Culture  • 

Playing soccer with a headless goat + other exotic shows during World Nomad Games

September 15, 2014

A burning man from Kyrgyzstan performing a stunt during the first World Nomad Games.

Yesterday was the last day of World Nomad Games – the first ever tournament celebrating nomadic culture, held in Cholpon-Ata by the Issyk-Kul lake in Kyrgyzstan. With athletes and stuntmen from 18 countries, including Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Azerbaijan and Tajikistan, the event showcases traditions, history and lifestyle of the many remaining nomads. Some of the games held in Cholpon-Ata are:

Er-Oodarysh – wrestling on a horse
Kyz Kuu – girl chasing on a horseback
Kok-buru – like soccer, but on horses and with a headless goat

Other games include wrestling, board games and line-pulling. There was also a games village built with traditional yurts, where nomadic fashion, music and activities were showcased. As the World Nomad Games have been quite successful this year, the Kyrgyz authorities plan to make it an annual event.


Kok-boru – a game in which teams score goals with a headless goat


Jurta – a traditional nomadic house from Kyrgyzstan




Artists perform during an opening ceremony



Traditionally-clothed fans cheer during the games


A Tajik man demonstrates his skills.


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