Lattu is yet another traditional game played in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka also known as Bambaram. Spinning Tops are used for fun experience in this game. The skill and interest in this game is reducing due to other interests taking priority and also due to unsafe nails along with bullying of younger, smaller, poorer kids. This game is more common among Boys. This game is coming back with safer components and rules.
Components of Lattu:
- Wooden Top (Colouring is optional – to make it interesting and attractive)
- Pointed Nail for getting the center
- String to get the starting spin (also used for lifting the spinning top)
How to Play:
Lattu has very simple rules. All the players have to go at the same time for the ‘Goes’ – this is the ‘toss’ for the game. The ‘Goes’ process is – at the count of 1, 2, 3 all the players should wind their Lattus with their ropes, unwind it on the ground to rotate and then pick it up with the rope as quickly as possible. The primary skill on this rely on shortest rope length usage and still make the lattu to rotate on the ground allowing you to catch it back with the rope.
Conditions for losing the toss:
- If the Lattu failed to rotate on its nail on the ground –it is called ‘Mattai’, you lose the toss.
- If you fail to catch the Lattu through the rope then you lose the toss.
- The last person to finish the ‘Goes’ lose as well.
The player who losses the Toss will keep their Lattus inside the circle drawn on the ground. The rest of the members will have a go at the Lattus inside the circle. The people who managed to finish the toss successfully try to spin their Lattu over the Lattus in the circle trying to break them and/or trying to getting them out of the circle. Each time the spinning Lattu has to be picked up successfully to continue.
If you manage to land your Lattu’s nail on the Lattus inside the circle it would leave a mark – called as ‘Aakkar’. The best player’s Lattu will have the least number of Aakkars – and as usual it is a matter of prestige. To avoid the main Lattu getting too many Aakkars, players would always keep a spare and called it as ‘Pondatti Lattu’ (Pondatti means wife in Tamil). Players use the ‘Purushan Lattu’ (Purushan means Husband in Tamil), to give Aakars to others’ Lattus and use Pondatti Lattu to receive Aakars from others. Players will take special care of the Purushan Lattu. They will hand pick the nails from the black smith work shop, sit with him to see that he inserted the nail to their Lattu without any cracks, and also will do a couple of dry runs to ensure that all is well before paying the blacksmith
Kids will use also crowns of cool drink bottles to decorate the ropes. They will put a hole at the center of the crowns and insert the rope such that the crown would form one end of the rope and the other end will be used to start the winding process.