National Geographic : 1936 Jan
© National Geographic Society -ainting byAlexandre lacovlett THEIR MALLETS SWINGING, RACING RIDERS HIGH ON A ROCKY PLATEAU DRIVE THEWOODEN BALL TOITS GOAL Long before Britons or Americans learned to play polo on grassy grounds, natives of Afghanistan, Persia, and India developed thestrenuous game in their mountain haunts. Teams of rival tribes hold a tournament every year at Misgar, in northern Kashmir. Aman runs tothefield (left) tohand a new mallet to a rider who has broken his own. Male spectators gather about the "grandstand," whilewomen, forbidden bytribal custom tomingle with the men, look on from the top of the shelter. After this game, a physician of the Trans-Asiatic Expedition sewed upagash inaplayer's head. When the Expedition first entered a similar clearing, all members galloped horseback at top speed across the field attherequest ofthetribal chief, who said it would bring good luck. The originals of this painting and that on the opposite page are owned bythe National Geographic Society.