World Indigenous Games

By Ueslei Marcelino, Reuters
October-November, 2015

An indigenous man from the Rikbaktsa tribe watches a tug-of-war competition at the first World Games for Indigenous Peoples in Palmas, Brazil, October 29, 2015. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

An indigenous man from the Rikbaktsa tribe watches a tug-of-war competition at the first World Games for Indigenous Peoples in Palmas, Brazil, October 29, 2015. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Ahead of the Summer Olympics in 2016, Brazil is host to a new international event – the World Indigenous Games, with contests including a hockey-like game using a ball of fire.

Competitors from ethnic groups in Brazil, also from as far afield as New Zealand and the Philippines, take each other on in events from tug-of-war and log-carrying, as well as soccer and athletics.

Brazil, home to nearly 900,000 indigenous people, has held a dozen Indigenous Games for its own natives since 1996 and decided to expand the games into an international event.

The inaugural games take place in Palmas, the capital of the northern state of Tocantins, gathering over 2,000 participating indigenous athletes from 30 countries.

Some of the sports contested are unique. They include a type of lacrosse (rokra) using sticks and coconuts, as well as a variety of soccer (xikunahity) using only the head to move the ball.

Copyright Reuters 2015

 

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