Buzkashi, the national game of the Afghanis
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Buzkashi players (expert horsemen) grab a calfâ€™s headless carcass during the Nowruz (the Persian New Year) celebrations in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan.
Buzkashi is an ancient game played in Afghanistan and dates back to the days of the conqueror Ghengis Khan - 13th century.
The carcass of a calf is beheaded, its four legs cut off from the knee, and its insides emptied. After this, the carcass is soaked in cold water for 24 hours before the game so that it may be tough enough for the horsemen. Sand is, sometimes, packed inside for extra bulk.
The headless calf is then placed in the starting circle at one end of a big field. The horsemen try to pick up the carcass, ride to the other end of the field, circle a flag pole, return to the starting end, dropping the carcass in a circle designated for each team.
Also by Teresa Nabais
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