Conserving the Untamed Polo

The traditional polo, or what we call the Untamed Polo, played in Chitral district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) for centuries is different from the modern form of the sport played elsewhere in the world. The Untamed Polo is so popular in Chitral and GB that it symbolizes the local culture of the areas. Another important cultural aspect of the game is its close association with folk music. Every polo team, every polo situation, and even every polo-playing family has a distinct folk music tune.

In spite of all its charm, however, the game is facing serious difficulties at various levels because of several constraints. Various government institutions have introduced their own teams ostensibly for supporting the game, but it has proved counterproductive for the traditional sport in a variety of ways. Conserving the Untamed Polo (CUP) is aimed at supporting the traditional polo played by the historic geographically based teams in Chitral and GB through a variety of interventions for enhancing its popularity at the national and international levels, protecting and preserving its history, heritage, and associated art forms; and strengthening its geographically-based teams at the levels of villages, Union Councils, Tehsils, and districts.