Gawi Bawi Bo

Gawi Bawi Bo

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Arts > Folk Games

Writer LeeSangho(李相昊)

A game showing one of three pre-determined hand signs simultaneously to decide a winner.

The game is named after the shapes of three hand signs. In Korea, a clenched fist is called bawi (a rock), while a fully-stretched, open hand is called bo, or bojagi (a wrapping cloth), and a half-closed hand with only two fingers (typically the thumb and index finger, or index and middle fingers) sticking out is called gawi (scissors).

As a game involving two or more people, all players shout in unison, “gawi, bawi, ” before selecting one of the pre-determined hand signs and putting it forth during the final shouting of “bo!” For example, if one player shows gawi and another shows bo, gawi beats bo since scissors are able to cut through cloth, or paper. However, if one player shows bo against another player showing bawi, bo beats bawi since a cloth can wrap around a rock. Lastly, when a bawi goes up against gawi, bawi beats gawi since a rock can crush scissors. When two of the same hand signs are shown between a game of two players, or all three hand signs are shown between a game of three of more players, the game ends in a draw.

The game is normally referred to as gawi, bawi, bo, in Korea, while people having spent their childhood in the 1960s and 1970s would also refer to the game as Muk Jji Ppa, where muk means a rock, jji means scissors, and ppa means wrapping cloth. Muk Jji Ppa includes additional rounds after a game of Gawi Bawi Bo, that gives the winner of Gawi Bawi Bo a chance to continue on the attack by selecting among the three hand signs and shouting either muk, jji, or ppa according to the hand sign that was selected. For example, if the winner shouts ppa while showing the corresponding hand sign, and the opponent shows the identical hand sign in return, the opponent loses completely and the game is over. However, if the opponent shows one of the other hand signs, muk or jji, he or she can then challenge the winner and the game moves on to a third round. In this case, the opponent earns a chance to counterattack by selecting among the three hands signs and shouting either muk, jji, or ppa, as was done in the previous round by the winner. The game can continue on over several rounds, or may finish within the initial two rounds.

Although Gawi Bawi Bo can be enjoyed as a game in and of itself, it is typically used to determine the person who will be “it, ” or to split people into teams at the start of other games.

Gawi Bawi Bo

Gawi Bawi Bo
Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Arts > Folk Games

Writer LeeSangho(李相昊)

A game showing one of three pre-determined hand signs simultaneously to decide a winner.

The game is named after the shapes of three hand signs. In Korea, a clenched fist is called bawi (a rock), while a fully-stretched, open hand is called bo, or bojagi (a wrapping cloth), and a half-closed hand with only two fingers (typically the thumb and index finger, or index and middle fingers) sticking out is called gawi (scissors).

As a game involving two or more people, all players shout in unison, “gawi, bawi, ” before selecting one of the pre-determined hand signs and putting it forth during the final shouting of “bo!” For example, if one player shows gawi and another shows bo, gawi beats bo since scissors are able to cut through cloth, or paper. However, if one player shows bo against another player showing bawi, bo beats bawi since a cloth can wrap around a rock. Lastly, when a bawi goes up against gawi, bawi beats gawi since a rock can crush scissors. When two of the same hand signs are shown between a game of two players, or all three hand signs are shown between a game of three of more players, the game ends in a draw.

The game is normally referred to as gawi, bawi, bo, in Korea, while people having spent their childhood in the 1960s and 1970s would also refer to the game as Muk Jji Ppa, where muk means a rock, jji means scissors, and ppa means wrapping cloth. Muk Jji Ppa includes additional rounds after a game of Gawi Bawi Bo, that gives the winner of Gawi Bawi Bo a chance to continue on the attack by selecting among the three hand signs and shouting either muk, jji, or ppa according to the hand sign that was selected. For example, if the winner shouts ppa while showing the corresponding hand sign, and the opponent shows the identical hand sign in return, the opponent loses completely and the game is over. However, if the opponent shows one of the other hand signs, muk or jji, he or she can then challenge the winner and the game moves on to a third round. In this case, the opponent earns a chance to counterattack by selecting among the three hands signs and shouting either muk, jji, or ppa, as was done in the previous round by the winner. The game can continue on over several rounds, or may finish within the initial two rounds.

Although Gawi Bawi Bo can be enjoyed as a game in and of itself, it is typically used to determine the person who will be “it, ” or to split people into teams at the start of other games.