What Is the History of Luksong Tinik?

Luksong Tinik, or thorn hurdles, is a traditional game played by children in the Philippines. The game is typically played by girls between the ages of seven to 12, and play requires between four and eight participants.

The participants are separated into two equal teams. The participants choose two players, typically those who can jump the highest, to be the mothers. The remaining participants are the children. The object of the game is for the mothers and children to jump over the outstretched hands of the other players.

One team becomes the base and has two children sit facing each other with their right feet touching, while the other team’s participants are to jump over the feet. The non-jumping team’s participants place one hand above the feet with palms and fingers spread open, reaching as high as they can. Then another hand is placed over the top of the previous hand after the participants jump, and so on.

If the participants jump over the hands successfully without touching any part of the hands with their body or clothes, they become jumpers again. When the participant touches the any part of the base, it is considered a fault. If one of the children touches the base, the mother jumps in her place. If the mother is the one who fails to jump over the hands, then the teams switch places and the team on the base becomes the jumpers.