Incredible Photos of Unique Competitions From the ‘2016 World Nomad Games’ in Kyrgyzstan

The World Nomad Games sounds like an event straight out of a blockbuster film—this year’s competition boasted, among other things, eagle hunting, bone throwing, and horseback javelin-throwing. Action movie star Steven Seagal was even the guest at the opening ceremonies. At the actual Games, 2,000 athletes from 40 nations battled on the shores of Kyrgyzstan's Lake Issyk-Kul in Cholpon-Ata City.

The unique event has only been held since 2014, but it has grown considerably since that time. Now, there are 16 “ethnosports” (up from 10) that intend to showcase “the greatness of nomadic civilization” as well as “values of peace, culture and life of each ethnic group of nomadic world.”

Kok-boru is one of the Games’ most exotic bouts, in which teams riding on horses drag a roughly 70-pound goat carcass into a “taikazan,” a circular goal that looks like shallow well. Described as “rugby on horses,” it ends like any other game—whichever team deposits the carcass into the goal more times wins. The United States sent their first kok-boru team to the competition this year, headed by a former competitive rider. Although the eight-man squad came 7th out of 8 teams, they plan to go back for 2018.

Check out some scenes from the World Nomad Games, below.

Above photo credit: @umarket

Actor Steven Seagal (on horse) was part of the opening ceremonies.
Photo credit: @umarket

Photo credit: World Nomad Games

Photo credit: @theodorekaye

Photo credit: @theodorekaye

Photo credit: @umarket

Photo credit: @umarket

Photo credit: @theodorekaye

Photo credit: @umarket

Here's kok-boru in action: Photo credit: A. Kolosov

Photo credit: A. Kolosov

Photo credit: A. Kolosov

Photo credit: A. Kolosov

Photo credit: A. Kolosov

Photo source: Brock Harris

Take a look at one of the most impressive sports played at the World Nomad Games—gymnastic archery:

World Nomad Games: Website | Facebook | Instagram
via [L'ACTE GRATUIT, CNN]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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