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Traditional Indigenous Games

The Traditional Indigenous Games project is raising awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture while promoting healthy lifestyles through the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018).

The initiative gives people the chance to try traditional games that were played by Indigenous children in many different parts of Australia.

It’s an opportunity for locals and visitors to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures in a fun, healthy and active way through play.

The Gold Coast’s Kaialgumm Games Trail launched in May 2017 as Queensland’s first Traditional Indigenous Games Trail.

The Embracing 2018 Legacy Program is building on this success to fund additional Games Trails in parks, gardens and public spaces in Queensland, including within the Commonwealth Games Village.

Infrastructure including signage with instructions for downloading online resources, games information and rules will be installed at each location.

These projects are being delivered in partnership by the Office of the Commonwealth Games, Department of Housing and Public Works and Nature Play Queensland.

This initiative forms part of the GC2018 Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) to recognise, respect and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and leave a meaningful legacy beyond the Games.

Edor

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Traditional Indigenous Games: Edor

Edor is a chasing-tagging team game which originates in the Aurukun Aboriginal community in North Queensland. The game is also known as idor, ida or the running game. To play the game, create two teams and set up an area with goal lines at each end. The game can change direction many times in a game. Once a goal is scored all players return to the centre and start again. All players assemble in the middle and choose a person, known as an edor. The edor must try to get to their team’s goal line without being tagged. If a defender tags the edor then they become the edor and must try to reach their goal line.

Kai

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Traditional Indigenous Games: Kai

The Kai game is from the Torres Strait Islands. Kai wed means ball playing. To play the game, split all players into at least two teams, stand in a circle and keep the ball from hitting the ground using only the palms of your hands. Count how many times your team hit the ball into the air before it drops.

Kaidu Babu

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Traditional Indigenous Games: Kaidu

Kaidu Babu is a popular water game that was played on Mabuaig Island in the Torres Strait. The objective of the game is to see who can swim the longest distance underwater.

Kee'an

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Traditional Indigenous Games: Keean

Kee’an is a game used to improve throwing skills for hunting in northern Queensland. The work Kee’an means ‘to play’ in the Wik-mungkan language of North Queensland. The equipment used mimics a bone that would have been used for hunting. The aim of the game is to get a foxtail or tennis ball in a long sock into a hoop, about 3-5 metres away. A point is scored every time the foxtail lands in the hoop. This game is mostly played for fun but you can keep score if you want.

Kobangan

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Traditional Indigenous Games: Koabangan

Koabangan involves hiding an object in a designated area. Players have to find the object. The game is best played in areas where there are lots of trees and or shrubs.

Kolap

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Traditional Indigenous Games: Kolap

Kolap is all about throwing accuracy and was played on Mer Island in the Torres Strait where the kolap nut is found. A minimum of two people are need to play the game. Additional players can be divided into two teams. To play the game, set up a target mat and give each player four kolaps. Each player then throws their kolaps as close as the target as possible. A point is scored every time a kolap lands of the mat. The team with the most points wins. If you have lots of players you could turn the game into a matchplay competition, where players are part of a team but compete individually. Don’t worry if you don’t have access to Kolap nuts. You can use rock or bark to play and draw the target in the dirt. Remember to put everything back where you found it at the end of the game.

Marngrook

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Traditional Indigenous Games: Marngrook

The Marngrook or game of ball was played by some Indigenous people in Victoria. The ball is kicked into the air and players attempt to catch it. A soccer ball or volley ball is great for this game. Play this game in an area big enough to kick a ball, like an Australian Rules Football field or half a rugby field. There are no teams. The objective of the game is to be the player who catches the ball.

Taktyerra

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Traditional Indigenous Games: Taktyerra

This game originated in Victoria and involves players throwing sponge balls at each other. The winner is the person who hits their opponent the most times. A good Taktyerra player is able to defend and attack simultaneously.

Tarnambai

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Traditional Indigenous Games: Tarnambai

Tarnambai means running in the Batavia area of Cape York in Far North Queensland. Players roll the ball away from their partners who then pick it up and return it to the starting point. The team that can roll the ball the most times and return it in a fixed period is the winner.

Walbiri

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Traditional Indigenous Games: Walbiri

This is a memory-testing game played by the Walbiri children of Central Australia. Players are required to recall objects related to the local area on a map drawn by players. Game description courtesy of the Australian Sports Commission.

Weme

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Traditional Indigenous Games: Weme

Weme is a stone-throwing game observed in central Australia. It is similar to bowls, but involves trying to knock a ball outside of a designated circle.

Woggabaliri

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Traditional Indigenous Games: Woggabaliri

Woggabaliri means play among many indigenous languages in central and southern New South Wales. The games objective is to keep a ball off the ground through kicking it. The game is ideal for 2 or more players.

Benefits

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games will transform the Gold Coast and Queensland by creating benefits for our communities before, during and after the 11 days of competition. These are the benefits that this initiative will bring to Queenslanders both within the Gold Coast and across our state:

  • GC2018 provides greater opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and promotes an increased awareness and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture

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