Traditional Games in Bahrain

Instructor: Sunday Moulton

Sunday recently earned a PhD in Anthropology and has taught college courses in Anthropology, English, and high school ACT/SAT Prep.

Kids around the world know how to have fun and invent their own games. In this lesson, we look at three fun games from Bahrain that you can share with family and friends.

The Land and People of Bahrain

Bahrain is a country composed of about thirty islands in the Persian Gulf. The majority of the Bahrani people identify as Arab, speak Arabic, and practice Islam. One of the first Middle Eastern countries to discover oil, the nation has many prosperous citizens, but still struggles with poverty and unemployment.

Flag of Bahrain
Flag of Bahrain

Children in Bahrain are raised separately based on gender. Girls learn household responsibilities early, while boys have more time to play. Nevertheless, both boys and girls find time to play and they engage in several traditional games. Let's take a look at a few of these.

Map of Bahrain
Map of Bahrain

Gutalaguti

Gutalaguti shares some similarities with games you may be familiar with, like baseball. In this game, two teams alternate between the team hitting and running and the catching team. The only equipment needed is a stick about 2-feet long, a stick about 6-inches long, and a rock. Traditionally, both sticks were made from dried and shaped palm leaves.

The small stick is positioned on the ground with one end leaning against the rock. The hitter uses the other stick to flip the small stick into the air, where he or she will hit it again. Once the small stick is launched, the hitter runs around a number of bases while the other team tries to catch or retrieve the stick. If the runner reaches the last base, they get a point. If the other team catches the stick first, they get a point. However, the runner must yell 'gut-ta-la-gut-ti' over and over while running, otherwise his team forfeits the point.

Dawama

A dawama is a popular, traditional toy used in several competitive ways with a number of variations. The dawama itself (seen below) is a round or pear-shaped top with a pointed metal piece on the bottom to aid spinning. Around the top of the dawama, a player wraps a string and pulls to start the spinning action. In one version of game play, children will try to rewrap the string on the spinning top and flip it into the air, catching it. If the dawama tips over, stops spinning, or the child fails to catch it, he or she loses the round.

A dawama is a form of spinning top.
Cartoon representation of a top

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support