Tejo was declared a national sport in Colombia over 10 years ago. It involves explosions. I learned to play last night on one of Wilfredo’s family’s farms that opens to the public every Sunday evening. They have a bar and snacks, a few areas for tejo and another sport called bolo. Men also bring along chickens to fight in a wooden ring (the chickens are not my idea of fun, but part of the culture!)
Tejo is played by tossing a metal disk that weighs around 5lbs or so into a clay-filled box, similar to how you would throw a horseshoe. In the clay, there are two gunpowder triangles. The object is to hit them with the disk and make them explode. When you do, it’s loud!
Bolo is a similar concept to American bowling. You have a metal ball, which you toss underhand down a “lane” to hit three pins that are standing in a row at the end.
Chicken fights attracted a good number of people. First they are weighed by being placed in a bag and on a scale. Then they are matched according to the weight.
People bet on the birds and then they are released into a wooden ring. They don’t let them die, but they fight until one of them gives in. Then the winnings are dished out and everyone rushes to buy beer and snacks and get back to their tejo and bolo games. It’s a night for relaxing with friends before starting the new week.