This past weekend we finally had the opportunity to see Buzkeshi. Due to the weather and laws regarding crowds in the region, we had been waiting for almost a month, as news of the game passes via word of mouth. Additionally, finding a game can also involve driving up a mountain asking around at each village for directions and then a hike to the field.
But some context about the sport: Buzkeshi n. buz-goat + keshi-pulling. A sport local only to Tajikistan and Afghanistan, it involves that the players, all riding on horses, attempt to carry a goat carcass through the goal. In order to win, the goal must be halal (acceptable, word used in Islamic law) as opposed to haram (forbidden, word also used in Islamic law). Seems simple? Every player is also hitting you as you attempt to carry the goat across the field (although usually there are secret alliances). The winner then receives a prize such as a camel or some nice rugs.
While watching the game often involves observing what appears to be stalled chaos from afar, occasionally, a player will break free with the goat, leading to a mad chase. Watching also allowed for me to break out the camera in order to capture the action: