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Customs of anklebone games

[ English ]

Country :
Mongolia
ICH Domain :
Social practices, rituals, festive events
Location :
throughout the Mongolia
Year of Designation :
1987
Description :
In the culture of Mongolians, some of the bones of the animals are used and respected in the worship, ritual and traditional games. The anklebone of animals is one of these respected bones. Since Mongols have domesticated the livestock animals, they have created the culture of the anklebone as well. There are about 120 variations of anklebone games, such as “Horse race”, “Milking mare”, “Catching anklebones”, “Anklebone guessing”, “Flick anklebones”, “Throwing a khomboroo”, “Set four difficult”, “Birth of Camel”, “Multicoloured turtle”, “Anklebone shooting”, and so on. Playing games with anklebone is helpful to the nurture of children, and it gives them a chance to check their speed and sight, and let them recognize the appearance, age and sex of animal, and to learn the insight to love and protect animals, and to develop their language and mentality. Additionally, this game has an effective influence to the growth of creative and nurtured person through mother language, folk literature and folklore.
Meaning :
Knucklebone games are important merrymakers, and at the same time they help to develop intelligence, increase creative thinking and exercise hand, finger movements, challenge eye sight and concentration as well as foster collective identity.
Transmission method :
by participation in the games
Communities :
Most of the population