Asol Aap and Asol - Tale Aap
Among the six tribes living in the Andaman and Nicobar islands, the
Nicobarese are the only tribe who have their own customs and traditions, and
their own indigenous games. Two of the major indigenous games of the region are
Asol Aap and Asol - Tale Aap.
Asol Aap ( Canoe Race )
Canoeing is a familiar activity with the Nicobarese tribals as this was the
only means of transport for their journeys from one island to another. In Asol
Aap, the canoe's length is approximately 100' and the number of participants in
each team is fixed according to the size of the canoe. As the race takes place
on the sea , and depth of water and current vary from shore side to deep sea,
only two teams participate at a time. At Car Nicobar, this competition is
organised by the Nicobar Athletic Association. The number of participants is
generally 40 to 90, as per the size of the canoe. The race is about 5 to 6 km,
and is conducted in the dry season.
Asol - Tale Aap ( Canoe Race on sand )
In this rather peculiar canoe race, the craft is built from the stem of a
coconut tree, and can be of any size for its one or two participants. But in a
race, the number of participants must be similar for each canoe. 15 to 20
participants take part at a time, the land of Nicobar being sandy and even. All
the participants sit in their canoes keeping one leg in the canoe, and the other
on the ground. They drive their canoe on the sand with the force of their limbs.
The one who completes the distance in the shortest span of time is the winner.
This activity involves great strength of body, especially in the hands.