Wednesday, April 9, 2008

From Greek Warriors to Malaysian School Girls

Aaron and I have started to play a little Hide and Seek. Its more like he hides and then asks me to find him. Anyway, it got me thinking about the games I used to play as a child.

My most vivid memories of Primary School are partnering up with my best friend and playing 'Five Stones'. I don't even know what we called it back then. AND, I only used the stones when I was learning at home. At school, everybody had little 1" x 1" bags of rice and I got my mother to make me a set too.

The game was all about hand-eye coordination. You had to throw the five stones (or bags) up in the air and then try to catch as many as you can on the back of your hand. A point would be allocated to the player for each stone caught. In between each of these point counting rounds, there was another part to the game where you throw one stone in the air, pick up another from the ground and then catch the first stone again. All this with the same hand. The first round would be picking up the stones one at a time. The second would be two at a time for the two pairs and then the single one. Third round was a three and then one. Sounds a little confusing trying to explain it here but it was GREAT fun. EVERYBODY played it. BUT this was how many 'best friends' broke up because they wanted to partner other better players.

Upon doing some research, the origins of the game are ancient and is sometimes referred to as Knucklebones (sheep's knuckles were originally used). According to Wikipedia, Sophocles mentions the game played by Greeks during the Trojan War. Imagine that!

Some ancient explorer must have brought it to Asia. But those would have been men. BURLY MANLY MEN I imagine. Its funny to think that these days, the game is played only by little girls. What an evolution for the game!

6 comments:

Surfergirl said...

we played that back in school as well. i think we called it "mi bao" or something that sounds like that. interesting to know its origins because we thought all along they were chinese jackstones.

John said...

sounds similar to Jacks. Interesting post, Amanda.

Bilbo said...

I agree with John...it does sound like Jacks. I wasn't coordinated enough to play those well, either.

Kellan said...

Very interesting game. I've never heard of it, but I can imagine it and it sounds like fun!

Take care Amanda - see ya - Kellan

Nap Warden said...

I have never heard of this game. We played a game called four square. I was a bit obsessed with it...

elizabeth embracing life said...

I love reflecting back on the games I played. That is too funny this games origin. Who knew?!