Kuti kuti



Kuti Kuti is a traditional children’s game in which two opposing players take turns to deftly flip colourful plastic tokens on top of those of their opponent. If a player’s token lands on top of an opponent’s token, the player then claims the opponent’s token as his own. Requiring skill and accuracy, the game was popular among children in Singapore in the mid-twentieth century, but has declined in popularity with the advent of electronic games in more recent decades.1

History of the game
The origins of the term kuti kuti are uncertain, but it is possibly the Malay term for the flipping action used in the game. The game has been played by local children since the late 1940s. The earliest versions of kuti kuti pieces were simple, round discs with a limited number of colours. Later versions of the kuti kuti pieces were made of brightly coloured transparent plastic shaped as objects or animals such as elephants, monkeys and birds.2


In the past, kuti kuti pieces were often sold in packets at mamak shops (Indian shops). Today, kuti kuti is still manufactured and sold in shops in Singapore and Malaysia.3

Variations of the game are also played using bottle caps and rubber bands instead of plastic pieces. These variants of the game feature players flipping bottle caps or rubber bands instead but retaining similar rules.4

Playing the game
A player begins by facing his opponent, and they flip their pieces until they draw close enough to strike the other player’s piece. Each player then attempts to land his piece on top of the other. The kuti kuti piece thus defeated would be added to the winner’s collection of pieces. Larger pieces were much sought after as they were more likely to win a game. The game ends when a player loses all his pieces.5




Author

Bonny Tan



References
1.
Ang, V. (2007). Singapore HeritageFest 2007 (Part 2): Childhood memories. [Web log post]. Retrieved from Sparkelette website: http://sparklette.net/travel/singapore/singapore-heritagefest-2007-part-2-childhood-memories/
2.
Ang, V. (2007). Singapore HeritageFest 2007 (Part 2): Childhood memories. [Web log post]. Retrieved from Sparkelette website: http://sparklette.net/travel/singapore/singapore-heritagefest-2007-part-2-childhood-memories/
3. Ang, V. (2007). Singapore HeritageFest 2007 (Part 2): Childhood memories. [Web log post]. Retrieved from Sparkelette website: http://sparklette.net/travel/singapore/singapore-heritagefest-2007-part-2-childhood-memories/; Good ol’ daze. (February, 2002). Young parents: The book magazine. Singapore: Times Periodicals, p. 13. (Call no.: RSING 649.105 YP); Koo, V. (2006, March 5). Taking up the challenge. My favourite toy as a kid – the Mech Sumo robot. [Web log post]. Retrieved from Victor Koo Blogspot website: http://victorkoo.blogspot.com/2006/03/my-favourite-toy-as-kid-mech-sumo.html
4.
The Wacky Duo. (2014, January 23). Old school childhood games and toys in Singapore. Retrieved 2016, August,1, from The Wacky Duo website: http://www.thewackyduo.com/2014/01/old-school-childhood-games-and-toys-in.html
5.
Ang, V. (2007). Singapore HeritageFest 2007 (Part 2): Childhood memories. [Web log post]. Retrieved from Sparkelette website: http://sparklette.net/travel/singapore/singapore-heritagefest-2007-part-2-childhood-memories/; Good ol’ daze. (February, 2002). Young parents: The book magazine. Singpaore: Times Periodicals, p. 13. (Call no.: RSING 649.105 YP)



Further resources
Kaur, G. (2015, March 14). Do you know these games? The Straits Times. Retrieved from AsiaOne website: http://www.asiaone.com/singapore/do-you-know-these-games?nopaging=1


Kuti Kuti - Traditional Games - The Forgotten Fun - Google Sites.
(no date). Retrieved August 1, 2016 from Google Sites website: https://sites.google.com/site/traditionalgames123/games-you-should-know/indoor-games/kuti-kuti


Remember Singapore. (2011, November 3). 100 Things we love about the 80s. Retrieved January 24, 2017 from Remember Singapore website: https://remembersingapore.org/2011/11/03/100-things-we-love-about-the-80s/



The information in this article is valid as at 2014 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.
 

Subject
Games--Singapore
Recreation
Sports and Recreation
Sports, recreation and travel