Chapter 2. An Ancient Sport in Central Asian Turkic Peoples: Oogdarish/enish (Wrestling on Horseback)

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Mehmet Turkmen1 and Aslıhan Arslan2
1Muş Alparslan University & Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
2Haci Bayram Veli University, Ankara, Turkey

Part of the book: Applications of Traditional Equestrian Sports in the World

Abstract

In this study, “wrestling on horseback” which is a traditional sport called “enish” or ‘Oodarish/Avdarys/Audarysh’ done in the Middle East Region (Turkestan) will be mentioned and introduced. Purpose: Having kept the two socio-cultural values known as horse riding and wrestling for centuries, wrestling on horseback (oogdarish) formed with the combination of these two sports is more than a sportive activity. The purpose of the study is to know and introduce this ancient traditional sport separated into two groups ‘Men’s-enish’ and ‘women’s enish” and bring it to the world sports literature. Descriptive analysis method of the qualitative study designs was applied in the study. For the proper application of the method, World Nomad Games (WNG), Folk-Game (Hand-Game) started by Altaians from local Turkic peoples in Siberia in 1988, World Ethno-Sport Confederation (WEC) organizations, and many local sports organ[1]izations held in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan were watched live. Moreover, some historical resources were scanned. Women’s and men’s oodarish, which has a broad story and rich tradition, was found to be done willingly with active and broad participation of both men and women in the region from Siberia to Central Asia except for Turkey, Balkans, and the Caucasus. It was understood that the functional and ideological roots of enish challenge are historically related to having had to face external powers and the election of the military leader by a group of people. The sport is done in two forms conventional and formal, the first of which was found to be more common.

Keywords: Turkestan, Central Asian Turkic peoples, wrestling on horseback


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