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Shagai Games

Stone Toys And Games

The most popular materials from which to make Mongolian traditional games are different types of stones varied by colour, size, and shape.

Stone Toys And Games

Assembling a Ger Game

Since ancient times, Mongolian children have played the game in which they assemble a ger. Players collect stones with different colours, sizes, and shapes and assemble a ger by rounding the stones. Inside the ger all furniture, like the beds are represented with rectangular stones; cups and plates are diskshaped stones; camels are represented by other stones; horse and cow are represented by triangle-discstones; sheep and lambs are represented by round white stones, a goat by disk blue stone, and people with oval stones. Around the stone ger there are herds of horses and flocks of sheep, as well as dogs and several horses at a hitching post. Children play-behave as if they were adults, inviting their parents, brothers, sisters, and guests into their ger. Through greetings and conversation with guests, children learn the basics of communication ethics and the experience of nomadic livelihood. They act like livestock-breeders who have a shepherd dog, sacks of wool, horses at the hitching pole, colts at the tethering-line, and sheep and lambs in the pen. Therefore, there is emerged a fine tradition that parents never give up the bones and stones that are collected by their children when they move to a different camp.

Stone Guessing

Stone Games Any numbers of players can be involved in this game. Each player puts into her or her hands a certain number of stones, hiding them from others. (All stones can be put into one’s hand; one can also be empty-handed.) Each player guesses how many stones are being held by the players. The one who guesses correctly gets all the stones. The first player who loses all of his or her stones is the loser, and the one who collects all the stones with correct guesses wins the game. Rural Mongolians play this game even today.


One of the favourable games of MongolianTrigger  children is to shoot things with a catapult.  Children themselvesmake a catapult from a forked  stick or wire which is furbished with elastic strings  of leather or rubber affixed withtwo prongs to toss  small stones. In order to shoot, a player holds the  handle of catapult with the left hand, places asmall stone in the leather or rubber loop of the catapult. He or she then pinches the loop with the thumb and pointed finger of the right hand, draws the elastic strings back and then releases them to shoot a target.


A sling is a very ancient weapon. Children make slings themselves and play with them using stones. It is easy to make a sling. The sling is made from a hair rope with a strap or pocket that can hold two strings. They whirl
the sling violently over their head and release one end of the sling chords in order to hurl the stone at a target.

Mare Milking

Players toss 8 or 12 small stones alternatively with  their two hands,and catch them quickly in the course of fall, like milking a mare. It is a type of  “Juggler” game. Also, there are other stone games, such as ducks and drakes (a game in which flat  stones are made to skip along the ice or water of river or lake) “to sling” or “to race stones”. There is also the casting of lots of forty-one small stones.


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