Those are three names (Spanish, Turkish, and Korean respectively) for what appears to be an amazingly widespread children’s game involving five stones (or similar small objects); you can read about the South American version in detail here (if you know Spanish), and you can read a lively discussion about it in the comments to this post at Poemas del río Wang, the perfect place for such a thing to come to light. MOCKBA (a frequent commenter here) writes:
I’m still puzzled about the Korean five-stone game tradition — which seems to be quite old, with each Korean province developing its own name for this girls’ game which is generically known as gonggi. But there is definitely some continuum of five-stone game traditions, stretching across South and SE Asia (Kallangal, Anchangal in villages of Tamilnadu; Achenagandlu, Achamgilla, Chintapikkalata or Gachakayalata played by girls in Andhra Pradesh; Eidu Kallinnna Atta in Karnataka; Fatranim, a girls’ game in Goa; Txwv — a girls’ game of Hmong; Singaporean five stones; Batu Seremban in Malaysia). I couldn’t find any refs its being played by the Chinese or the Arabs, but Kugelach is known to Israelis and Ashik to Bulgarians (of course that’s Turkic for knucklebone). But just a short distance away, in Hungary or Russia, it’s like never existed at all. What sort of cultural diffusion would have a let a trace so long and so convoluted?
Araz responds, “Silk Road is the only answer coming to my mind immediately. The fact that it is a girls’ game would increase the diffusion, in my humble opinion.” (The fact that it is a girls’ game might also explain why it has been, apparently, so little known to non-girls or studied by scholars, if such is the case. I found a mention of it in Elizabeth Yoel Campbell’s Yesterday’s Children: Growing Up Assyrian in Persia, p. 32: “Homer and Willie bought some balloons, which are actually inflated sheep’s bladders scrubbed clean, some knuckle bones to play besh dash (a game like tossing dice) and beautiful, bouncy string balls.” And googling “five-stone game” led me to the Groot woordeboek, which tells me that it’s called klip-klip [‘stone-stone’] in Afrikaans.) Once again we see that Poemas del río Wang is an intellectual and spiritual Silk Road of our day.
Update. See now the wonderfully illustrated and musically accompanied roundup at río Wang.
If you’re curious how txwv is pronounced, you can hear it sung in this video of the song “Zov hiav txwv tos koj,” where the lyrics are very helpfully scrolled and highlighted as the singer reaches them; I should point out that final consonants in written Hmong words are tone markers (-v is mid-rising).