– Gameness til the End
How Old is the Asil?
The “Asil” as a breed (or better type of bird) is maybe even more then 3000 years old. Clay seals with fowl silhouets resembling the Kulang Asil in type have been found in the city of Mohenjo-daro. It was one of the largest city-settlements in the Indus Valley Civilization which thrived in ancient times along the Indus River. Mohenjo-daro itself is located in the Larkana District in the modern-day province of Sindh, Pakistan and was build before 2600 BC. The city was one of the earliest urban settlements in the world. Also evidence of cockfighting has been found. Before the start of the Muslim conquests onwards the 8th century AC the birds we know as “Asil” today were known under their local Hindu names.
The name “Asil” is of Persian-Arabic origin. It was not known in Indian languages. This means also that the expression “Asil” being used in India technically cannot be older then the 8th century AC when Muslim forces from present Afghanistan conquered the regions Sindh and Multan (since 1947 Pakistani territory). The main Muslim conquests of northern and central Indian took place onwards the 12th century. The Muslim culture, traditions and language merged finally into the existing Hindu society. This took a great flight under the rule of Mughal ruler Akbar the Great (1543-1605).
During my research over the years I got more and more convinced that the Reza Asil must have been bred and selected from the existing large Kulang Asil through selection. Why was the Reza Asil developed ? Am not sure about it but I see great parallels with another very popular Muslim sport in Western Asia, the fighting with the small but very vicious partridges and quails.
Maybe they tried to create a similar sport but then with small gamefowl, The Reza Asil. Who knows?