Today is the start of competitions in the traditional game of Trompo, which involves spinning a heavy wooden top — a recreational activity and spectator sport enjoyed by young and old alike. 

The Trompo Game.  What is needed to play this game are: the top, a cord for spinning it, a small wooden ball, and a flat stone called a “cuyumba.” The Trompo top is made of an especially hard wood called “cerote” and has a nail for the tip. The ball is wooden, slightly flattened on the sides, and six centimeters high, and it is placed on the flat stone “cuyumba” to ultimately be struck with the spinning top.

When the Trompo top is first thrown, it spins on the ground, and the player will get it between fingers of an open hand to coax it to spin on the palm. Carrying the spinning top to the flat rock cuyumba, he or she, (usually he), throws it hard to strike the wooden ball on top, and a judge marks how far away the ball ends up going. Cabe is what they call the competitors hitting the ball with the top.

Championship. Tomorrow 15 teams affiliated with the Cotacachi Federación de Barrios and two indigenous communities will participate in the Championship of the Trompo organized by the Dirección de Educación, Cultura y Comunicación del Gobierno Municipal del cantón Cotacachi.

A parade for this event, seen as part of this town’s identity, will begin at 1: 30 PM along the main streets. The town also elects a Queen of the 2011 Trompo challenge, and there are awards for the best players. Starting in the morning, half of the teams will compete as representatives of the northern part of the city and the other half for the South. The awards are trophies as well as “economic incentives”.

Translated by Dan Delgado

from El Norte 8/19/11

for the Cotacachi Communications Commitee for the (English-Speaking) Expat Community 

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