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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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IN AFGHANISTAN, THE VARIOUS MOUNTAIN TRIBES PLAY A
POPULAR GAME. THE GAME GOES LIKE THIS.
THE MEN OF THE TRIBE, MOUNTED ON HORSEBACK, ARE EQUIPPED
WITH POLES THAT HAVE A LONG BLADE ON THE END. WHILE ON
HORSEBACK, THEY MUST KILL A YOUNG CALF WITH THEIR POLES
AND CUT OFF THE HEAD. THEN THEY MUST ROLL THE HEAD OF THE
CALF FROM ONE END OF THE FIELD TO THE OTHER, AND THEN
BACK AGAIN TO WHERE THEY STARTED. THE ONE IN POSSESSION
OF THE HEAD AT THIS POINT WINS THE GAME.

Submitter comment: SINCE THE SOVIET INVASION OF AFGHANISTAN, THE AFGHANIS
NOW USE CAPTURED SOVIET POW'S FOR THIS GAME INSTEAD OF
THEIR CATTLE, WHICH THEY FEEL THAT THEY MUST CONSERVE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): BEHEADING ; SEVERED HEAD OF HUMAN USED AS BALL ; WAR PRISONERS

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Special Object or Implement
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- War

Date learned: 08-00-1987

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