Colombia’s National Pastime Involves Beer and Gunpowder

Meet Tejo. It's like cornhole with explosives.

By Evan Bleier

Colombia’s National Pastime Involves Beer and Gunpowder
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22 May 2017

In America, there are few things we love more than beer, guns and competition (for better or worse). So why we don't have a game like Tejo is a bit mind-boggling. 

For the uninitiated, Colombians have been playing the so-called game for decades now. Simply put: it involves tossing stones at gunpowder-filled paper triangles. 

There are different rules for different situations, but essentially Tejo boils down to two teams, drinking merrily, tossing a disc as close as possible to the center of metal ring that’s packed in a mud-filled box. Inside the ring are a few of the gunpowder packets. Getting a toss to stick in the box is worth a point, whereas getting a gunpowder packet to explode is worth three.

Here's Anthony Bourdain giving the game a whirl while visiting Cali in the southwest of Colombia: 

The game is similar to games like cornhole, bocce and curling, but “Colombia added gunpowder and made it exciting,” hostel owner Shaun Clausey told OZY. “I always tell visitors that playing Tejo is the most Colombian thing you can do. The 70-cent beers are a big attraction too.”

Make sure to seek the game out if you're ever heading that way. In the meantime, you could pop a beer and play a few rounds on your phone.

Main image courtesy of Guillermo Legaria/AFP/Getty Images

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