Insisting on the role of sports and games in socialisation, the author evokes the shah-wazir, a game of skill for boys practiced in the Emirate of Bukhara, through its recent study by ethnographer R. R. Rakhimov in the village of Qal‘acha-yi Ra’is, district of Istrawshan (formerly Ura-Teppa, in present-day northern Tajikistan). Interpreted as a mode of familiarisation of youth with social functions and their hierarchy, the shah-wazir is also seen as a means for psychological integration of the notion of castigation in pre-modern Transoxiana (through the role and status devolved in the game upon the “thief”).

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: II-6.4.E-532