Turkmen National games

Turkmen National games

The Turkmen people have important values that make up their identity, like a strong appreciation for traditional games passed down through generations. These national games play a big part in promoting the overall well-being and growth of Turkmen individuals, both physically and mentally.


The “Aşyk” game, widely played by boys across the country, stands out as one of the most entertaining activities. In this game, the “Aşyk” bones, typically sourced from the hind legs of sheep or goats, are selected. Each player arranges their bones in a row on the designated square, and the starting player is determined by a toss. The bones are placed at a specified distance, typically two to three meters , with older boys playing at even greater distances. A line marks the spot from which the players throw the bones. According to the game’s rules, hitting the mark or stepping over it during the game results in the player’s win not being counted.

Aýterek Günterek

“Aýterek Günterek” is a Central Asian children’s game. The game is set up with two teams facing each other. Each team stands in a line respectively, linking arms. The first team chants “Who do you need?”, with the second team responding with the name of a person from the first team. The named person subsequently begins to hurl themself at the second team and makes an attempt to break one of the links and force themself through the line. If they succeed, they take one person from the second team back to the first team and vice versa.

Yaglyga Towusmak

One more interesting national game is the “Yaglyga Towusmak,” which means the Jump Over the Headscarf. In this game, a piece of headscarf is hung from the ceiling, and if you can grab it, you get a reward. As time went on, this game became a big part of celebrations, like wrestling, horse racing, and gold-throwing games. It’s mostly played by young guys and teenagers. The game is about jumping over a rope that’s above a person’s neck. Depending on how it’s set up, the headscarf might hang from a pole or a beam. Players take turns trying to jump and grab the headscarf, and everyone gets just one try.

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