From April 23 to May 2, a group of American cowboys from the U.S. West traveled to Afghanistan to share their horse culture with Afghan chapandaz, students, and the public in Ghor and Kabul. During their visit, they witnessed buzkashi events, demonstrated roping skills, and shared cowboy poetry and music. The visit was sponsored by the Afghan NGO Foundation for Culture and Civil Society (FCCS), the Afghan National Buzkashi Federation, and the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.
The delegation from the organization Vista 360°, based in the heart of American "cowboy country" in the Rocky Mountains, was composed of the director, Candra Day Vogel; ranch manager and cowboy poet Gail Steiger; and horse trekking operator, musician and writer Linda Svendsen. The group is committed to preserving the cultural traditions of mountain people around the world and to develop exchanges and partnerships among mountain people of different countries. The organization seeks to "put the arts to work" by harnessing the power of traditional culture for economic development, education, and environmental preservation. Vista 360° has carried out programs in Central Asia and other regions.
During their visit, the Vista 360° delegation explored possibilities for future cultural exchanges with Afghan and international partners.
This video captures a buzkashi match with cowboy Gail Steiger and buzkashi players in Kabul. Gail wrote the song heard on the video, called “Echoes,” in honor of his trip.