Monday, December 6, 2010

The Game of Tejo

Ready to throw.
Among things Colombian, tejo ranks right up there with chicha, beauty pageants, vallenato music and bandeja paisa. 

You could call it Colombia's version of tossing horseshoes or bocce balls - but with a bang. In tejo, you throw an iron disk weighing up to several kilograms at a clay pit area. But the real excitement comes when slams onto one of the gunpowder-filled paper envelopes on the target area, which explodes with a satisfying bang!
Tejo style!
Tejo is descended from a pre-Colombian game named turmequé, in which players hurled a gold disc called a  zepguagoscua as far as they could.

In 2000, Colombia's Congress declared tejo to be the country's national sport. (Perhaps a wise move, since Colombia does so poorly at international futbol.)
And my hand is almost big enough to palm a basketball!
The goal: hit one of these little gunpowder-filled envelopes!
This novice player got one of the envelopes, and plans a brilliant future in tejo.
While popular in Colombia, tejo's not likely to spread to other, more lawsuit-minded nations. Just imagine the ambulance-chasing lawyers salivating over the prospects of drunks tossing heavy blocks of metal.
Tejo playing is financed and lubricated by lots of cerveza.
The champion Bogota Bike Tours tejo team rolls homeward. 
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours


adriana Maria said...

Where is this place in Bogota?

Miguel said...

On Calle 20, between Carreras 8 and 9, across the street from the fruit market and near the Las Nieves Church.

Hope that helps.