This throwing game was played on Mer Island in the Torres Strait in the 1900s. The game is named after the beans of the kolap plant, which were used as throwing objects. The kolap plant is also known as the matchbox bean, or Entada phaseoloides. It is a large vine that grows in coastal rainforests in North East Queensland, and produces hard, 5-6 cm wide seeds. The distinctive, hard seeds have been used as beads, toys, and for making match boxes and snuff boxes.
How to play
Number of players: 2 to 4 players in two teams.
Equipment: 2 small mats/towels, 4 to 8 small flattish objects suitable for throwing, e.g. beanbags, coins or small stones.
You may also find fallen fruits or seeds from nearby trees that you can use (but please don't pick fruit from the trees).
Visit the Botanic Gardens Friends Centre if you would like to borrow the equipment to play this game.
- Two players stand 2 to 3 metres behind each mat.
- Each player has 4 kolaps and teams take their turn to try and throw these onto the mat in front of them.
- Kolaps must land completely on the mat to count as one point.
- The team that reaches the combined score of 20 first wins.