GAMES FOR THE BOYS
Ogan This is the most popular game among the girls. It does not require any special pitch. It can be played anywhere in the compound or along a lane.
The game involves two players at a time irrespective of the number of the participants. One player must be in the ring, ogbo, to claim all winnings made until she is counted out to enable the opponent to take her turn in the game. While the game is played, the players clap their hands, and may sing some songs accompanied with great body movement.
The game has some rules:
- When the players face each other, a fastly completed round of the game ends with only one movement of alternative legs by the players. If the round ends all that so quickly, the player in the ring has made a score. But she has no score if the same legs were moved by them. In that case, a trial is made.
- If that trial ends in the movement of alternative legs by them, the player in the ring now makes a score. But if they moved similar legs, there is no score.
- The third and final trial is entertained to make the player in the ring to make a score in the round or to be counted out of the ring, meaning that the game slips her, ope. If this trial ends with movement of alternative legs, the player in the ring has now made her score for the round, at last. But if the same legs were moved the player in the ring does not only miss any score for the round, but she is counted out of the ring. Her opponent now takes her turn, and so on.
Where there are many involved in the game, the participants share themselves into two equal opposing teams. Each team stands on a row facing the other.
The first player to be sent to take a round may be the youngest at the tail end of the team’s row or the oldest from the other end of the row. But when started, the order has to be maintained serially. A player is sent out to the opponents to compete with them one after the other. The player may have a quick or delayed round of the game with each of the opponents. She makes a score for her team if she is able to outwit all in the row. She may make more scores until she is counted out or defeated by one of the opponents. Some skillful players of the game are able to make many scores before they are sent out of the ring. Some may not be able to make any successful round before they are sent out. When a player is counted out, the other team sends out a player to be in the ring. The players take their turns alternatively until all the participants have taken part in the game.
The game can last for very long time depending on the number of players. Where the number on each row is few, the players can afford to repeat the game as many times as they may wish. The team that has more scores is declared the winner.
Akobie An akobie is a moulded female figure. A group of girls from a particular Idumu may decide to mould one that is ikpu akobie. It is moulded out of mud and decorated with all sorts of paintings. The owners call it their akobie. They cherish and maintain it guardedly during the period it lasts.
In most cases, an akobie is moulded when the phase of the moon is new. During the evenings and the nights, especially when the moon is on, the owners of the akobie play and dance around it. During this period, most of their time on Eken days is spent sitting and playing round their akobie. An akobie may stay up to a month or a little longer before it is destroyed.
On the day the akobie will be destroyed, the owners will each contribute food items. They cook, eat and dance after which they carry the akobie to a bush or to a four-corner road junction in the village, ebu eto ebu eno.
Kpokwame Irogwe To play this game, the participants sit on bare ground facing one another in two rows with the feet of each player touching those of the person sitting opposite her. They also sit very close to one another in order that their bodies touch. A scarf tied into a bundle is kept at the middle of the row of the legs of the players.
While the players clap and sing the song of the game, kpokwame irogwe, kpokwame irogwe, iyo-o adiwewe, etc, they move their legs together with their thighs moving up and down to cause the scarf to move along their stretched legs.
The game requires great body movement. As they all sing the song of the game, they clap their hands, and beat their thighs together and moving all their body. Any person, especially those by the ends of the rows who allow the scarf to fall down is said to ‘drink’ it, ora. The game may be restarted many times after such breaks.
Kpone Itaba The game is similar to kpokwame irogwe both in song, body movement and sitting position. The difference between them is that the players interlock their legs in kpone itaba, while they sit in such a way that the passage along which the scarf moves becomes narrower.
In this game, the scarf is prevented from falling by the restrictive movement of the players. The game does not aim at getting a defaulter; rather it aims at arousing interest and thus encourages active participation of the players. The song for the game is kpone itaba, kpone itaba, iyo-o adewewe; itaba ogu, itaba agu, iyo-o adewewe, etc.
This game entails greater body movement than kpokwame irogwe.
Onyen Ahu Igwa This is a game for selected girls who have beads, akpolo, to display during a moon light play. The player exposes her beaded waist while playing the game. Very often, the grown up girls organize the younger ones to play the game.
The game is played one after the other. While a player takes her turn at the middle of the circle formed by the participants, the others sing the song of the game, onye ahu igwa, chorus, gwai-gware; onye ahu igwa gwai-gware, etc. The girl in the ‘ring’ continues to clap her hands over her head in consonance with the song. She stretches her body and continues to move her waist in order that the beads make some noise. The other senior girls in turn, touch the player by her waist as she is performing.
The girls prevent any boy from touching them when they engage in this game. Any boy, who dares, especially sneaking to touch the girl’s waist, is given a hot chase by the girls, etc.
To be continued…
Chief (Dr) Onyekpeze .F.A. (JP)
IKA CULTURAL GAMES AND ENTERTAINMENTS