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Ancient Game of Lelo Pits Villager Against Villager

While the rest of the country celebrates Easter every year at home around the dinner table, one village in western Georgia marks the day with a rugby-like scramble that effectively blocks traffic for hours on the country’s East-West national highway. The game, lelo ( "goal" in Georgian), has no rules, no time-outs and no limit to the number of men who may play. The object is to bring a 16-kilogram ball, brought out by a priest, to the riverbank, where the winning team will be able to claim it and deposit it on a cemetery plot of their choice.

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Justyna Mielnikiewicz is a freelance photojournalist based in Tbilisi.

Ancient Game of Lelo Pits Villager Against Villager

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