Shamozai village wins Makha contest in K-P Traditional Games

PESHAWAR: Shamozai Village clinched the trophy after defeating Babuzai Village in the final of the Makha contests part of the ongoing Traditional Games concluded at Sports Complex Mardan.

In the final, Shamozai Makha Club defeated Babuzai Makha Club and won the title. Mardan Regional Sports Officer Niamat Ullah Marwat was the chief guest on the occasion. Deputy Director Sports Jamshed Baloch, District Sports Officer Mardan Afzar Muhammad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Makha Association President Amjad Hussain Yousafzai and journalist Arshad Yousafzai were also present on the occasion.

Prominent journalist Rahimullah Yousafzai was honored at the event for his services for the promotion of the Makha in the Yousafzai belt. It was said that the services of the late Rahim Ullah Yousafzai were matchless for the development of the area and for the promotion of the Makha will always be remembered.

Regional Sports Officer Niamat Ullah Marwat announced the creation of a separate field for the Makha in Shamozai Katlang and said that the provincial Makha competitions would be held in Shamozai Katlang very soon. He congratulated both the teams for presenting excellent sportsmanship and enthusiastically participated.

He said Directorate General Sports Khyber Pakhtunkhwa took initiative for holding traditional games in order to get the younger generation of the traditional and indigenous sports so that it could be kept alive in their rank.

He said the Directorate of Sports was playing its role in reviving traditional sports which would give a chance to the youth and new generations to be connected with culture and traditional sports. Amjad Hussain Yousafzai, President of Makha Association, lauded the efforts made by the Directorate General Sports for the promotion of Makha.

At the end of the Makha contests, Niamat Ullah Marwat, Regional Sports Officer (RSO), Mardan, gave away trophies and cash prizes to the position holders of the Traditional Makha Games.

Makha’s equipment consists of a long arrow (gashash in pashto) and a longbow (leenda). The tip of the arrow is not sharp, but has a flat, round piece of metal attached (tubidy). Once, the bow was a weapon of war. However, after the invention of modern weapons, Makha became a sport, played mainly in the Yousafzai tribe.

The rules of the game are simple: archers play in teams of 12-10 players (and two in reserve), trying to hit a small white wooden target, called takai in pashto, located 32 feet from the archer. A round ring secured with fresh clay surrounds the target. Each team proposes a senior member of the community as a referee. The referee changes each round.

Each player has his arrow and bow. They shoot twice in each round, and the team with the most accurate shots advance to the next round of the tournament. Competitors usually buy arrows and bows from the Jandol area of Dir, where the horns of Markhor, a wild goat from mountain forests, are used. Some also buy arrows and bows at Marghoz in Swabi.

Over time and the popularity of other sports, this centuries-old traditional Pashtun sport disappears. But the Yousafzai tribes try to keep him alive, want to revive and promote Makha by organizing regular tournaments.

During the tournament, the organizers also invite dhol musicians who, after a shot in the target, beat their instrument rhythmically and are properly supported by the sounds of bajaj (horns) and dance lovers. Makha tournaments are usually organized in spring or after wheat harvest, when people have relatively more time.

As the space has been confined for games like Makha and instruments like rabab rarely enjoyed at gatherings in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, need arises to hold on to the treasures which make the province the distinct place that it is.

 

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