Iranian hobby-horse dance. In north, central and south Iran and through Khorasan in the past but confined to north Khorasan at present, there is the bazi-e asb-e čubi dance of men “riding” on a wooden (or papier-mâché) horse which the dancer manipulates. The rider holds the horse puppet with ties that attach to each of his shoulders, dancing to the music. The horse’s blanket descends to cover the rider’s feet, creating a greater illusion. The wooden-horse rider defeats dancing swordsmen in a fight. In old Tehran, the figure was sometimes a donkey and they called the actor the donkey rider. A lady donkey rider puppet, inspired by this tradition, became a character in the Iranian string puppet show, kheimeh shab bazi.
(See also Iran, Skirted Hobby Horse.)


  • Azimpour, Poupak. Iranian Ritual and Traditional Puppets and Puppet Shows Dictionary. Tehran, Iran: Namayesh Publications, 2010.