A bunch of younger Mexicans is reviving an historical ballgame as soon as performed by the Aztecs, Maya and Incas.
Ulama was performed in Mesoamerica greater than 5 centuries in the past earlier than the Spanish conquistadors arrived within the space in 1519.
Gamers sporting particular belts and loincloths go a rubber ball with their hips. The strong ball can weigh as much as 4kg (9lb).
Whereas there are believed to have been many alternative variations of the sport, most are thought to have concerned rival groups dealing with one another, every confined to its half of the courtroom and passing the ball from workforce to workforce with out dropping it.
In some variations the sport was performed inside a stone courtyard with vertical hoops, which play the same position to these in basketball.
Whereas there was a revival of ulama in some indigenous areas of Mexico, the capital didn’t have an ulama courtroom till very not too long ago when a cultural centre constructed one at an outdated garbage dump within the Azcapotzalco neighbourhood.
Emmanuel Kakalotl is a coach on the new courtroom. “The sport had been forgotten,” he advised Agence France Press information company.
“It was toppled 500 years in the past, however now we’re elevating it up once more,” he explains.
On the new courtroom, ladies are additionally taking over the traditional follow.
Twenty-five-year outdated Beatriz Campos is one in every of them. “We’re ladies warriors at coronary heart, as a result of it is not straightforward. Not simply anybody can play this sport. It takes a whole lot of follow, and your physique takes a beating,” she says.
Earlier than the match she performs a ceremony burning aromatic tree resin.
Ulama is believed to have had ritual and spiritual connotations and members of the group taking part in in Mexico Metropolis right now don elaborate outfits to carry out ceremonies earlier than taking to the courtroom.
They signify totally different mythological deities corresponding to Mictlantecuhtli, the god of the useless.
The sport has been embraced by these taking part in it on the new courtroom in Mexico Metropolis, a few of whom say that moderately than them “rescuing” ulama, the sport has rescued them by giving them a brand new focus.
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