8.11.10

Buzkachi Season has Begun!!!

This weekend Mikey and I had our first buzkachi experience. For those of you who don't know what buzkachi is, I will attempt to explain. There are two goals in buzkachi, we witnessed a goal to be deliniated by two tires barried half way into the ground, approx. 15 feet apart. The players can be as many men on horseback as show up to play. The prizes can be big, so the competitors are often in the 100s. The ball, if you will, is a beheaded goat that is soaked in a barrel of water overnight, the average weight 40 kilos. The aim of buzkachi is to pick up and carry the be-headed, water logged goat through the goal. This becomes difficult when 100+ men are all trying to do the same thing for the glory and prizes. At the buzkachi match we attended prizes ranged from rugs, horses, goats, cows, and money (the largest prize was awarded to the final goal, it was $500, a horse, and a cow). A prize is given for each goal. As we were leaving I witnessed someone transporting their prize home, a goat in the trunk of their car.

So, how is a goal scored? These are the words that come to mind: chaos, strength, speed, alliances, beating your horse and your competitors with a whip, pure adrenaline, and commitment. Would I go to a buzkachi match again, of course! In fact, Mikey was so enthusiastic he caught a double header this weekend and attended the Sunday match too. Mikey witnessed an act of commitment to the game that goes beyond Super Bowl victory potential! A middle aged competitor was hit hard in the head resulting in a lot of blood. He rode away from the action of the game to clean himself up, how did he do this? He had a young relative pee into his hands and then he splashed the urine on his face (where the cut was) to clear away the blood. Blood is apparently a natural antiseptic, who knew?

Documenting buzkachi is an athletic art for the adrenaline junky. The mob of horses can move in any direction at any time, there is no out of bounds. In order to get good photos, you have to get close to the chaos. Mikey was better at this than I was. Another skill to learn is how to take good photos while sprinting to safety as the horses charge towards you. It will take some practice. Buzkachi season lasts through the winter, we've got time to get better! We will post photos and videos sometime soon.

4 comments:

  1. This is fantastic. It sounds like a Calvin and Hobbes creation, but in real life.

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  2. Even though you told me about this yesterday, I still laughed my ass off, especially imagining you and Mikey or anybody trying to run in and get a photo and then having to run like hell to get out of the way. I would go as many times as I could if I were you and Mikey should definitely change his research topic.

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  3. Now what I want to see is a picture of mikey on a horse in the midst of this melee. I've read about the game before, but the little boy pissing to aid a wound is Priceless.

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