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An equestrian game in which riders compete to gain control of a goat or calf carcass that has been decapitated and dehoofed. Buzkashi likely originated as an entertaining variant of ordinary herding or raiding. It is popular predominantly among Turkic peoples in Afghanistan but can be found in the Muslim republics of Central Asia and in parts of northwestern China. Buzkashi has two main forms. The traditional version, tudabaray, has no formal teams and is not played within clearly defined boundaries. Games often involve hundreds of riders, and the objective is to gain sole possession of the carcass and ride it free and clear of all other riders. The modern government-sponsored qarajay style involves two teams of 10–12 riders that contend on a defined field with goals. Beginning in the early 1950s, the Kabul-based Afghan government hosted national tournaments.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on buzkashi, visit Britannica.com.
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