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From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (whorl) Aztec ball game
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 97 16:54:00 GMT

[Posted from WHORL, the mailing list for Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun]

Reply:  Item #4734471 from WHORL@LISTS.BEST.COM@INET01#


Welcome aboard!

Re: the ballgame of Viron as being more Aztec than basketball.  Well,
yes and no.

The Aztec ball game, "ollamaliztli," does feature a court with two
vertically oriented rings (in contrast to the horizontal rings of
basket ball) and a rubber ball smaller than a tennis ball.  However,
ollamaliztli players can only use their hips, knees, and elbows to
shoot the ball through the ring--Silk throws it with his hand.

The ring that Silk throws the ball at seems parallel to the wall it
is on--more like a dart board, with the inner section removed.  The
trigger within the hole is called a hellstone, which is interesting
because in ollamaliztli the game is said to be symbolic of the
struggle of the sun: one ring is the entrance to the underworld, the
other ring is the exit from the underworld.  If there is another ring
on the Vironese court, its trigger might be called the heavenstone.

The target ring reminded and reminds me most of the goal in movie
"Rollerball"!  But otherwise the game played in Viron seems to me to
be a blend of ollamaliztli, basketball, and baseball pitching.


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