Grassland 'rugby' highlights Ewenki athleticism
A rugby-like sport, qiang shu, recently debuted at the Ninth Traditional Sports of Ethnic Groups competition in Hulunbuir, allowing the audience a taste of the traditional Ewenki game.
In Chinese, qiang shu means grabbing the pivot, a cone-shape wooden wedge used to fasten the wheels on a cart used by nomadic men on grasslands. To protect athletes from injury, match pivots have been ameliorated with wool on the inside and sheepskin on the outside.
As a newly enlisted game, qiang shu attracted 150 athletes from the cities and leagues of Baotou, Tongliao, Wuhai, Xilin Gol and Hulunbuir.
At the start of a match, two contestants fetch the pivot from the referee’s hands, before carrying it to the goal line to touch the pivot to a wheel. The opposing team does their best to prevent the passing and throwing of the pivot. Once a member hits the wheel with the pivot, their team wins.
Apart from the Ewenki, the sport is also popular among the Mongolian, Daur and Oroqen ethnic groups.
Contestants fetch the pivot at the start of a qiang shu match during the Ninth Traditional Sports of Ethnic Groups competition in Hulunbuir, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, on July 15. [Photo/people.cn]