10 Traditional Sports in Ethiopia & More

Segno maksegno and 10 traditional sports in Ethiopia
Floor pattern for segno maksegno

10 Traditional Sports in Ethiopia + 3 More

Here are 10 traditional sports in Ethiopia as well as some of her traditional games:

  1. Genna – Gena – Qarsa (a traditional sport similar to field hockey)
  2. Gebeta – Gabata – Gebet’a (a mancala game)
  3. Lamlameta (another mancala game)
  4. Akukulu – Kukulu – Acoocoolu (a variant of hide-and-seek)
  5. Demo – Pepsi
  6. Segno Maksegno (a form of hopscotch)
  7. Awo Aydelem
  8. Kelebosh – Kilibosh – Handaie
  9. Arenguade
  10. Suzi
  11. Leba ena Police
  12. Teter
  13. Biy

Traditional Games in Ethiopia: Segno Maksegno

Segno Maksegno or “Monday Tuesday” is a traditional Ethiopian game that is a variant of hopscotch.

One plays the game by first drawing lines on the ground, usually with chalk or just lines in the dirt. They are separated by approximately 40 cm.

Each box drawn represents a “home”, which can be appropriated as property with ownership.

The game begins by one person in a group throwing the first stone into the collection of “homes”.

The person will have to successfully jump through the collection of “homes” without touching the “home” with the stone.

If done properly, the same player will continue to go through all the “homes”, if still successful throughout they will be able to choose one of the “homes” to “own”.

Owning a “home” means that only that person can touch/jump on it, and no one else.

If one of the parts is divided in the middle, the person can jump with both feet, but if not, then would have to use only one foot.

If a person cannot jump through the area, then they will have forfeited their turn and will start the next game.

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If a person cannot throw the stone in the correct place, i.e. within the real estate, they too will have forfeited their turn.

The jumps made are two ways, they have to go forward and return, and owning a “house” means they can jump with one or two feet on it.

Owning a “house” also entitles the person to write their name or any other such sign they wish.

The game ends only when one of the players owns all the houses or when the positioning of the house ownership makes it impossible to jump successfully anymore.

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Ethiopian Games: Akukulu Game/Akukulu Ethiopian Traditional Game

This traditional Ethiopian game, usually played with about 6-15 people, is similar to hide-and-seek.

The game begins with one player in the group (the seeker) staring at a wall (known as his/her house, home base, or the Mariam), avoiding eye contact with the other players.

The others, in the meantime, have to find hiding places.

After a while, the seeker on the wall will begin to make the “coocoolu” sound, imitating the sound hens make in the morning.

The others attempting to hide will reply “alnegam” or it is not morning yet, implying that the hen (seeker) should not leave his/her house.

The seeker will continue to make the sound till everyone in the group trying to hide has hidden themselves and start to reply “nega” or the sun has risen.

At this point, the seeker will actively attempt to find those in the group that are now hidden.

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In the meantime, the hidden have to make it stealthily to the seeker’s wall or “home” and place their hand on it and kiss their own hand. This makes them safe.

The seeker will have to find the hidden before they reach the wall, and call out their name and go to his wall “home” and touch the wall while kissing his hand.

If the seeker arrives before the hidden whose name was called out, then the hidden will be “captured”, and remain waiting at the seeker’s wall.

The winners are those that make it safely to the wall.

Photo Credits: Origins

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