Video: Kopkari: Headless Goat Carcass Polo


Kopkari (also kupkari, ulak, ulak-kupkari, ulak-kopkari) is a national horseback game of Central Asian peoples, an exciting game of a large number of riders fighting for possession of a goat carcass. In the countries bordering Uzbekistan the game is called buzkashi, kokpar, kokboru, and ulak tartish. This headless goat carcass polo developed in the times of Genghis Khan; it is the embodiment of the true spirit of Asian nomads. Today they play kopkari as part of festivals during important holidays and events, such as Oriental New Year Nowruz (Novruz, Navruz, Nawruz), harvest celebrations, weddings, etc. The aim of a rider taking part in this fierce competition is to reach the carcass, grab it, carry it across the field and throw it into the scoring circle, while having to thwart other riders’ attempts to tear it from him on the way. A kopkari player must be a master rider and strong horseback struggler to win the game and prove he is the best yigit (‘horseman’) in the area.

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