Igba Koso: The game of koso is played by two boys at a time. Before the modern koso made out of metal or plastic materials were known, koso instrument was made out of akpacha, a kind of snail species. Akpacha is picked from the bush; and the snail content is carefully removed from the shell without damaging it. The shell is carved into koso.
The pitch of koso game is simple. It consists of a small heap of dry sand gathered and kept on a spot in the compound. It is on this heap of sand that the game is played.
The game is played using two fingers to spin the koso on the small heap of sand. While the koso spins, the player uses his fingers to slide it to enable it to overturn either directly on the sand, or slightly away from it. If the koso overturns, the player has made a score. As a result, he has to punish his opponent by tapping his fingers facing downwards with the koso. He does this by causing the koso to spin furiously and thus tapping his finger on the back of one of his palms. The game may continue as long as the players want.
Ifian Akpere: This game is played by a person at a time. The instrument used for the game is akpere. Unlike the akpere seeds previously mentioned, akpere for this game is a small piece of carved material in form like, but a little bigger than koso. The akpere used for this game is carved out of akanta stick. Also necessary for this game is a small stick of about 20 metres long at the end of which is tied a string. The string is often made out of ede or uken fibers, which are appropriately strong for the purpose.
To play this game, the player starts the akpere by rolling it with the string and flinging it into spinning. He uses the string to strike the akpere occasionally to make it spin faster and moving from one direction to another. The game is played on a dry, clean and non-sandy ground.
Akwere Otunko (Swinging): Akwere is a big rope that climbs on a tree in the bush. The game’s song, otunko, means swinging. The game is played with an end of an akwere, which has been cut from the stem and left at a height at which it could be handy to the players of the game. The game is played one after the other. When a player holds the akwere, he takes his legs up by bending his knees. Others push him side-ways, while they sing akwere otunko, otunko; akwere otunko, otunko, etc.
The game is played in the bush. At times, some boys may cut and bring an akwere home and tie it to a branch of pear or kola nut tree in the compound.
The game is very risky, and parents had often frowned at their sons found indulging in it. Because of the likelihood of the player falling off and getting injured, it is not a good game.
Iken Ekeleke (Stilt): This game is played by an individual. To play the game, a pair of poles, ekeleke, is required. The poles are carved in such a way that a support for the feet is provided on each at the same height from the bottom. It can however be lower to suit the age and height of the player. A sufficient length is also provided for each pole above the height of the player for him to hold on to, when he climbs on the ekeleke.
The game is played when a child climbs on the ekeleke, resting his feet on the supports and standing erect. He also holds the poles firmly to enable him maintain some balance. He can walk, run or dance on the ekeleke. Often times, different types of games are performed on ekeleke when a group of players are involved.
Igba Ota (Archer): This game is played by a group of boys. In order to play the game, each of the participants requires a bow, ota and arrows, efuru. Also required is any soft object or fruit like plantain stem or orange or pawpaw fruit. This object is brought into the compound for the purpose of the game.
The players will make a mark on the object and decide to aim at the mark from a distance (hitting the bull’s eye) at an agreed number of attempts.
They use their bows and arrows in turns, and the player with the highest hit at the bull’s eye becomes the marksman of the group for the day.
Ira-Enyin: This game has to do with all kinds of game involving head stand, ira-enyin.
Ibe Eka Ozo or Igbu Ebelebe This game includes cart-wheel and all acrobatic displays.
Ido Moto Okwe (A Toy Car): This game involves a group of boys who have agreed to build moto okwe, a toy car. When they gather to build a moto, they will first move to the bush to look for an okwe tree. A medium size okwe tree is located, felled and a sizeable length is brought to the compound. From the wood, four pieces are cut, and a hole is borne through each to provide the four ‘wheels’ for a moto.
Sticks are provided and ropes are used to tie them in order. At times, nails are used if they are available. A platform is provided, and put in place to serve as the seat, which is also tied or nailed to the sticks.
A strong rope is tied to the moto to enable it to be pulled or drawn. The players are pulled or drawn one after the other on it.
The game derives its name from the tree, okwe, with which the four wheels of the moto are made.
Eriri-Ngege: This game is played with a narrow, ringed-bodied insect, isisi-ngi. It is played only during the day by a group of boys.
Eriri-ngege is a soft rope that grows down from a main akwere that climbs a tree. This rope is in form of thread and it is used to tie the insect by the waist without affecting its wings for the purpose of the game.
The players of the game at a time comprise of those who have been able to catch isisi-ngi tied to eriri-ngege. They start the game by throwing and letting loose their insects to fly to a certain agreed point. Some insects may fly straight with their ropes, others may either fly side-ways, backwards or even fall, and unable to fly.
The owner of the first isisi-ngi to reach the agreed point wins the game.
Akpakoro-Kpakoro: This game may sometimes dovetail into onunu ngu. The game is a strenuous one, the aim of the players being to eliminate as many of them as possible.
The players of the game form a circle and hold their hands very firmly. When one of them sings the song of the game, akpakoro, others sing the chorus, kpakoro. As this song is sung repeatedly, the players run around on a circle. When he changes the tune of the song to udume, onyen omara, the others reply in so-ya-ya-ya, so-ya, while stooping and standing hurriedly. They repeat this as many times as onyen omara is sung by the singer. Anybody who falls down or unable to stand quickly is eliminated.
If it is noticed that many players are still surviving, the singer, who often times, is one of the strongest participants, changes the tune of the song to onunu ngu while others sing the chorus, ota eku, etc. This time, the players move and run faster than before, round the circle. Any player who falls down is eliminated from the game.
This continues until there are only a few survivals who are the winners in the game, etc.
To be continued…
Chief (Dr) Onyekpeze .F.A. (JP)