Over the past month or so I’ve seen lots of kids playing with toys called capiruchos. A capirucho is a wooden toy that’s about an inch or two in diameter and shaped kind of like a bell with a hole in the bottom. Attached to it is a string that’s tied to a small stick. When playing with a capirucho the object of the game is to flip the bell part of the toy so that it the stick is inserted into the hole. It sounds a lot easier than it actually is. I’m still not very good at it.
All the kids at school are playing with them and I found out today that you can actually buy them at school where they sell snacks. They cost 50¢ each. Capiruchos come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. I’ve seen several here that have either the Barcelona or Madrid fútbol emblem on them and others that say El Salvador. According to Cecilia, they’re not a new toy but something that kids play with during certain times of the year. And it’s not just the young kids that play with them but older kids and even adults.
I think it’s cool that such an inexpensive toy is so popular and that the kids really enjoy playing with them. It’s definitely not the $30, $40, or $50 toys that kids often want in the US. It’s nice to see kids enjoying the simple things in life. After seeing so many kids playing with them I actually went out and bought one myself. I haven’t improved much but I’ll keep practicing. We’ll see what happens.
Here’s some information I found from one website about capiruchos:
“It is said that the Capirucho is of Greek origin, although its origin remains obscure, but they have found evidence of its existence (and variants) in Japan, the Philippines, France, Italy and the indigenous tribes of North and South America. In sixteenth century France it was popularized by King Henry III, who played with great skill.
The Capirucho is a traditional toy known throughout Guatemala, in some regions it is known as “Capirote” or “Balero”. It consists of a wooden or plastic instrument with a hole in the bottom through which passes a piece of string tied to a stick of about 7 centimeters, which must be inserted into the cylindrical part of Capirucho.” http://www.xibalbaproducciones.com/capirucho/principal.htm
I took my camera to school today knowing that I wanted to write a blog about capiruchos. I asked several kids if I could take a picture of them playing with their capiruchos. They were all excited to have their pictures taken. I even got a short video of kids playing with them.
Showing off his capirucho
Getting ready to play with it
You start with the wooden bell part below the stick
And flip it up onto the stick
He really wanted his picture taken
(He's shirtless because he was playing futbol)
The string may be different lengths
You can do it!
Playing during recess
Watching futbol and playing with his capirucho
He did it several times in a row
Even the older kids play with them
He's not even looking at it
Looking inside a capirucho
The one I bought for myself
The other side is painted
Photo I found on the internet