Touching the Limit


The game of buzkashi, can be very brutal, and fatal. But it crystalizes all Afghan qualities: bravado, power, cooperation, struggle, pride and honesty.

Kabul, 16 November 2007


Buzkashi, the national game of Afghanistan, is an ancient game played throughout the steppes of Central Asia. At a glance, it is like a modern polo game, with the ball replaced by headless goat carcass, being the target of grabbing of the aggressive horse riders. The game can be very brutal, and fatal. Legend says that the Mongol Emperor Genghis Khan brought the game to the mountainous Afghanistan in the 13th century. The game is mainly played during the colder winter months, and more popular in the northern part of the country, including Mazar-e-Sharif and Kabul. Buzkashi was banned by the Taliban regime, which condemned it as immoral. During the celebration of Persian New Year (Naoruz), a great buzkashi match is usually held in Mazar-e-Sharif, participated by some hundreds of the best buzkashi riders from all over the world. The great game of buzkashi crystalizes all Afghan qualities: bravado, power, cooperation, struggle, pride and honesty.


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All photography materials in are copyrights of Agustinus Wibowo, unless specially specified. Any unauthorized use or distribution of these copyrighted works is illegal. Agustinus can be contacted here.


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About Agustinus Wibowo

Agustinus is an Indonesian travel writer and travel photographer. Agustinus started a “Grand Overland Journey” in 2005 from Beijing and dreamed to reach South Africa totally by land with an optimistic budget of US$2000. His journey has taken him across Himalaya, South Asia, Afghanistan, Iran, and ex-Soviet Central Asian republics. He was stranded and stayed three years in Afghanistan until 2009. He is now a full-time writer and based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Contact: Website | More Posts

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