Rediscovering Kerala’s Traditional Games

Enter the vibrant world of Kerala, where culture and tradition blend to create a rich tapestry of history. Traditional games retain a distinct position among the myriad components of Kerala’s cultural playground, inspiring nostalgia and promoting a feeling of togetherness. In this piece, we’ll set out on a quest to rediscover five distinctive and alluring traditional games from Kerala while examining their cultural value and the motivational efforts undertaken to bring these beloved pastimes back to life. Prepare to be sucked into the world of long-forgotten games, where a winning combination of humor, skill, and nostalgia will make for an amazing encounter.


Rediscovering Kerala's Traditional Games

Aadu Puli Aattam, often known as “The Game of Goats and Tigers,” is an ancient strategic board game. It is a square grid game where two players compete against one another, with one team playing as the tigers and the other as goats. The tigers strive to catch as many goats as possible while the goats try to obstruct their movements. This fascinating game explores the long-standing bond between people and nature while simultaneously testing strategic thinking.

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Played with tiny shells or seeds and a hardwood board with several pits, pallankuzhi is an old-school board game. The goal of the game is to capture the opponent’s pieces while defending one’s own; thus, players carefully disperse the shells. This game serves as an example of the simplicity and delight found in classic activities in addition to improving cognitive abilities.

KavadiyattamGAME OF BALANCE 

Rediscovering Kerala's Traditional Games

In the age-old game of kavadiyattam, players demonstrate their ability to balance. It entails performing appealing movements and dance steps while holding the kavadi, a colorful and artistically carved wooden structure, on one’s shoulders or head. This aesthetically stunning game fuses creative expression with physical agility to provide a compelling show for spectators.

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A dice game called Dhayam is played on a board using tiny shells or coins. In order to capture their opponent’s pieces, players take turns rolling the dice and skillfully moving their shells across the board. Dhayam encourages players to use strategy and outmaneuver their opponents while including aspects of chance. Generations in Kerala have enjoyed playing this game of suspense and strategy.


Rediscovering Kerala's Traditional Games

Traditional outdoor Kuttiyum Kolum is played with sticks and stones. There are two teams involved, each with several players. One team throws stones with a stick while the opposing side defends by blocking or diverting them with their own sticks. The goal of the throwing team is to successfully strike the sticks or players of the opposing team with the stones. This game’s use of hand-eye coordination, teamwork, and strategic positioning creates a thrilling and competitive atmosphere.

Traditional games retain a distinct position in Kerala’s rich cultural fabric, bringing new vitality to long-standing customs and bridging generations. These games generate a sense of nostalgia and stoke a mood of excitement and togetherness. From the tactical moves of Kavadiyattam and Dhayam to the exhilarating pursuit of Aadu Puli Attam and the rhythmic clash of Kuttiyum Kolum, Kerala’s cultural playground is revitalized with the brilliant colors of tradition and the laughter of participants young and old as attempts to revive and promote these lost jewels continue. The simplicity and beauty of these ancient games offer a welcome getaway in a world dominated by technology and fast-paced entertainment, reminding us of the timeless pleasures associated with movement, strategy, and shared experiences. 

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