The Chapandez in traditional costume, line up behind model Ann Cosyns in an American coat of embroidered pigskin, a silk-satin pouf skirt, and bodice. The Chapandez are the riders who have made Buzkashi the wildest, most uninhibited display of horsemanship in the world. Buzkashi is Afghanistan's national game, played for state visits and also on ceremonial occasions like the king's birthday. Chapandez convenes at stadiums (this one at Kunduz) and forms two teams of 30 to 100 men. The horsemen then fight for possession of a dead calf. A rider, at full gallop, with the calf in one hand and a whip in the other, tries to round a stake at the end of a 450-meter field — often flattening a few spectators on the way.
Series: Along the Silk Route in Afghanistan 1968
Image rights: © Fred J. Maroon
About Fred Maroon
American, September 24, 1924 - November 5, 2001, New Brunswick, New Jersey, based in Washington, DC, United States