Records from around 2800 BC show the practice of water jousting was created by the ancient Egyptians to solve disputes and conflicts between individuals or sometimes even entire villages. Men would fight each other with long poles that had razor sharp points at the end, wearing no protection.
It was picked up by the Greeks, passed down to the Romans and spread throughout Europe. Some local maritime communities continue their own form of the joust, albeit a much more modern and safe version, only confirming the assumption that today’s sports have become too soft.
However, the version we are showing you is the "hardest" and most authentic version of the sport out there.
The objective of the “game” of Fishermen’s jousting was to knock one’s opponents into the Nile River from their papyrus reed boats. The pain caused by a hit from the pole was not the end of it – most men couldn’t swim and would drown. The ones who could swim had to combat the dual threat of ravenous crocodiles and hippopotamuses that lurked underneath the surface and would most definitely chomp them to death.
However, it was considered honorable in Egyptian culture to be eaten by a crocodile or hippo.
Modern knowledge of this sport comes from studying ancient Egyptian tomb reliefs, such as the one depicted on the left, and is fairly limited as such. These depictions show that each vessel held a small group of men, each one wielding a long pole. While most of the crew used theirs to maneuver the boat, a few of them would stand upright, wielding their poles to knock opponents off their respective boats
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