Buzkashi


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Description


Though the exact origins are unknown, Buzkashi has been played in South-central Asia, mostly Afghanistan, for hundreds if not thousands of years ago. The game in question consists at least twenty men called Chapandaz in two teams riding full speed on horseback fighting over a decapitated goat carcass in order to ride around a pole with it then try and throw it into a chalk circle(see above). The horses are specially bred and some of the best in the world. While simple enough in concept, the game quickly breaks into a free for all. There are no firm rules, except that one player may not hit another player with his whip. Also, the objectives may be several miles apart, as they have nothing but open space. There are also no rules saying that one players buddies may not hide somewhere with guns waiting to kill other players, and as fierce as the competition is, the reward seems somewhat lacking.
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A sum of approximately eighty USD, garments, and wool are common prizes.

The game was banned by the Taliban when they came to power in 1972, then again in 1996 after they deemed in immoral and a waste of goat. Since the 2001 ousting of the Taliban from Kabul, the game has grown in prominence in Afghanistan. President Hamid Karzai owes a great many of his votes to his running mate, Mohammad Qasim Fahim. Fahim is best known for being a former warlord, and for hosting many Buzkashi games. during the heightened tensions immediately post election the new and chaotic parliament was described as "Buzkashi".