Nomads play games of their ancestors in flatlands

Published 26.09.2017 20:22
Nomads play games of their ancestors in flatlands

The modern nomads of Muş, who journey to the province from Şırnak every year to feed their livestock, are keeping the ancient traditions of their ancestors alive by playing games that they learned from their fathers, passing the time they spend in the flatlands.

In the flatlands of Muş province, where there is no electricity, these nomads find themselves without any means of communication, cut off from the modern world and choosing to pass the time by playing the games that their fathers and grandfathers played.

One of these nomads, Abdulselam Ergün from Muş's Şenyayla district, said that a total of 60 people live in the region, all part of 15 nomadic families that spend most of their time taking care of livestock.

Ergün went on to say that his family members enjoy spending their spare time playing traditional sports, adding that these games are a unique part of their culture and are not widely known in other, urbanized areas of Turkey.

The game of "gog," according to Ergün, is the most widely placed and favorite game among the nomadic families, noting: "Our families try to keep these games alive since they are part of our tribal traditions. Since we do not have electricity or cell phone service in the flatlands, we are teaching these games to our children as well."

The nomads of the flatlands organize sports matches on certain days of the week, during which the men gather and form teams, giving everything they have to win the match.

"Gog" is played with two teams and is similar to the American sport of baseball. Both teams are tasked with hitting a ball with a stick, and the team that doesn't hit the ball must try to catch it. Upon grabbing the ball, the team members must try to tag the members of the other team to score.

"Koç Kavgası" ("Ram Fight") is another favorite sport among the nomads. This game can be played with as many players as preferred, and team leaders form two teams. The players hold one foot with their hands and try to knock the other team's players over using their foot. Whoever falls down first loses a point.

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