Kok Boru is an ancient sport played with a dead goat. Similar to hockey or polo, two teams on horseback compete for control of its body and are rewarded for scoring goals at either end of a large field. While other games have evolved into sanitised modern versions, this ancient nomadic tradition is still thriving in the central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan.
2016 marks the 100th anniversary of one of the bloodiest revolts in the history of the Russian Empire. The uprising took place in Semirechye, ‘the valley of 7 rivers’, in the south of the Empire’s territory in Central Asia. What started as a protest against Tsar Nikolas II’s policies quickly escalated into a fight between the native Kyrgyz population and the Russian and Cossack settlers. It was a conflict that turned ordinary men into murderers and heroes, revealing the worst, and some of the best, of human nature. Now, descendants of those who lived through it share their ancestors’ accounts of the uprising.