Buzkashi: Game and Power in Afghanistan, Second Edition


Much has happened since this book first appeared, almost all of it horrific for Afghanistan. The past quarter century devastated this country more than any other on earth. No country in all history has proven more resilient. No people alive today are more worthy of admiration, respect, and support. Now available from Waveland Press as an updated Second Edition, Buzkashi: Game and Power in Afghanistan is not only the first full-scale anthropological examination of a single sport, but also a beautifully written case study about a place and a people that have been largely ignored in the social science literature. Buzkashi, perhaps the wildest game in the world and a vivid feature of Afghan life, entails the aggressive struggle of hundreds of horsemen over a mutilated calf carcass.

Author: G. Whitney Azoy
Binding: Paperback, 176 Pages
Published Year: 2003
Language: English


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Shortly after the first appearance of Azoy’s book, the world press came to use the actual play of buzkashi in print as a metaphor for Afghan politics. Azoy’s incisive analysis of Afghan political dynamics demonstrates how play and politics, ordinarily perceived as separate activities, can interpenetrate one another. Sadly but truly, buzkashi continues to prove itself to be an apt metaphor for ongoing Afghan political control and chaos. The Waveland edition includes two new chapters: “For Real (1978 2002),” which describes buzkashi as played over the past twenty years in new places by new people, and a chapter serving as a personal tribute to the author’s friend and field informant.

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Weight 0.30 kg
Dimensions 22.8 × 15.2 × 1 cm