Another photo from that series. Here’s what the photographer has to say about it:
“Every year, about 1,200 wrestlers attend the competition and wrestle in different categories of skill with ages ranging from boys to men in their late 50’s. The wrestlers wear tight, short leather trousers called ‘Kispet’, made of buffalo leather weighing approximately 30 pounds, and they cover themselves entirely with olive oil. The olive oil the wrestlers rub on their bodies before a match is a fundamental element to the sport, and holds religious significance. The oil represents the spiritual being within Man and serves as a reminder of the importance of spiritual balance during the match. Wrestling without the oil and therefore without the spiritual relationship is considered harmful for the improvement of the human character.
The wrestlers train for this competition for an entire year. To win a match, you must throw your opponent onto your back, which is an almost impossible task given the amount of olive oil that is used. The winner’s prize is a 24K gold belt, which is only given to a wrestler if he wins the competition three years in a row.”
Olive oil, leather shorts, 24K gold? Sign me up!
Copyright Pari Dukovic