Amazing Places

The World Nomad Games Celebrate Traditional Nomadic Culture

Nomadic societies exist all over the globe, moving from place to place to find fresh pasture for their herds, ply a trade, or simply seek out new locales with the seasons. There are an estimated 30–40 million nomads in the world today, but that's nothing compared to what it once was. The modern way of life is threatening nomadic culture, and many are striving to preserve their heritage. That's the reason for the World Nomad Games, an event held in Kyrgyzstan.

The September event had its first edition in 2014, and saw its second installment two years later. At the 2016 event, athletes from 40 world countries converged to compete in sports such as horseback archery, dog and eagle hunting, and mas-wrestling, where rivals attempt to win control of a small stick. The fiercest competition, according to The Guardian, was kok-boru, a form of polo where two teams battle over control of a goat carcass. There was even a kind of fashion show, where men and women displayed traditional dress on a nomad catwalk. Learn more about nomadic cultures in the videos below.

The World Nomad Games

Discover the strange sports that take place at the event.

Documenting the World's Last Nomadic Tribes

Find out how photographers are seeking to preserve these ancient cultures.

The Nomadic Heirs of Genghis Khan

Hear the story of three nomadic communities.

Written by Curiosity Staff October 13, 2016

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