Lattu or spinning top are used to play games in India and Pakistan. This has been a traditional game of India which used to be liked and played by every kid, but now it is losing its importance due to the interest taking priorities. This game used to be popular for kids. It is still played in the inner colonies of old area of Udaipur. Lattu is a part of life for children in Indian villages.
The History of the Spinning Top :
1) The spinning top has been in existence for thousands of years. Like many traditional games, such as marbles, the earliest tops are made from clay, and were discovered in the Middle Eastas early as 3500 BC, it is likely that children would have been spinning small rocks long before.
2) Later wooden spinning tops emerged in around 2000 BC, and early spinning tops made from bones have been found in Europe.
3) Those spinning tops were much simpler than many tops found in old fashioned toy shops today, and it did spin with a twist of the fingers.
4) It is such a surprising thing that a wooden top can balance itself on a point of a nail. It is because of what is known as the “Gyroscopic Effect”, which combines the universal laws of inertia (& momentum), friction and gravity, and the transference of potential to kinetic energy.
5) Spinning tops have been used throughout history for many purposes. Children have used them for centuries as toys and pastimes. They have also been used in prophecy, gambling and as gifts to honor the Gods, or in some cultures, as items to take into the afterlife. Today, spinning tops provide play and distraction. They are also used in tournaments and championships in games of skill as well as in role-playing games.
The other names for this game :
1) Bambaram in Karnataka / Tamil
2) Lattu in Urdu
3) Top in English
4) Bongaralu Aata in Andhra Pradesh
Requirement for Top :
1) Wooden top ( coloring is an option. It could be made interesting by designing it in any way we need).
2) Pointed nail for getting the centre.
3) String which is useful for spinning the top, it is also used for lifting up the spinning top.
How to play the game :
1) Top is a very simple game having very simple rules to follow.
2) All the players have to go for the ‘toss’ which is known as ‘Goes’ at the same time. The ‘Goes’ process is, after counting 1, 2, 3 all the players should wind their tops with their ropes. Then unwind it by releasing it from the rope, throwing it on the ground to rotate and pick it up with the rope as quickly as possible. It depends on managing the shortest rope length which helps you to rotate it and allowing you to catch it back with the rope.
3) Conditions for losing the toss :
- a) If the top fails to rotate on its nail on the ground – it is called ‘Mattai’ , which means you lose the toss.
- b) If you fail to catch the top through the rope then you lose the toss.
- c) The last person to finish the ‘Goes’ lose as well.
4) The player who loses the toss will keep his top in the circle drawn on the ground. The rest of the players will have to attack on the top which is spinning in the centre of the circle.
5) The players who managed to win the toss successfully will try to spin their tops over the top in the circle trying to break them OR trying to get it out of the circle.
6) The other way of playing is :
- a) A group of players having their own tops will try spin their tops one by one. One player amongst the group will be keeping track of all the players time score. Whoever manages to spin the top for a longer duration will win the match.
- a) If you land your top’s nail on top of the top inside the circle, it would leave a mark called ‘Aakkar’.
- b) The best player’s top will have minimum number of Aakar as it is even the matter of prestige.
- c) To avoid the top getting too many Aakar, the players always keep a spare top ‘ Pondatti Top’ which means wife in Tamil. The players use ‘Purushan Top’ (husband in Tamil) to give Aakar o others’ top and use Pondatti Top to receive Aakars from others.
- d) Players always take god care of Purushan Top.
- e) They will pick the nails from blacksmith’s shop, sit with him to see if he inserted the nail in the top without any cracks.