MEDELLIN | If you find yourself in Colombia and are looking for an experience that’s uniquely Colombian, then there’s a fun sport that definitely fits the bill. Tejo, also known as turmequé, is a traditional Colombian sport that involves throwing tejos (weighted steel discs) towards a bocin (metal ring) which contains gunpowder filled mechas, which explode on impact. There’s usually beer involved too. Sounds like fun right?
The exact origins of the sport are unknown, but it’s generally accepted that tejo originated from a sport played by the indigenous Muisca people, who lived in the centre of Colombia. The modern game can be traced back to more recent developments – to a sport played in Turmequé, Colombia, about 500 years ago. Tejo was declared Colombia’s national sport in 2000, and is played both recreationally and professionally. Only football is more popular.
Games can be played between individuals or teams of up to six people, with one throw for each player per round. Scoring depends on how many mechas you explode with your throw (or your ability to hit the bocin without setting off any of the mecha). It sounds like fun, and it is.
Most places don’t charge to play, the money instead coming from the beers you purchase. If your’re on vacation, plenty of hostels throughout the country host free tejo nights. Just make sure you’re ready to buy a few beers for the opposition if you find yourself on the losing team.