Thiruvananthapuram | Kerala Council for Historical Research is set to document and showcase the tradition of ancient board games in the country. The agency will document, conserve and illuminate available information and material remains on the traditional board games for the Muziris Children’s Museum at Pattanam, the early historic urban site located near Kochi. The Museum has a board game corner where the Roman gaming counters excavated at Pattanam are displayed. Arrangements are also being made to provide children a hands-on experience of the ancient board games, Prof P J Cherian, Director of KCHR and Pattanam Excavations said.
KCHR considers it pertinent to collect and collate all available information on the living traditions as well as pieces of known evidence of various board game traditions, he said. The presence of board games has been recorded in Mohenjo-daro and numerous other archaeological sites and social spaces across the Indian sub-continent, he said. The KCHR initiative could be a pioneering effort to document and showcase a permanent collection of this rare intellectual legacy, he said. In Indian region, board games, often a perfect blend of intelligence and luck, transcended social boundaries. We expect that the project will yield important information from all parts of the country and help the study of the history of leisure, Cherian said.
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 urge each participant to send us information from published sources, with bibliographic details and collect information (rules, photographs, sketches, specimens, etc) on board games locally practised in different social, cultural and religious spaces, he said. The artisans and families involved in crafting and playing the games are requested to contribute to this project. All informants would be duly acknowledged in the best traditions of academic associations, he assured.