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Buzhkachi II

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Buzhkachi II (2008)

Matthieu Paley

Limited edition of 30
Archival pigment print

Outside Dushanbe, over 50 horses and their riders have gathered on a snowy plain to play Buzkachi, a raw and ancient Central Asian horse game played since the days of Ghengis Khan.

Riders, known as Chopendoz, usually wear heavy clothing and head protection such as old Russian tank hats to protect themselves against other players’ whips and boots.

The aim of Buzkachi is to grab the carcass of a goat, keep it clear of the other players and pitch it across the goal line. Competition is typically fierce, as other players may use any force short of tripping the horses in order to thwart scoring attempts.