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Traditional Indigenous games trail

Burragun Games Trail

The Queensland Government and Nature Play Queensland have installed a traditional Indigenous games trail in Mayes Place Park, Kingston. The games and trail name were selected in consultation with the traditional owners of the area, the Yugambeh language group.

Traditional Indigenous games trails can be found throughout Queensland.

Explore the Burragun Games Trail to find out about traditional games that were played by Indigenous children in many different parts of Australia.

Indigenous games and activities have a rich history and were recorded by explorers, government officials, settlers, scientists and missionaries in the nineteenth century. They have also been passed down through generation by Indigenous Australians.

The word Burragun, pronounced Bar-ra-gun, comes from the Yugambeh language and means ‘Boomerang’.

Buroinjin

This was a ball game played by the Kabi Kabi people of south Queensland. The game was played with a ball made of kangaroo skin, which was called a Buroinjin.

The aim is for a player of one team to run as far as possible with the ball and cross over a line at the other end of the field. He or she attempts to do this without being touched by an opponent.

Background, equipment, and rules (PDF, 6.35MB)

Duration 00:01:01

Buroinjin was a game played by the Kabi Kabi people of south Queensland. The game was played with ball made of kangaroo skin, which was called the buroinjin.

The game area is set up similar to a touch football field with two score lines at each end. The aim is for the player to run as far as possible trying to cross the score line without being touched by the other team.

Now, there are no positions or offside in this game but if you get touched by the opposing team you have to throw the ball up in the air for anyone to catch and the game goes on.

You can pass the ball to someone else on your team before you are touched and they can then try and score.

If the ball goes to ground please no diving just reach down and start running to your line.

Edor

Edor is a chasing-tagging team game which originates in the Aurukun Aboriginal community in North Queensland. The game is also known as Idor, Ida or the running game.

To play the game, create two teams and set up an area with goal lines at each end. The game can change direction many times in a game. Once a goal is scored, all players return to the centre and start again. All players assemble in the middle and choose a person, known as an Edor. The Edor must try to get to their team’s goal line without being tagged. If a defender tags the Edor then they become the Edor and must try to reach their goal line.

Background, equipment, and rules (PDF, 6.35MB)

Duration 00:01:09

Edor is a version of a chasing-tagging game which originates in the Aurukun Aboriginal community.

The names Edor, Idor, Ida or the running game have all been used to refer to this game.

Edor is best played by large groups but can be fun for small groups as well. Set up the area with goal lines at each end.

Select your team and the direction your team will run. All players assemble in the middle and choose an Edor. The edor must try to get to their goal line without being tagged. If a defender tags the Edor they then become the Edor and must try to reach their goal.

The play changes directions many times in a game. Once a goal is scored all players come back to the middle and start again.

Edor has been played by all ages for centuries and is a lot of fun.

Kai

The Kai game is from the Torres Strait Islands. ‘Kai wed’ means ball playing.

To play the game, split all players into at least two teams, stand in a circle and keep the ball from hitting the ground using only the palms of your hands. Count how many times your team hit the ball into the air before it drops.

Background, equipment, and rules (PDF, 6.35MB)

Duration 00:00:32

The Kai game is played in the Torres Strait Islands.

'Kai wed' means ball playing.

Everyone stand in a circle and hit the ball up in the air with the palm of your hand.

How many times can your group hit the ball up in the air before it drops?

Kee’an

Kee’an is a game used to improve throwing skills for hunting in northern Queensland. The word Kee’an means ‘to play’ in the Wik-mungkan language of North Queensland.

The equipment used mimics a bone that would have been used for hunting. The aim of the game is to get a foxtail or tennis ball in a long sock into a hoop, about 3–5 metres away. A point is scored each time the foxtail lands in the hoop.

This game is mostly played for fun but you can keep score if you want.

Background, equipment, and rules (PDF, 6.35MB)

Duration 00:00:41

Kee’an was a game used to improve throwing skills for hunting.

The word Kee’an means 'to play' in the Wik-mungkan language of north Queensland.

The equipment used mimics a bone that would be used for hunting.

A foxtail or a tennis ball in a long sock are thrown and we are aiming for the hoop set up out about 3 to 5 meters away. Get the foxtail in the hoop you score a point.

Weme

Weme is a stone-throwing game observed in central Australia. It is similar to bowls, but involves trying to knock a ball outside of a designated circle.

Background, equipment, and rules (PDF, 6.35MB)

Duration 00:00:48

Weme. The Walbiri people of central Australia played this stone-throwing game. The name Weme is from the eastern Arrernte language and refers to throwing something at something else and hitting it.

Weme is a bowling game in which balls are rolled underarm along the ground to knock the other players ball.

To set up for this game mark out and area with 2 lines about 10 meters apart with a hoop or draw a circle about ½ meter in diameter.

Place a ball in the middle and then take turns trying to knock it out of the circle.

Acknowledgments

All traditional ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’ games have been sourced from Yulunga - Traditional Indigenous Games (Australian Sports Commission, 2009) and used with the permission of the Australian Sports Commission.

The Australian Sport Commission and the Queensland Government acknowledges Ken Edwards for the extensive and thorough research undertaken to collate the Yulunga: Traditional Indigenous Games.

To create this resource, Ken Edwards with the assistance of Troy Meston reviewed almost every available account of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander games from all parts of Australia.

The Australian Sports Commission recognises the traditional owners of the games and activities that formed the basis of this resource. This resource is dedicated to all Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.