The origins of night polo can be found in this extract from the ancient Ain Akbari, which chronicles the life of the emperor Akbar, the founder of the Moghul dynastys in India. Chaugan is one of the various names applied to Polo, although the name "PULU" can be found in Tibetan history about three thousand years ago.
His Majesty is unrivalled for the skill which he shows in the various ways of hitting the ball: he often manages to strike the ball when in the air and astonishes all. When the ball is driven to a gaol they beat a kettledrum, so that all who are far and near may hear it. In order to increase the excitement betting is allowed. The players win from each other, and he who brought the ball to the gaol wins most. If a ball be caught in the air, and passes or is made to pass beyond the goal, the game is looked upon as drawn. At such times the players will engage in a regular fight about the ball, and perform admirable feats of skill. His majesty also plays chaugan on dark nights, which caused much astonishment, even among clever players. The balls which are used at night are set on fire. For this purpose palas wood (Butea frondosa) is used, which is very light and burns for a long time. For the sake of adding splendour to the games, which is necessary in worldly matters, his Majesty has knobs of gold and silver fixed to the top of chaugan sticks. If one of them breaks, any player that gets hold of the pieces may keep them....
The Berbers belong to a powerful, formidable, brave and numerous people; a true people like so many others the world has seen - like the Arabs, the Persians, the Greeks and the Romans. The men who belong to this family of peoples have inhabited the Maghreb since the beginning.
—Ibn Khaldun, 14th century Arab historian
Northwest Africa, defined as such by the confines of the Sahara desert, on the whole is believed to have been inhabited by Berbers since before the beginning of recorded history. The cultures of the Maghreb and the Sahara combine indigenous Berber, Arab and elements from neighboring parts of Europe, Asia and Africa. The largest number of Berbers is found in Morocco. There, Robert Barnete’s studies concentrated upon the nomadic Bedouin and Tuareg Berber tribes.