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Originally peteka was a toy invented by Brazilian Tupi-Guarani and Xavantes tribes well before the Europeans discovered Brazil. The word "petek" in the extinct language meant "to strike with the palm of the hand." It was played at celebrations and was made of stones wrapped in leaves tied inside an ear of corn or sometimes a garlic bulb and grass.
At the 1920 Summer Olympic Games in Antwerp, Belgium, the Brazilian athletes were playing the game on the ship on their way to Belgium and also during the intervals between games to warm up. Athletes from many other countries were curious and fascinated about it.
In 1936, a German phys ed teacher was introduced to the game while visiting Brazil. He created a game in Germany named indiaca based on the Brazilian game. Indiaca is now also played in Japan, Estonia, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Poland.
It is similar to volleyball but easier to learn. It is played in United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, China, United States, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, France, Portugal, Chile, Belgium, Denmark, Paraguai and Bolivia.
A former French rugby player came to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1987 and was offered a shuttlecock by a boy as a souvenir. He became enthusiastic about the game and brought this idea to France. In 1997, he built the first club in Sannois, France and founded the French Federation. He introduced the game in schools, clubs and parks. Today there are more than 50 thousand players and more than 100 clubs in France.
After soccer and volleyball, it is the third most popular game played in Brazil, with many federations and championships.