At the first heights of the Pamir Mountains, where borders get blurry – may they be Tajik, Uzbek or Kirghiz-, where despotic Central Asian regimes don’t rule anymore, there are men from all walks of life holding on to their horse’s bridle, contesting a dead beast for the sake of honour, for the game. Kopkari’s game rules look like they are only to be understood by initiates. Varying from one region to another, Kopkary is the Central Asian version of the Afghan Bouskatchi. Although some would relate it to polo, Kopkari is far from comparable. Bamboo sticks and wooden ball are replaced by a sheep’s carcass that has to end up in the middle of a circle. No team, no limits: no holds barred. This traditional sport is like the Central Asian peoples : fascinating, wild, sometimes violent.

by Julie David de Lossy and Colin Delfosse

copyright Colin Delfosse

copyright Colin Delfosse

copyright Julie David de Lossy

copyright Colin Delfosse

Copyright Julie David de Lossy

copyright Colin Delfosse

copyright Julie David de Lossy

copyright Julie David de Lossy

copyright Colin Delfosse

copyright Colin Delfosse

copyright Julie David de Lossy

copyright Colin Delfosse

copyright Julie David de Lossy

copyright Colin Delfosse

copyright Julie David de Lossy

copyright Julie David de Lossy

copyright Colin Delfosse

copyright Julie David de Lossy

copyright Julie David de Lossy

copyright Colin Delfosse

copyright Colin Delfosse

copyright Colin Delfosse

copyright Colin Delfosse

copyright Colin Delfosse

copyright Colin Delfosse