Kok Boru or Buzkashi in Kyrgyz language means “Gray Wolf”. A long time ago it was quite common to hunt wolves among the nomadic peoples of Central Asia. Once the group of men, who were chasing a wolf, caught up with it, then they would kill it by beating its head with batons. The hunters took the corpse of the wolf and placed it on the saddle in front of them. During the trip to the village, they played the Kok Boru game trying to take the wolf corpse from each other. Today, a real goat is used instead of a wolf, who had to say goodbye to their life before the match. After the match, the winning team takes the goat to prepare a dish from this meat. There are opinions that the goat corpse is mistreated while they play the game, but do we not as western people mistreat the pig corpse when we hit pork meat with a pestle as we prepare pork chops?
Kok Boru is one of the most dangerous and violent sports in the world, especially for us Europeans. On the other hand, it is a sport very deeply rooted in the culture of Nomads, especially such as Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Mongolia, etc., and UNESCO has placed the sport on the list of world heritage. However, countries from outside Central Asia are trying to participate in the competition. To be honest, right from the beginning, the thought that someone from outside the region is trying to win any title in Kok Boru seemed quite funny to me. However, when I saw the US team, I stood corrected. This was not the first time the US players were taking part in the games. Even though two years ago the players did not do very well, this year they really showed class. There was something to look at.
At the beginning, we wanted to stay closer to the American goal posts, expecting there to be more plays and the goat throws performed by players from Kazakhstan team, but to our surprise after only a few minutes, the Americans team started to score points in a pretty good way. It was an interesting match, full of emotions. There were a lot of twists. Although the US did not win, I pay my respects. It should be noted that team of Kazakhstan may have won 20: 9, but they were the favorites. Two years ago they played in the final match with Kyrgyzstan.
By the way the Kok Boru game was even featured in the movie Rambo III in which Rambo participates in a game in Afghanistan. Probably John Rambo was the first American player in Kok Boru 😊
In addition to Kok Boru, we could see wrestling on horses named Er Enisch, where the Americans also took part. An exciting and unprecedented sport in Europe. The rules are very simple and you have to pulling the opponent down to the ground. The players are girded with sashes, which should be well grasped and pulled (easier said than done). What counts here is not only the strength but also how you guide the horse and technique.
The next edition of the World Nomad Games will take place in 2020 in Turkey. We know from the information obtained from the American team that they will also participate. We wish you the best of luck.
M&P, October 2018