Cowboys and Chapandaz

There is a Central Asian game known as buzkashi in Afghanistan or kokpar in other Central Asian countries.

Riders, known as chapandaz, battle for possession of a goat carcass. The word chapandaz is derived from the long Central Asian coats called chapan that the riders wear.

No trip to Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan would be complete without taking in a Friday afternoon buzkashi match. Here are some of my photos of the chapandaz.


This year a world championship in kokpar was held in August in Kazakhstan. Interestingly, in addition to teams from countries where the sport is traditionally played, the USA fielded a team, shown here.

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