Nomads were in love horses, as we told before. The horses were the main type of transport, important source of daily products and one more thing to add – excellent way of entertainment! Horse games were so various and enjoyable, that they still continue playing them on special occasions!
Kok-boru or Grey wolf in English is one of those dynamic games played among Kyrgyz people. It is a wrestling on horseback for a Goat’s Carcass. The original game was historically developed when herds of cattle grazed in the steppes and mountains all year round, exposed to possible attacks by wolves. Once a wolf gets into the cattle, brave guys showed them what it is like to push the wrong button – they chased after the wolves until it fell, then they began beating them with sticks and lashes, trying to snatch them away from each other!
Later on the «kok-boru» was replaced by “little goat” and was renamed as “ulak tartysh”. There are two teams, consisting of an equal number of riders. The playing ground is 300 meters long and 150 meters wide. There are two gates just like in football games. In the center of the playing ground stands a carcass of a goat. The game lasts for 15 minutes. The objective of the game is to seize the goat’s carcass and deliver it into the gates of the contesting team.
Since the game goes on horses, it is pretty dangerous and sometimes it may get bloody as well. I remember little American girl crying so hard watching the game. I thought she was sad for guys who got injured. However, she was crying for the poor little goat they were carrying back and forth… Agree, pretty sad…