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Alexandra Nastaeva and Pupils of Secondary School No 12: Games With Ankle Bones

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Churyumova, Elvira 
Terbish, Baasanjav 


At the beginning Alexandra explains the rules of each game in the video to the pupils. The game called ‘Shoot out’ is played by two teams, consisting of two to four players in each. Each player is given three ankle bones to shoot at ankle bones arranged in a line on the floor. The ankle bones pushed out of the line are taken by the shooter. The winner is who has collected the most ankle bones. ‘Zurgan’, a board game, requires two players. The game ‘Tsayakha’ helps to learn animal anatomy. Ankles bones are arranged in the form of the tail, heart, lungs, kidney and so on of animals. The players throw a dice in turn and remove ankle bones from the anatomical arrangement. The number of ankle bones that one can remove should be the same as the number shown on the dice. The winner is who collects the most ankle bones. In the past, children played this game during Zul or Tsagan Sar. The game ‘Urldan’, which means a horse race, can be played by several people. First, ankle bones are arranged in a circle resembling a race ground, and each player is given two ankle bones as ‘horses’. All players receive two ankle bones each dyed in different colours. Then each player gives an ankle bone (a ‘horse’) to a judge while putting another (‘horse’) on the race line. Then the judge throws the collected ankle bones and decides which player’s horse goes by how many steps. The winner is who has finished the race first. The game ‘Dzhirge’, which means a ‘line, row’ in Kalmyk, is played on a special board with a schematic depiction of a yurt. The number of ankle bones to be used in the game is 24. The players are instructed to build lines or rows with the ankle bones. The winner is who has built the longest line.



games, ankle bones, animal, players, board

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Sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.