chin-lon (game)


This object is a hollow ball known as a ‘Chin-lon’. It is made out of six strips of woven rattan manipulated into the shape of a sphere with twelve pentagonal holes. The object can be dated to late 19th/early 20th century, although provenance is unknown. The purpose of the ‘Chin-lon’ is that it is a ball used in a Burmese game played by men. The game cannot be won and is only played for pure skill. In the game the ball is not allowed to be touched with the arms or hands and is kept in the air using the legs, shoulders, knees and feet.

References to the game can be found in ‘Burmese Crafts Past & Present’ (Fraser-Lu 1994: 30/261/301). Images of the game being played were also documented by the anthropologists Max and Bertha Ferrars in the late 1800’s and can be located at:

the exception of the ‘Chin-lon’ rattan does not appear to have been widely used in Burma until the colonial times.

This object is not on display.

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