many other ethnic groups of the world, the Tripuri children
and youths have their traditional games and sports. But it deserves mention here
that the traditional sports of the Tripuris are almost in common with other
Tripuri speaking tribes of Tripura. Now-a-days though the Tripuri children have
adopted the other castes' games and sports they, till in this last part of the
twentieth century, play their traditional sports and games at least once in a
blue moon. Out of many traditional sports and games of the Tripuri community,
some are detailed here. The Tripuris call the games as 'Thwngma'.
This game is played to test the strength of a young man. A child
clings to the chest of a man whose waist is tied with one end of a rope. Another
man, holding the other end of the rope firmly stands at his back. As the game
begins, the man with the child on his chest forces to move forward while the
player who stands at the back tries to draw back his opponent by pulling the
rope. The one who succeeds in his efforts wins the game.
Two posts of bamboo are placed on the ground. On these two bamboos
two udukhals (a large wooden mortar used for husking grains) are kept. Two
individuals sit on either sides facing each other and join the two udukhals at a
time. An individual passes through the udukhals before they are joined by the
two persons sitting on either side. This tries the ability of an individual.
This is a pole wrestling played by two individuals. A bamboo pole
is taken to play this game. The players stand at a specific distance from each
other. A mark is put in their middle. The two ends of the bamboo pole are then
placed under their right armpit and each grasps it firmly by 1)0th hands.
Now-both the players try to cross over the marking between them by pushing back
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This game is played between two individuals to test their strength
of wrist. A stake of the diameter of a grip is fixed on the ground keeping the
length above the ground just to provide two grips of the two hands of the
contenders. Each contender grips the stake firmly by his right hand and while
one tries to pull out the stake, the other presses it down to keep the status
quo of the stake. The one who succeeds in his efforts wins the trial.
A long bamboo is placed on the ground horizontally. Apart from the
bamboo seven pieces of bamboo slits are taken. A person takes up the bamboo
slits in his hand and jumps around the bamboo and drop the slits after a jump,
Likewise, he has to pick up the slits going on jumping around the bamboo. But it
needs to be mentioned here that this game is not popular and not common among
all the Tripuris.
The swinging game is played by the Tripuri children. Two long ropes are
hung from a strong branch of a tree and a short bamboo on a wooden log is tied
with the two ends of the ropes to make a seat. Two children sit on the wood
holding the ropes by their hands and push forward with a stroke of the leg to
swing front and back. Sometimes one friend helps the swing by pushing it
This is a pleasure game of the Tripuri children. Two muli bamboos
are taken and in their lower parts about 2 ft. above the ground two small pieces
of bamboo are tied tightly to place the feet on them. 'Then the children climb
on the knots holding the bamboo with their hands and walk or run fast the road.
Like the children of other castes the Tripuri children are also fond of
cooking game. By collecting different leaves, roots, mud, sand, water etc. they
pretend to prepare different curry and rice with water. Bamboo slits, little
pieces of tree roots etc. they use as fire wood. When the pretended preparation
is over, they pretend to serve it among others or to eat it by themselves.
Achugoi phan Solaimani:
It is a type of wrestling. It is played by the two young men to test
their strength. The two young men sit on the ground facing each other and spread
their legs. A thin bamboo or a piece of tree is placed between them for staking
their legs. The two contenders hold horizontally a piece of bamboo, two and a
half cubits in length approximately which remain high above the ground between
them. When the pulling is begun, each contender tries to pull it towards his own
side. He who is able to pull the bamboo piece on his side wins the game.
According to Tripuris 'Solaimani' means wrestling. This free hand
wrestling, which is common to all other community, also exists among the
Tripuris. The object of this wrestling is to subdue or turndown the opponent by
grasping each others chest with their hands.
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This game is also prevalent among the Tripuri children as among
the children of other castes. It is nothing but hide and seek game of toddler
children. They call it Bumanikatar. Children play this game collectively. The
children hide in different places according to their scope and one among the
player remains as seeker, who tries find out the hider one. Another remains as
referee to control the game. The referee covers the eyes of the seeker with his
hands for a while, by which time the players manage to hide themselves. After
the referee sets the seeker free he starts searching too find out the hider
ones. The hider who is traced out first by the seeker turns to be seeker himself
next. As a result, the game is started afresh. By rotation each and everyone is
likely to become a seeker.
Among the Tripuris both the children and youths are habituated to
this game. According to them 'Dukhwi Sotonma' means tug of war. It is played
with pleasure for trial of strength. In nn open field or in the courtyard they
lay this game. The boys divide themselves into two groups. A long rope is taken
and each party stands in a line one after another by holding the rope firmly at
their respective side. The group which can pull their opponent towards them
across a particular mark lying between the parties wins the game.
Nailya wasa means a toy gun. It is made by a little thin green bamboo. A green
thin bamboo consisting of a narrow hollow is required to make this toy gun. The
length of the gun is hardly eight to nine inches and its diameter is a bit
larger than half inch. They use a small rounded wild fruit called 'pisla' as a
A 'pisla' bullet is put in
the open end of this gun barrel and another at the back end of the gun barrel. A
bamboo slit of same length as lie barrel or half an inch shorter than it is
sized with a handle and polished to act as a trigger in the gun. If a push is
given to the bullet by the bamboo slit which is put inside the barrel, the front
bullet of the barrel gets fired off and the rear bullet comes to the front of
the barrel. The gun firing is continued with a load of another bullet at the
back side of the barrel.
Two young men stand back to back by inter locking each other's
hand. Then between the two young men one tries to lift the other from the
This is a game which follows the pattern of frog leaping. This game is
played mainly by the children. The children sit on the ground and hold their
ankles with hands behind their calves. Then they start leaping like the frog.
A boy lying on his chest bends his legs at the knee and holds the
ankles by arms. Another man lies cross wise on his back near the chest of the
first man who lies on his chest. Now, the second man tries to lift the first man
iiy his hands straight above the ground. lie is declared to be the man of
strength if he is successful in lifting up the man and can get to his foot.
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17) Togla Tanlaio: (Cock fighting):
The Tripuri children call this game 'Tagla Tan Laio'. They
pretend to fight each other as cocks. The members of this game are of even
number. They make a boundary in the courtyard or in the plain land and all
participants assemble in that arena. Every contender holds his ankles by bending
one leg at the knee and holds an ear by another hand. Thereafter, one dashes
another by jumping on a single leg. At the time of dashing, if any body's leg or
ear slips from the grip or if he crosses the boundary he is declared out or
Sometimes, the Tripuri boys play a game of bull fight. Two boys facing
each other kneel down on the ground and put their hands in front like forelegs
of the bull. From a certain distance both of them move slowly ahead aiming at
each other. As they come closer, a head to head collision takes place. The
Tripuris call this game 'Khailaio'. In this game though they act as bulls and
fight each other they never take a deadly challenge as the bulls do.
19) Milok Sanlaimani Thwngmung:
This game is played mainly by the little children. At first one
sits on the ground holding a tree or a pole. Behind him other participants sit
in queue holding each other. In the group, one remains separated. He does not
join the line. That desolate man goes to the man sitting infront of the queue
holding the tree or the pole and ask him to give a pumpkin. He then replies that
the seed of pumpkin is not available to anybody. Next time the man comes again
and wants a pumpkin. Then he assures the availability of pumpkin seeds. Next
time when the man wants a pumpkin, he tells that the pumpkin seed has been sown.
Next time when the man comes for a pumpkin he then says that the plant is
growing. After a while the man comes and wants the pumpkin and gets the reply
that the pumpkin plant has creped up on scaffold. Thai man comes again and on
asking for the pumpkin knows that the flowers of pumpkin plant are abloom. Next
time the man arrives and wants to take the pumpkin. This time the man gets the
reply that the pumpkin fruits are born in the plant. Thereafter when the man
comes for the pumpkin, he gets the answer that the pumpkin is growing gradually.
After a while when the man comes again and wants to get a pumpkin then he is
said that if he possesses the capacity then he can gather one. This time the man
tries to get one by pulling any one from the queue holding each other. If the
man is capable to draw one ultimately from the queue, he credits the win.
20) Badul Thwngliamung:
The Tripuri boys play this game collectively dividing themselves
in to two teams. In each team the numbers of players remain equal. They are used
to play this game in the open field. At the time of play a mark is given between
the two parties. No player is allowed to cross over this marking by any means.
Even when the game starts, everybody is restricted to go outside the field. They
make a bundle of cloth. As the play begins, one person from either of the group
throws the bundle to his opposite group. In the opposite group an effort is made
by everybody to catch hold of the bundle, and the one who can catch the bundle
gives kite to it and strikes immediately another by it. After the strike he
throws it into the opposite team. The man who gets the strike of this handle is
declared dead, means not effective or qualified in the game. He gets back life
again if he is able to strike anybody by grasping the bundle, otherwise not.
When a member of the party
throws the bundle to the opposite side by striking one in his side, the rival
members are to follow the same regulations. In this way, the team the person,
from any team, who scores highest number of points by striking others through
the bundle, are declared the winners.
2l) Swkwi Thougmani:
Both the Tripuri children and youths are very fond of this game.
They used to play this game with the seeds of a wild creeper bean (Swkwi). The
seeds are flat and of round shape. The colour of the seed is brown wit ii a
patch of black. To play this game, a cleaned, plane land is required. A line
parallel with the side line of the field drawn on one side of the field. Within
this line the Swkwi (seeds) are set in vertical position maintaining distance of
2 inches between them. Another parallel line is drawn at a distance of six to
seven cubits from the previously drawn line. They call this line 'Damsa'. From
the line 'Damsa' another line is drawn, they call it 'Damnui'. The normal
distance between the 'Damcha and Damnui' is about three steps.
The number of players of this
game is not fixed. This game can be played between two to three groups or more.
The number of players or groups depends upon the numbers of the 'Swkwi'. As for
example if low' number of Swkwi are taken, two number of Swkwi are to be set on
the line, the other two then remain. In this case if the number of players are
four they divide themselves into two groups. Among the four players, two are put
into each groups with this two beans. The players of the both side are to strike
the beans kept erect on the line. Five steps are required to complete this
'Swkwi' game. The steps are as (1) Damcha (2) Damnui (3) Sukumurku (4) Yachap
and (5) Karai Kahang.
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At the line of the play the
player is to grip the bean (Swkwi) with his thumb and forefinger. To strike the
target by throwing Swkwi with right hand through the gap created by holding the
toe of the lifted right leg with the left hand, bending down his body. Here, a
restriction is imposed. if the player is able to strike the Swkwi (bean) set
erect on the line by the bean held in his hand he will only he accepted when the
bean of the line comes to a stop at least at a particular distance. This initial
stage of the game is called 'Damsa' . If the game takes place between two
individuals, if a player fails to strike the beans kept on the line, then his
opponent's turn comes. Or if the game is played between two or three parties,
and if a player of a party fails to strike the bean the other players of the
sanw group attempt serially to strike the bean.
After getting over of the 'Damcha'
stage the second stage of the game i.e. 'Damnui' begins. Like Dameha the 'Damuni'
stage is also played iii the same manner. If a player or party is able to
overcome the barrier of the 'Damcha' stage then the third stage is to begin. It
is to be mentioned that in every stage, the style of the striking a bean is the
same, though, a bit different system is also added from the stage of 'Sukumurku'.
In the third stage (sukumurku)
of the game the player is to roll t lie Swkwi (bean) on the ground standing on
the last line of the field. At the time of rolling of the Swkwi the player runs
after the Swkwi uttering 'sukumurku' and stops the Swkwi by the leg at a
suitable place where he feels so. Then he strikes the bean from a place where he
stops the striker bean. If the target is struck successfully then the player
continues to strike the other beans on the line. In these ways if he can strike
the beans one after another without miss he gets qualified for the next stage.
In the fourth stage of the
game i.e. in 'yachap' the player keeps the Swkwi on the back side of the knee
and turns his back. Now he throws the Swkwi (bean) to the playing spot by the
leg from where the Swkwi is kept and then runs after the Swkwi and stops it.
Thereafter he hits the bean of the line by the striker bean held by him. If the
player is able to hit the beans one after another successfully then he continues
for the fifth and final round.
For the final round which
they call 'Karaikahang' the player keeps the Swkwi in the gap of the thumb and
forefinger of the right leg and turns towards the playing arena. Now the player
bends forward and rests his hands on the ground raising his right leg on his
shoulder and throws the Swkwi. Thereafter, he tries to stop the Swkwi running
after it. If lie tails to stop it then he has to strike the Swkwi from the place
where the swkwi stops normally. If the target is struck then the particular
player wins the game. It deserves mentioning here that the style of striking the
beans with the striker bean is same in every stage of play i. e. from Damsa to
Karaikahang. In this game when it is played between two individuals and if a
player misses the attempt then his opponent hcgins his turn. The player
continues to play from the stage where he finishes earlier.
In many occasions they play
this game dividing themselves into different groups. If any member of the group
fails then his partners are to strike the bean serially. The foregoing game
(Swkwi thungmani) most probably could not be described properly as this
particular game is not played by the young generations. On the other hand the
older generations have almost forgotten this game due to the lack of practice
and its complexity. It is worth mentioning here that many of the games mentioned
above are disappearing fast.
It is learnt from
investigation that a few games are quite uncommon tim time present generation of
the Tripuri community though once upon a time these games were played by their
fathers and forefathers.
Due to free mixing with other
neighbouring castes and because of the impact of urbanisation, the traditional
sports of the Tripuri community are losing popularity. Though the present
Tripuri boys and girls are not totally in touch with their traditional sports
they have got attachment with modern sports and games. The schools, the local
clubs and the neighbours of the Tripuri community are extending their helping
hand to make the Tripuri children familiar with the modern sports world. It is
encouraging that many Tripuri children who remain half fed most of the time are
making their foot prints prominent in the sports arena with great enthusiasm. In
many faculties of the sports they are recording high progress and skill.
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