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LEXICON

 

 

chinlone (ခြင်းလုံး)

Burmese. ‘Rounded basket’. A traditional team sport and ball game of Myanmar, very similar to takraw, which is also popular in Burma (fig.). Yet, in chinlone, there is no opposing team and the sport is hence in essence non-competitive. There are a number of players who stand in a circle, with one player taking place in the centre. A ball woven of rattan or polyester is passed around using any part of the body, apart from the lower arms and hands, and must be kept airborne at all times. When the ball drops to the ground the play must be started again. The player in the centre is supported by the surrounding players who move around to catch the ball when it is passed to them and kick it back to the player in the circle. The aim is to keep the ball in the air as long as possible and to display the most clever moves, as well as the ability to maintain body balance, while the skills shown also reflect ones self-control and endurance. Officially, chinlone is accompanied with music and played in a circle of which the outer diameter is 6.7 meters, with six players, five in the circle and the sixth in the middle (fig.). There is also an variety called tapandaing (fig.), which is performed solo-style and only by women, popular especially at festivals.