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Transcript of Tlatchi
What is it?
Tlatchi was a combination of volleyball, basketball, and soccer enjoyed by the Aztecs.
It was played in a sunken stone-walled court in the shape of an 'I' or an 'H'.
The players had to keep the ball off of the ground, or the other team would get a point.
If a player touched the ball with their hands, their team would lose points. The players on each team could not use their hands, but they could use their heads, elbows, legs or hips. The goal of the game was to be the first team shoot a rubber ball through a hoop on the opposite side of the court
Clothing and Gear
The basic hip-game outfit consisted of a loincloth, sometimes augmented with leather hip guards. Loincloths are found on the earliest ballplayer figurines from Tlatilco, Tlapacoya, and the Olmec culture, are seen in the Weiditz drawing from 1528, and, with hip guards, are the sole outfit of modern day ulama players
What is symbolizes
Astronomy. The bouncing ball is thought to have represented the sun. The stone scoring rings are speculated to signify sunrise and sunset, or equinoxes.
War. This is the most obvious symbolic aspect of the game. Among the Mayas, the ball can represent the vanquished enemy, both in the late-Postclassic K'iche' kingdom (Popol Vuh), and in Classic kingdoms such as that of Yaxchilan.
Fertility. Formative period ballplayer figurines—most likely females—often wear maize icons. At El Tajin, the ballplayer sacrifice ensures the renewal of pulque, an alcoholic maguey cactus beverage.
Cosmologic duality. The game is seen as a struggle between day and night, and/or a battle between life and the underworld. Courts were considered portals to the underworld and were built in key locations within the central ceremonial precincts. Playing ball engaged one in the maintenance of the cosmic order of the universe and the ritual regeneration of life.