Traditional African Sports and Games:Karssa (A Game Similar To Field Hockey)

By Michael Nakasissa
Updated: February 8, 2006

Today our ongoing series about traditional African sports and games we take a look at Ethiopia and Eritrea.Outside of Egypt,the information about traditional sports in Africa is lacking,but I was able to gather some info,I hope the readers enjoy this tidbit and lead others to do more research.

Ethiopia and Eritrea

Ethiopia and Eritrea

GEORGIA—An Ethiopian Christmas is celebrated by young men from various regions of the country playing a traditional ,hockey-like game called ganna or liddet.It is played with a round puck,or leather ball, and the sticks are shaped like golf clubs.It is a very rough game and only the young men play on the village teams.

According to tradition, shepherds celebrated when they heard of Jesus birth by playing such a game.

The Oromo of Ethiopia also have traditional sports that have been enjoyed by children and young adults such as gugssa (horseback riding), qillee (field hockey), darboo (throwing spears), waldhaansso (wrestling), utaalu (jumping), and swimming.

Eritrea which was formerly a part of Ethiopia also has its share of traditional sports and games that are played by young and old alike.They are karssa (a game similar to field hockey), and a game that involves throwing stones at a target. Both men and women play gebetta, a strategy game played with pebbles on a playing surface created by making depressions in the ground.

Links to Sources: 1.Ganna: 2.Oromo Sports: 3.Eritrea: