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Zurkhane Games and Tools (Part 2)

zurkhane games


The Zang (Bell) is used by the Morshed to synchronize physical exercises. Zang is cooper pot with a middle rod creating the sound by hitting bell walls. The Morshed uses the Bell to announce the entrance or exit of certain individuals, into or out of the Zurkhaneh when he also hits his Zarb followed by reciting a proper poem about the greatness of the country or religious figures.


The Zarb is a drum-like clay instrument with tanned cortex covering its big head. It is used by the Morshed to create the rhythm and pace of the exercises and encourage and motivate the athletes and crowd.


The Miyandar is the most skilled athlete leading the training session in synced with Morshed and other athletes must follow his moves.


Mil is a wooden cone shaped equipment symbolizing maul in ancient days. Since Zurkhane games were kind of austerity, the Mil was used to build the body. The equipment which probably was made of wood and iron like maul in ancient days had been to practice maul attacks. Modern Mils are made of strong woods like walnut and elm trees. In theTale of PuriayeVali and GolKoshti by Mir Nejat in Safvid era, Milsare described like their modern shape. Mils weight for 1 to 15 kilograms and in twin compatitions they are 30 kilograms. 

Mil Bazi(playing Mil)

Mil Baziis smaller and lighter than other Mils so is used in exhibitions.

Light and Heavy Mils

Light Mil was like Mil Bazi in old days but currently it is also used for exhibiting performances, however, heavy Mils are turned by athletes over their shoulders. Light Mils are used in international events for Mil Giri(throwing and catching Mil). 

Natee (Traditional Trousers)

Traditionally they used a Long over their pajamas but now shorts down to the knees with thick clothes are used as Natee which are decorated with white or colored bands. Waist and knee parts are made of leather.

Translated by: Sadroddin Musawi

Other links:

Historical Foundations of Zurkhane

Resemblance of Zurkhane architecture to Mithraism temples

Zurkhane architecture and Mithraism temples

Edward Brown on popularity of Zurkhane through history

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