has long time been a part of the physical preparation of the soldiers of regional rulers. During warmer months the generals were busy with military expeditions and they have passed their winters playing Buzkashi and similar games for staying in good physical forms.
Buzkashi (also called Kopkari and Ulak) means “Goat grabbing or goat pulling”. According to some historians the game was brought to Central Asia by Mongols in 12-13th centuries and gradually it has been nationalized by the nations of Central Asia. In Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan it is still played with passion.
Who Organizes the Buzkashi Game and Where to See?
In some countries Buzkashi is organized by special companies as a sport but in Uzbekistan it is mainly organized by the locals during weddings and National Holidays. The date of Buzkashi or Kopkari only depends on the person who is going to organize it. Visitors of Uzbekistan can enjoy this game in the mountainous villages from November 5 to March 20 yearly.
The Rules of Buzkashi Game
This game does not recognize any rules. The only rule is being the strongest, being the fiercest, and winning the carcass. Buzkashi is a game where every cavalier fights for his own honor and normally, there are no teams. The cavaliers can wear whatever they want in order to protect themselves from the fists, whips and boots of the opponents.
For playing the animal carcass (goat or calf) is dropped at one end of the field. Cavaliers fight endlessly around the carcass to grab it. Whoever breaks away with the carcass and carries it around the marker across the field has to drop the carcass back in the scoring circle.
Prizes for Winners of Buzkashi Game
The prizes vary from small carpets to 20,000$ cars. But the most popular types of prizes are money, sheep, cow, horse or camel. The visitors of the game are also allowed to offer special prizes or money for the winners.
Training for Buzkashi Game
People who participate in the Buzkashi are called “Chavandoz” or “Polvon” which means Fighter and they are doubtlessly physically strong people. They are peasants, doctors, sportsmen, teachers, shepherds etc. who want to show their strength and be called the “Polvon” as well as earn something interesting. Training of the fighter and the horse take years and the combination of horse-rider plays very important role in the game.
Contact your LOCAL EXPERT if you have any questions about oranizing your Buzkashi trip.