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A sort of mounted polo played predominantly by Turkic peoples in northern Afghanistan with a goat carcass.

From Persian بزکشی ‎(buz-kaši, boz-keši); compound of بز ‎(boz), meaning "goat" + کش ‎(kaš), meaning "dragging, drawing" + ـی ‎(-i).[1] The term "buzkashi" is used in the Persian lingua franca of northern Afghanistan and Kabul, meaning "goat-grabbing" or "goat-dragging" when "buz" ("goat") is used in "buzkashi" to denote either species.[2][3] The word most likely originated in a Turkic language, literally "goat bashing" in Turkic, buz is Turkic for "goat" and kashi "bashing".[4] The national game of Afghanistan "Buzkashi" may have began with the nomadic Turkic-Mongol peoples who have come from farther north and east spreading westward from China and Mongolia between the 10th and 15th centuries in a centuries-long series of migrations that ended only in the 1930's. Today buzkashi is indigenously shared by several Central Asian ethnic groups, i.e. Uzbeks, Turkmens, Hazaras, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Tajiks and Pashtuns. From Scythian times until recent decades, buzkashi remains as a legacy of that bygone era.[3][5]

The only comprehensive study of buzkashī in the English language is G. Whitney Azoy, Buzkashi: Game and Power in Afghanistan, 2nd ed. (2002). A shorter treatment by the same author is “Buzkashi” in Encyclopaedia of World Sport (1996), vol. 1, pp. 159–163. Also useful is Roland Michaud and Sabrina Michaud, Horsemen of Afghanistan (1988).[5]

See more at buzağı.


  1. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary: "buzkashi"
  2. ^ G. Whitney Azoy: Buzkashi, game and power in Afghanistan. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982. Page 74.
  3. 3.0 3.1 G. Whitney Azoy, Buzkashi: Game and ×Power in Afghanistan, Third Edition. Waveland Press 2011. pp.3-4.
  4. ^ Ted Rall - Silk Road to Ruin: Is Central Asia the New Middle East? NBM, 2006. pp.207-208
  5. 5.0 5.1 G. Whitney Azoy, Buzkashi: Game and Power in Afghanistan, 2nd ed. (2002), In: Academic Dictionaries and Encyclopedias "buzkashi"


buzkashi ‎(uncountable)

  1. (games, sports) A team sport originating in Central Asia, where the players, all on horseback, try to place an animal carcass into a goal.