KCHR to campaign Indian Board Game traditions

Kerala Council for Historical Research (KCHR) through a popular campaign is set to document, conserve and illuminate available information and material remains on the traditional board games for the Muziris Children’s Museum at Pattanam. The Museum has a board game corner where the Roman gaming counters excavated at Pattanam are displayed. Arrangements are also being made to provide the children a hands-on experience of the ancient board games.

Recently, in his Pattanam lecture on ancient board games, the renowned Assyriologist and Ancient Board Game expert Dr Irving Finkel (The British Museum) stated that his studies indicate India is the home of all known traditions of board games in the world. KCHR considers it pertinent to collect and collate all available information on the living traditions as well as pieces of known evidences of various board game traditions. The presence of board games has been recorded in Mohanjo daro and numerous other archaeological sites and social spaces across the Indian subcontinent. The KCHR initiative could be a pioneering effort to document and showcase a permanent collection of this rare intellectual legacy. KCHR is hopeful that this would yield important information from all parts of the country and help the study of the history of leisure. In Indian region, board games, often a perfect blend of intelligence and luck, transcended social boundaries.

KCHR would provide necessary support for systematic conservation to academics and other informed public as part of the Digitizing Kerala’s Past Project (dkp.kchr.ac.in). We seek each participant to send us information from published sources, with bibliographic details and collect information (rules, photographs, sketches, specimens etc.) on board games locally practiced in different social, cultural and religious spaces. The artisans and families involved in crafting and playing the games are appealed to contribute in this project. All informants will be duly acknowledged in the best traditions of academic associations.

Please send your information and queries (if any) to india.kchr@gmail.com.

Mobile numbers: 9562848577/9995813775.

The postal address for sending information and physical data is

The Director, KCHR,

Pattanam Archaeological Site,

Vadakkekara P O,

North Paravur, Kerala PIN 683 522