Intrepid and proud of their strength of arms, Pukhtoons are fond of field sports. In the early stage of his life, a child measures his strength with his compatriots in wrestling bouts called Parzawal. This is followed by other sports of a masculine nature. Later he goes on hunting excursions and finally slings a rifle for his own as well as his tribe's protection.
A detailed study is needed to give all the details of the various sports and games. A brief reference may, however, be made here to some of the important sports common all over the tribal area. These include Kabaddi, Gulli Danda, Larroo or Pat Patoney, Kowat Kannarry, Kissa Kali Kali, Angay, Gangar, Cheendro or Peeto, Eishtapa, Teeki, Karkhai, Maya or Joora and Katchna Gotey.
Wrestling is the Pukhtoon's favourite pastime. A Pukhtoon boy makes his debut in wrestling and exhibits his skill and physical strength on the village playing field. This provides him with an opportunity to understand the spirit of competition and develop the qualities of tenacity, endurance and sportsmanship at an early stage of his life.
Kabaddi is a well-known game, not only in the tribal and settled areas of the NWFP but all over Pakistan. Two teams representing equal number of players, take part in this game. A straight line defining the limits of the contending teams is drawn. The game starts with an offensive launched by one of the players against the opponents by crossing the demarcated line. He thus throws an open challenge to his adversaries and makes inroads into their `territory' with words of Kabaddi, Kabaddi on his lips. He runs from one end to the other to touch or slap one of his opponents but at the same time he takes every precaution to avoid being caught. His rivals, on the other hand, tackle him cunningly. They allow him to penetrate deep into their `territory' with an obvious motive to dodge and finally seize him. If the attacker is caught before returning to the line of demarcation, he is considered beaten. If, however, he succeeds in touching one of his opponents and manages to return to his post safely, then the player so slapped or touched is considered out. After this one of the players of the other team launches a counter attack against his opponents. In this way the game progresses. Sometimes it lasts for two or three hours.
GULLI DANDA (Tipcat)
Gulli Danda which is played by two teams is akin to cricket. Like a batsman, one boy hits a short stick of about six inches long with pointed ends with the help of a bigger stick fielding team tries to catch the flying stick. The striker is out the moment one of the fielders catches it. But here the similarity ends between Cricket and Gulli Danda. There are no stumps, no wickets and wicket keeper and no ball in operation as is witnessed in cricket.
LARROO OR PAT PATONAY
Larroo, a game of hide and seek, is common all over the tribal area. Any number of boys can take part in it. One of the boys entrusted with the task of catching other boys, shuts his eyes for a while near a wall or tree. Meanwhile, other boys hide themselves in the surrounding area. The boy opens his eyes with a go ahead signaling the form of Larroo and starts searching for other boys. He, however, keeps a vigilant eye on the movement of his fellow boys who, in turn, try to touch the spot where the boy had shut his eyes earlier. Any boy seized before reaching the post assumes the duty of catching others while the first boy is relieved of his duty.
It is an interesting game in which a few boys sit in a que while one boy remains outside the line. One of the boys sitting in a row conceals a little stone under his shirt and the boy standing outside the line tries to locate it after psychologically examining each boy by looking into his eyes or watching his behaviour. He keeps his hand on each boys' forehead turn by turn and asks the boy whose forehead is comparatively warmer than others to show his shirt. His deductions, through such a psychological analysis, frequently come out correct.
KISSA KALI KALI
Kissa Kali Kali is a game in which sharpness of one's mind and general knowledge about the affairs of the village and put to test. One boy asks a question from others in the following manner "three sons and two daughters", which is the family? If they have a sound knowledge about the number of people living in different houses of the village, they are able to answer such questions immediately.
Another game which is called Mat Jangawal is played between two boys. They hold their left legs in one of their hands and hop about on one leg, trying to overset each other. Whosoever loosens his left leg or falls on the ground is considered beaten.
Karkhey, Maya, Kachna Gwotey and Teeki and marksmanship sports. Karkhey is a circle of about six inches diameter in which one or two walnuts are put by each of the participants. Each boy in his own turn hits the walnuts. Those whose marksmanship is accurate, always carry the day. Maya, Kachna Gwotey and Teeki are more or less similar to Karkhey.
Other sports like foot-ball, hockey, volley-ball, basket ball etc are also becoming popular among the school boys. Eshtape, Chendro or Peeto are favourite sports of the tribal girls.