Throwing Embroidered Ball

Throwing Embroidered Ball
Throwing embroidered ball is a traditional game of the Zhuangs in western Guangxi Autonomous Region. It has a long history. But originally it was a bronze weapon-Feituo used for throwing in the war and hunting. Later people had changed it into an embroidered bag to throw each other for entertainment. In the Song dynasty (960AD-1279AD), it became a way to express the love between the youth of the Zhuangs. Now it is still popular in the areas such as Baise, Liuzhou, Nanning and Hechi in Guangxi province.
At each singing party in the traditional festivals such as the Spring Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival, the youth of the Zhuangs will invite each other at the village side, the edge of the field or on the bank of the river. And then they are divided into male and female sides. When the two sides decide their places to sing in antiphonal style and throw the balls, they begin to ask each other in songs. The songs include very rich contents of ideals, feelings and the agricultural affairs and so on.
When they sing to the most exciting moment, the girls begin to swing the balls in their hands and throw them to the boys whom they set their minds on. The boys' are supposed to have quick reaction and catch the balls right. The boys who have caught the balls will tie their gifts such as the silver ornaments or coins to the balls, and throw back to the girls as gifts if the boys also set their minds on the girls. The more expensive the gift is, the deeper feeling it shows. If the girl accepts the gift it means she agrees the court from the boy.
In recent years, local people developed competition rules according to its features, and makes it a traditional duel sport. The ball with the cover of colorful silk is 6 centimeters in diameter, and is filled with grains or sand. The bottom of the ball is sewed with tens of ribbons of more than 10 centimeters long. The game requires perfect skills. In competition, the male team and the female team stand on two sides and throw the balls into the small hole (with a diameter of 60 centimeters) on the top of the 10-meter high wood pillar.