*Huesillo: is a typical Chilean food. It's a dried peach that you mix with "mote" (wheat) for a typical Chilean summer dessert that's called mote con huesillo.

Game Instructions

This is a typical Chilean game for small kids. You play it with a ring that goes from hand to hand. One child is selected to be the leader. The others sit in a circle, their hands half open upwards to receive the ring.

The leader sings the song, while carrying the ring, and steps from child to child. He mimes giving the ring to each of them. But to one, who he selects, he actually does give the ring.

When the song finishes, the kid who was the last one the leader mimed passing the ring to, must choose who he thinks actually has the ring. If he's right, he and the leader switch roles and the previous leader must donate a piece of clothing (a scarf, a watch, a jacket, etc…) to the pile. If the guesser fails, he must give a piece of clothing.

When there's a big amount of clothing, the second part of the game begins:

The group decides on "una penitencia", a "task" that must be completed, for example to run around the yard once, or to hop 10 times without stopping etc. The leader then takes a piece of clothing and asks "Whose is it?" the owner says "Mine". Then the leader says, "At which game did you lose it?" and the owner says, "Run the Ring". The leader says "To get it back you must…" and the owner has to do "una penitencia".


Here's a longer version of this song in Spanish, followed by an English translation...

Corre el anillo por un portillo
pasó un chiquillo comiendo huesillo
a todos les dio menos a mí
Corre el anillo por un portillo.
Cayó una teja mató a una vieja,
cayó un martillo, mató a un chiquillo,
cayó un ratón, mató a un guatón,
cayó una horquilla, pinchó a una chiquilla,
cayó una tagua, aplastó a una guagua
cayó una rama de matico, aplastó a un milico.
Eche prenda señorita o caballero
¿Quién lo tiene de usted?

Here's the English translation...

Run the ring by the opening
A child appeared eating "huesillo"
He gave all the children some except me
Run the ring by an opening
A tile fell down, killed an old woman
A hammer fell down, killed a little boy
A mouse fell down, killed a potbellied one
A hair pin fell down, pricked a little girl
A tagua* fell down, flattened a baby
A branch of matico** fell down, flattened a military man
Leave a piece of clothing, miss or sir
Who has it? Who of you?

*a tagua is the fruit of the tagua tree, from which vegetal ivory is made.
**matico: buddleja globosa hope – a bushy plant from Chile.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to María Jesús Larrain for contributing and translating this song.

¡Muchas gracias!