Õllamalīztli Mesoamerican ball game arenas Known as õllamalīztli in Nauhautl, this ball game dates back to 1600 BC. A newer version (yet just as old), Ulama is still played by indigenous people of southern and central America. The rules of the game have been lost in time but this sport was played at cermonial events with ritualistic aspects to make the sport more exciting. The players struck the ball with their hips,  forearms and knees.The ball was made of solid rubber and weighed as much as 4 kg. The aim was to get the ball into the stone hoop that was built into the walls of the arena, metres off the ground. The ball was not allowed to touch the ground. These arenas vary in size, but all have long narrow alleys with slanted side-walls against which the balls could bounce. Two reasons for the game are argued for this sport. One being that it served as an alternative way for conflicts to be resolved without going into warfare, the other reason holding more sacrificial implications where the losing team would serve as human sacrifice to complete rituals. Either way, it was humbling to climb down the stone walls into the arena and stand where once, bold gladiators, fought and played.

Posted by Saffa at 2023-04-04 14:10:20 UTC