Autoethnographic Research P.3 – Native Asian Sports: Bökh

Chris Boyd (CB988) DIGC330 Blog

In this weeks Autoethnography; I will be focusing on the sport of ‘Bökh’ – the folk wrestling style of Mongols in Mongolia. Bökh, meaning Mongolian wrestling, is a traditional sport for Mongolian ethnic groups in China. The activity actually dates back to the days of Genghis Khan – who considered wrestling to be an important way to keep his army in good physical shape and combat ready. Cave paintings in the Bayankhongor Province of Mongolia dating back to Neolithic age of 7000BC also show grappling of two naked men, surrounded by crowds. Local people living in grassland regions call wrestling “Bökh”(meaning “strength, solidarity and durability” in Mongolian). Wrestling is the most important sport of Mongolian people’s and is an indispensable activity for important occasions like sacrificial rituals and the Naadam Festival.

AbtaiPainting.jpg A 16th Century Painting Showing The Grappling Men

Brief Introduction of the rules:

  • The rules of defeat differ depending on the area of Mongolia you reside. In outer Mongolia…

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