National Geographic : 1936 Jan
( National Geographic Society Fainting by. ROLLING BENEATH GLADIATORIAL SHIELDS, PERSIAN ATHLETES PRESERVE TRADITIONS OF THE PAST exandre lacovleff The leader (right) thumps a crude drum at a fast tempo and chants tales of ancient heroes while the athletes swing their heavy shields inperfect rhythm. To end the exercises, the drummer rings the overhead gong, decorated with three ostrich plumes. The leader oftheschool here atTehran asked the artist never to touch the instruments lest they lose their sacred purity.