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Author Topic: Whip Tops in Africa  (Read 1370 times)

ta0

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Whip Tops in Africa
« on: December 13, 2023, 01:16:17 PM »

Cuper found this video of a kid playing with a whip top in Angola:



A friend of mine who is from Rwanda told me that the kids play whip tops over there.
She is now visiting family so I'm hoping she can get me one, or at least some photos or video.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2024, 03:39:26 PM by ta0 »
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ta0

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Re: Rwanda Whip Tops
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2024, 12:18:06 AM »

A friend brought me these whip and tops from her native Rwanda:



and here is a little video she filmed:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoX2JmZHVGs

Whip top games are still alive in Africa.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2024, 02:31:51 PM by ta0 »
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ta0

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Re: Rwanda Whip Tops
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2024, 09:07:04 AM »

I tried them and they play well. You can get a top that is almost dying to start spinning well with one whiplash. But to start them the whip doesn't work well as it's difficult to wrap, so I start them with the hand (so does the kid on the video).

The black stuff on the whip and the top is rubber, probably cut from a bicycle inner tube.  I first thought that perhaps it was meant to increase the friction on the top. But then I noticed a longitudinal crack, so now I think it's there to stop the top from splitting. The tops were obviously made with a machete. The whip is made with some vegetal fiber.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2024, 09:16:48 AM by ta0 »
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casalino

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Re: Rwanda Whip Tops
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2024, 12:32:32 PM »

This is my Spinner from Burindi, a country on the border with Rwanda, they are practically the same

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Rayos

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Re: Rwanda Whip Tops
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2024, 12:41:39 PM »

Very nice gift and interesting find, they spin quite well too.
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ta0

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Re: Rwanda Whip Tops
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2024, 02:29:28 PM »

Interesting that yours, Gianni, also has a rubber (?) wrap. Perhaps it's for increasing friction with the whip, after all.
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peonza

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Re: Rwanda Whip Tops
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2024, 12:54:33 PM »

Very interesting post about spinning tops in Africa. Now, I remember I have an article of spinning top of Liberia. This article is in the bibliography of the book of Gould (number 74) and I think it is interesant.




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ortwin

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Re: Rwanda Whip Tops
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2024, 03:01:11 PM »

... I have an article of spinning top of Liberia. This article is in the bibliography of the book of Gould (number 74) and I think it is interesant.


This article was a very interesting read! Thank you. I have never heard of any top like that. It reminds me more of 4a/offstring yoyo than the diabolo mentioned in the article. Do you know from when that article is? Might there even be a  more recent article or a video about that?


Edit: I found the article could be from 1912.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2024, 03:09:11 PM by ortwin »
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In the broader world of tops, nothing's everything!  —  Jeremy McCreary

peonza

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Re: Rwanda Whip Tops
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2024, 05:57:22 AM »

Quote
Do you know from when that article is? Might there even be a  more recent article or a video about that?

The article is of "The national geographic magazine" of June ,1910
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ta0

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Re: Rwanda Whip Tops
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2024, 03:37:18 PM »

I asked my friend and the name she knows for the whip top in Rwanda is Injongo in the Kinyarwanda language.

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ta0

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Re: Whip Tops in Africa
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2024, 11:26:33 PM »

I just now got to read the 1910 article from National Geographic that Peonza uploaded. The description of the play is pretty amazing.

I copy here the drawings from the article for easy reference:













The article provides a pretty detailed description of how to spin it and regenerate the spin and keep it in the air. It looks pretty difficult to achieve. The Gola (Golah) people of Liberia were doing a top trick more than 100 years ago that would challenge the best among us.
I wonder if this is still done or it's a skill that has been lost. The article says that it was important as the noise made by the hollow top scared away the ground hogs from the cultivated fields. But it also says that few men were skilled enough to do it.
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ortwin

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Re: Whip Tops in Africa
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2024, 10:54:18 AM »

"I wonder if this is still done or it's a skill that has been lost. "

You should try and build such a top  (gyroscope it is called in the article) with modern material and see how it goes. It seems it won't take much more than a plastic ball and a rod. I think you are the person best suited to revive the skill should it be lost in Liberia. I was also really impressed by the description in that article. That's why I was showing it around at Marines. I think I left it with Quentin because it also reminded me of "Off String Yoyos".
« Last Edit: April 06, 2024, 11:32:47 AM by ta0 »
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