Kenchay are small balls made of glass, clay, steel, plastic and marble. Size of these balls varies. Common sizes are ½ inch (1.3 cm) to 1 inch (2.6cm). However, they can be as smaller as 1/30 inches (0.111 cm) and larger as 3 inches (7.75 cm). Marble is the English name of kencha but in Pakistan it has a few other names as Kancha, Banty or Goli. Kids in Pakistan use these marbles to play a variety of games. Marbles in the past were handmade but with the passage of time, people started using machines to make marbles. They come in so many beautiful and attractive colors. Some people buy these marbles to play and some have just for the purpose of decoration because of their aesthetic look.
History of Kenchay (marbles) can be traced back to the ancient Egypt where many clay balls were found in the ancient Egypt’s tombs. Roman literature also indicates about marbles. But it is said that marbles were originated in Harrapion Civilzation. Harrapa is located near Indus river of Pakistan. During the digging near Mohenjo Daro many marbles were discovered.
So many games can be played with marbles as all have different names and can also be called marbles itself. One marble game involves drawing a circle or square on the ground and then hitting with the one marble and trying to knock the marble of other player out of circle. There is another game in which players try to throw their marble into a small hole in the ground. The player who is successful in throwing the marble in the whole becomes the striker and then hits the other players’ marble with his marble. This game in Pakistan calls Guchi and it has some other names as well. In some games, players make the target of other players’ marbles and shoot it with their marble. When they see that they cannot hit the other player’s marble anymore then they try to throw their marble so that it could land on the safe location, where some other player cannot hit it. During all the games, the players set some rules but these are not hard and fast rules so these can be changed by game to game and players to players.
This game is very popular in the ruler areas of Pakistan where mostly kids and even elders can be seen playing it.