A Blast from the Past: Playing Tejo in Medellin
When you think of Colombia you think of a nation full of soccer aficionados, rivaling city teams and children of all ages and social statuses playing for fun. However, contrary to popular belief, Soccer or futbol is not the country’s national sport. In fact, over 500 years ago, there was a practice performed by the Muiscas (indigenous group) known as Tejo that permeated into the country’s culture to become Colombia’s pastime.
What is Tejo?
For a more accurate idea, Tejo is a sport where players must throw a metal disk (a tejo, weighing in at 680 grams), similar to a hockey puck from one side of a court to another. The court is roughly 8 feet by 60 feet and at the end of the court is a 2 x3 box made of clay. Sounds like a game of ghetto horseshoes, right? Wrong.
The tejo must be tossed and hit a metal ring (known as a ‘bocin’) lodged in the clay. Here is where things get interesting. The bocin has one or two pieces of paper around it filled with gunpowder. These triangle shaped pieces of paper, also known as ‘mechas’ ignite when hit with the tejo causing them to explode and awarding you additional points.
How to Keep Score in Tejo
There are 4 ‘plays’ to keep in mind to keep score and if you want to seem like an expert before you play.
Mano – The closest tejo to the rim of the bocin – 1 point
Mecha – Hitting the mecha directly causing the gunpowder to ignite – 3 points
Embocinada – Lodging the tejo into the bocin – 6 points
Moñona – Landing in the bocin and making the mecha explode – 9 points
Where to Play Tejo in Medellin
Might not seem as interesting as sitting in front of a TV and watching two men beat the crap out of each other but after a few beers and multiple failed attempts to speak Spanish, this game is awesome.
Playing tejo in Medellin is the best way to become immersed in paisa culture while getting a fun daytime activity out of it. At Medellin VIP we have multiple daytime tours ending with a crash course in tejo where you can test your skills and go home with memories of having practiced Colombia’s national sport.
Tejo is as old as time in Colombia yet hasn’t gotten the recognition from the general public as it should. In fact, due to the fact that there is heavy drinking involved, the sport has received criticism at the amateur level.
So there you have it, if you don’t plan on cancelling your wedding to pursue a career in professional tejo, we have found a sport where you can drink all day while seeing who’s the best out of your crew at hurling rocks at gunpowder.
Interested in Playing Tejo in Medellin? Contact us today and let us incorporate tejo into your bachelor party in Medellin.