In pictures: The ancient ballgame making a comeback

In photos: The traditional ballgame making a comeback



Mexican Uriel Ordaz, player of a pre-Columbian ballgame called "Ulama", in Mexico City on August 21, 2019Picture copyright
AFP

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).

Ricardo Campos, a player of the pre-Columbian ballgame Ulama, hits a solid rubber ball with his hipPicture copyright
AFP

A man plays a pre-Columbian ballgame called "Ulama" -in Nahuatl indigenous language- which rule is to hit a "Ulamaloni" (solid rubber ball) with the hip or shoulder, during a match at the FARO Poniente cultural centre in Mexico City on August 21, 2019Picture copyright
AFP

A man plays a pre-Columbian ballgame called "Ulama" -in Nahuatl indigenous language- which rule is to hit a "Ulamaloni" (solid rubber ball) with the hip or shoulder, during a match at the FARO Poniente cultural centre in Mexico City on August 21, 2019Picture copyright
AFP

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.

Men play a pre-Columbian ballgame called "Tlachtli" -in Nahuatl indigenous language- which rule is to hit a "Ulamaloni" (solid rubber ball) with the hip or shoulder, during a match at the FARO Poniente cultural centre in Mexico City on August 21, 2019.Picture copyright
AFP

In some variations the sport was performed inside a stone courtyard with vertical hoops, which play the same position to these in basketball.

Dancers and players perform ahead of a game of Ulama in Mexico City on 21 August, 2019.Picture copyright
AFP

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the capital didn’t have an ulama courtroom till very not too long ago when a cultural centre constructed one at an outdated garbage dump within the Azcapotzalco neighbourhood.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.

Dancers perform ahead of a pre-Columbian ballgame called "Ulama" -in Nahuatl indigenous language- which rule is to hit a "Ulamaloni" (solid rubber ball) with the hip or shoulder, at the FARO Poniente cultural centre in Mexico City on August 21, 2019Picture copyright
AFP

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.

Mexican Beatriz Campos, player of a pre-Columbian ballgame called "Ulama" -in Nahuatl indigenous language- performs the "Copal" ceremony ahead of a match at the FARO Poniente cultural centre in Mexico City on August 21, 2019.Picture copyright
AFP

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.

Mexican players Fernando Lopez (left) and Jorge de Jesus Trujillo (right) pose with the rubber ballPicture copyright
AFP

They signify totally different mythological deities corresponding to Mictlantecuhtli, the god of the useless.

Mexican dancer Isaac Luna, who represents "Mictlantecuhtli" (deity of the dead in the Mexica mythology) in a pre-Columbian ballgame called "Ulama" -in Nahuatl indigenous language-, poses for a photograph during a photo session at the FARO Poniente cultural centre in Mexico City on August 21, 2019Picture copyright
AFP

Mexican dancer Jorge de Jesus Trujillo, who represents "Mictlantecuhtli" (deity of the dead in the Mexica mythology) in the pre-Columbian ballgame Ulama poses for a photograph in Mexico City on 21 August, 2019.Picture copyright
AFP

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.

Mexican Elena Garcia, dancer of a pre-Columbian ballgame called "Ulama" -in Nahuatl indigenous language- and whose costume represents her name "Aquetzalli Tlayotzin" (precious water heart of the earth), poses for a photograph during a photo session at the FARO Poniente cultural centre in Mexico City on August 21, 2019.Picture copyright
AFP

Mexican Enrique Villegas, player of a pre-Columbian ballgame called "Ulama" -in Nahuatl indigenous language- poses for a photograph hitting a "Ulamaloni" (solid rubber ball) with his hip, during a photo session at the FARO Poniente cultural centre in Mexico City on August 21, 2019Picture copyright
AFP

All photographs topic to copyright.


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