Skip to main content

Full text of "Annual report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution"

See other formats



Given By 
Bureau i)f^ American 











A\^. PI. holm:es 






vj- >y':\ -^ , 



ov Uw 

\.' \o^ 



Smithsonian Institution, 
Bureau of American Ethnology, 
Washington, D. C, Fcbnmry 20, 1905. 
Sir: I have the honor to submit herewith the Twenty - 
fourth Annual Report of tlie Bureau of American Eth- 

The preliminary portion comprises an account of the 
operations of the Bureau dui'ing the jSseal year ending 
June 30, 1908, and this is followed by an extended memoir 
on American Indian Games, by Stewart Culin. 

Permit me to express my appreciation of your aid in 
the work under my charge. 

Very respectfully yours, 

W. H. Holmes, Chipf. 
Mr S. P. Langley, 

Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. 



» Page 

Intruiluction ix 

Research work xi 

Handbook of Indian Tribes - xxiv 

Exposition work xx vii 

Illustrations xxvii 

Collections xxviii 

Manuscripts xxix 

Publications .. .'. xxx 

Editorial work xxxiii 

Library xxxiii 

Property xxxiv 

Accounts XXXV 


John Wesley Powell xxxv 

Jessie E. Thomas xxxviii 

Financial statement '. x x x ix 

Accompanying paper xxxix 


Games of the North American Indians, by Stewart Culin (Plates i-xxi, 

figures 1-1112) 1 

Index 811 







W. H. Holmes, Chief 


The operations of this Bureaii during the tiseal year 
ending June 30, 1903, conducted in accordance with the 
act of Congress making provision for continuing 
researches relating to the American Indians, under the 
direction of the Smithsonian Institution, have been car- 
ried out, in the main, in accordance with the i»lan si;b- 
mitted by Director Powell on May 20, 1902, and a|)proved 
by the Secretary on May 23, 1902. 

The death of Major J. W. Powell, Director of the 
Bureau, occurred at Haven, Me., on September 23, 1902. 
This event profoundly affected the interests of the 
Bureau, and closed an epoch in the history of the science 
of man. The wisdom of the foundation laid by Director 
Powell is everywhere recognized, and the impetus given 
to anthropological studies by his work must continue 
to be felt long after the present initial stage of the 
science has ripened into knowledge which shall help to 
regulate and direct the future development of the human 

During the period of Director Powell's illness the admin - 
istrative work of the Bureau devolved upon Mr W J Mc- 
Gee, ethnologist in charge, who was Acting Directoi' at 


the time of Major Powell's death. On October 11, 1902, 
Mr W. H. Holmes, head curator in the department of 
anthropology, United States National Museum, was 
appointed Chief of the Bureau, and he assumed charge 
of the office on October 18. 

The research work of the Bureau has been carried on 
by a permanent force of nine scientific employees, while a 
number of temporary assistants have been engaged for 
brief periods in the office and among the western tribes. 
During the year five members of the stalf have spent a 
part of their time in the field. The regions visited 
include Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Indiana, Minne- 
sota, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, Indian Terri- 
tory, New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, Idaho, California, 
Porto Rico, and Santo Domingo. 

The researches, which have been of exceptional impor- 
tance, have dealt with numerous branches of primitive 
culture and history, practical questions having been kept 
as much as possible in view. The completion of reports 
on field exploration and the preparation of papers dealing 
with special problems have claimed much attention, and 
everj' effort has been made to bring up to date and to 
submit for publication researches that have been matur- 
ing during previous years. The preparation of data for 
a Handbook of the Indian Tribes has been a principal 
feature of the j^ear's work, claiming the attention of all 
available members of the Bureau staff' and employing the 
services of a number of special students. 

The range of the scientific work has been wide. Phi- 
lology, sociology, sophiology, technology, and esthetics 
have received attention from those conducting investi- 
gations among the tribes in the field and those engaged 
in office research, but only incidental attention has been 
given to somatology and psychology. 

In the nonscientifi<- work of the Bureau — library, 
photographic, editorial, and clerical — ten persons have 
been employed, and many changes made in method and 


For the better understanding- of the work of the year 
and the conditions affecting the present affairs of the 
Bureau, circumstantial data dealing with history, sta- 
tistics, and routine have been introduced into this report. 


The Chief prosecuted archeologieal researches at a 
number of jioints in the eastern part of the United States. 
Previous to October 1'.^ he was engaged, witli the assis- 
tance of Mr Grerard Fowke, in making examinations of 
the fossil bone beds at Kimmswick, Mo., with the view 
of determining whether there was satisfactory evidence 
that man was contemijoraneous with the mammoth and 
the mastodon in that region ; but no traces of man were 
found in direct association with the fossil remains. 
Examinations of aboriginal flint quarries and sites of 
stone -implement manufacture were made in southern 
Indiana and in eastern Kentucky. In October exjdora- 
tions were undertaken at Lansing, Kans., with the view 
of determining the age of the human remains found 
embedded in loess -like formations near that place. The 
formations were extensively trenched by Mr Fowke, 
under the direction of the Chief of the Bureau, and the 
conclusion was reached that the remains were of excep- 
tional antiquity for America, J)ut could not with cei'tainty 
be assigned to a definite geological horizon, and were 
probably of post -Glacial time. In April the Chief paid 
a visit to Leslie, Mo., for the purpose of studying certain 
traces of ancient operations reported to occur in an iron 
mine near that place. Very interesting phenomena were 
encountered, the ancient aborigines having penetrated 
the ore body in many directions and to surprising depths, 
the purpose being, apparently, to o])tain the red and yel- 
low iron oxides for i)aint. Many hundreds of mining 
tools of stone were found in the ancient tunnels. Early 
in May a trip was made to Georgia and Alabama for the 


purpose of examining quarry sites and caverns occupied 
in ancient times by the aborigines. 

Reports have been prepared on the explorations at 
Lansing, Kans., and at Leslie, Mo. The former of these 
researches deals with the iinportant and ever -recurring 
question of the antiquity of man in America. It has 
been the aim of the Bureau, and especially of the present 
Chief, to occupy conservative ground with respect to this 
subject and to scrutinize the discoveries or reputed dis- 
coveries reported from time to time, so that erroneous 
interpretations shall not prevail. The purpose of the 
excavations made at Lansing was to expose the forma- 
tions containing the human remains so fully that geolo- 
gists of all ways of thinking might study them to 
advantage, thus preventing the adoption of conclusions 
based on inadequate observations. The Leslie iron mine 
study has an interesting bearing on the technic and 
industrial history of the tribes. It has been a matter of 
much surprise, as investigations of ancient mining and 
quarrying have progressed, that the aborigines, seemingly 
nonprogressive and shiftless, should have conceived and 
carried out really great enterprises. The technical 
knowledge and skill displayed are of a low order, indeed, 
but the work accomplished indicates remarkable enter- 
prise and persistence. 

Mr W J McGee, ethnologist in charge, continued as 
Acting Director until October 13. During this period 
he prepared the annual report for the preceding year, 
made a hasty archeological and ethnological reoonnois- 
sance in Minnesota, and in September visited Baddeck, 
Nova Scotia, whence he was called to the deathbed of 
Major Powell in Haven, Me. In December he visited 
Mexico with the view of arranging an expedition to 
the island of Tiburon, but in this he was not suc- 
cessful. He stopped for a day in New Mexico to visit 
some ancient ruins near the village of Cuchilla. After 
returning from Mexico Mr McGee suffered from a fever^ 


which prevented active work for a period of about three 

In July, August, and September Dr J. Walter Fewkes 
was occupied in the preparation of the text and illustrations 
of an account of a reeonnoissance made in Porto Rico 
during May and June of the previous fiscal year. This 
report, which was intended to be a resume of what is 
known of the prehistoric inhabitants of Porto Rico, was 
finished in October and placed in the hands of the Acting 
Director, who transmitted it to the Public Printer as 
Bulletin 28. Considerable time in these months was 
further given by Doctor Fewkes to correcting proofs 
and arranging the plates of his memoir on a series of 
native pictures of Hopi katcinas, or ancestor gods, for 
the Twenty -first Annual Report of the Bureau. Doctor 
Fewkes left Washington for a second expedition to 
the West Indies in the middle of November, remaining 
there more than five months, and visiting the islands of 
Porto Rico and Santo Domingo. The collection of pre- 
historic objects made on this trip numbers over 1,000 
specimens, 110 of which were obtained by purchase 
in Santo Domingo, the remainder by exploration and 
jiurchase in Porto Rico. Not only is this collection 
numerically the largest which has been brought to the 
Smithsonian Institution from Porto Rico and Santo 
Domingo at any one time, but it is also one of the most 
significant on account of its wealth in typical forms pre- 
viously unrepresented in the Museum. 

Doctor Fewkes was able to determine by excavations 
that the inclosures surrounded by aligned stones and called 
by the Spaniards juegos de bola were made by the aboi'igines 
of the island for ceremonial dance places and that neigh- 
boring mounds are prehistoric cemeteries. The deter- 
mination of the burial places of the prehistoric Porto 
Ricans and their discovery in numbers are believed to 
be the most important results of Doctor Fewkes's field 
work in Porto Rico. With this information to guide 
him, the archeologist will have little difficulty in the 


future in adding to existing collections of prehistoric 
objects from Porto Rico and in placing them in their 
proper categories. 

Doctor Fewkes made excavations in a cave called Cueva 
de las Golondrinas, situated near the town of Manati, and 
found large quantities of Indian pottery and a few other 
objects of aboriginal manufacture. All the evidence col- 
lected indicates that, while the aborigines had frequented 
this cave for a long time, the culture of earlier and later 
occupants was practically identical. After his return to 
Washington in May, Doctor Fewkes was occupied in cata- 
loguing the objects collected during the winter and in 
preparing a preliminary report on them. He was per- 
mitted to withdraw the account of his previous year's 
explorations, Avhich had been transmitted to the Public 
Printer as a bulletin, with a view of incorporating with it 
the new material ol)tained during his second visit to the 
island. The valuable results of the two years' work will 
thus appear in monographic form in a forthcoming annual 

The researches of Doctor Fewkes furnish much material 
of value bearing upon questions of science and history. 
Of first importance is the decided advance made toward 
identifying and rehabilitating the unfortunate peoples of 
the West Indies, swept almost without record from the 
islands during the early years of Spanish colonization. 
Considerable information regarding their }»hysical char- 
acters and manner of life has been gained, and various 
branches of culture are illustrated by the collections, while 
definite notions of the origin, burial customs, and arts 
and industries of the island peoples are for the first time 
conveyed to the world of science. These researches have 
thus shed much new light on an important chapter in 
aboriginal American history. 

The months of July to November, inclusive, were spent 
by Mrs M. C. Stevenson in researches among the Zuni 
Indians, the si)ecial objects being a comparative study 


of the peoples of the Southwest and a collection of the 
ethnic flora of Zuhi. Some years before, Mrs Stevenson 
had observed that the prayers of one of the Zuui rain 
priests v^ere sung in the Sia tongue, and that one of the 
esoteric fraternities sang in Piman ; but it was not until 
her last visit to Zufii that she learned that all the thir- 
teen esoteric fraternities used other languages than theu" 
own in their ceremonies. It is difficult to catch the words 
of an aboriginal choir singing to the accompaniment of 
rattles and drums, especially when the mind is absorbed 
in noting the ritual rather than the woi'ds employed ; but 
during the last season, having in view a comjiarative 
study of the Pueblo Indians, and knowing that at least 
one fraternity employed a foreign tongue, Mrs Stevenson 
closely observed this feature of the ceremonies and made 
special inquiries of the ])riests and theurgists, thus deter- 
mining the remarkable fact that this was true of all. 
Several reasons can be advanced for this use of strange 
languages, but it remains for future investigation to 
acquaint us fully with the cause. 

Mrs Stevenson makes the important observation that, 
although the ceremonies which she describes in her mon - 
ograph were regularly practised during the first fifteen 
years spent by her in their study and were faithfully 
observed in every detail, they have since been gradually 
changed and in some instances abandoned. It thus ap- 
pears that these researches were not undertaken a moment 
too soon. 

The main results of the year's work in Zvmi have been 
incorporated in the monographic study of the Zuni people 
prepared by Mrs Stevenson during previous years. The 
final work is now in the editor's hands and will soon be 
sul>mitted for publication. Mrs Stevenson's familiarity 
with the language of the Zuni, the confidence with which 
she has inspired them, the deep insight into the philo- 
sophical and religious meaning of their ceremonies that 
she has gained, and her intimate knowledge of their 


sociology' peculiarly fit her for the presentation of a mon - 
ograph on this people. 

The herbarium of edible, medicinal, and fetishistic 
plants collected by Mrs Stevenson over an area 110 
miles north and south and 60 miles east and west from 
Zuni contains about 200 specimens. Among the many 
interesting varieties are a narcotic. Datura stramonium; a 
specific for hemorrhage, Ustilago, and a milkweed that 
the Zuni claim to be their native cotton. The fiber of 
the last is made at the present time into a cord for the 
more sacred objects used by the rain priests, and the Zuni 
assert that all of their cotton fabrics were wov^en of this 
plant before the advent of the Spaniards. Acknowledg- 
ments are due to Dr F. V. Coville, botanist, Department 
of Agricultiu-e, and Dr J. N. Rose, assistant curator, 
United States National Museum, for their courteous as- 
sistance in providing Mrs Stevenson with facilities for 
preserving the collection and also for classifying the 

At the beginning of the fiscal year Mr James Mooney 
was in the field in western Oklahoma, engaged in the 
prosecution of researches among the Kiowa and Cheyenne 
tribes in the joint interest of the Bureau of American 
Ethnology and the Field Columbian Museum, under an 
agreement made in the preceding year. Except during 
two brief visits to Washington, in September and in No- 
vember, 1902, Mr Mooney devoted the entire year to 
researches relating to the social customs, religion, and art 
of the tribes, especial attention being given to investiga- 
tions of the heraldry system of the Kiowa and Kiowa 
Apache tribes as exemplified in the old-time shields and 
decorated tipis. His VvTtrk comprised the preparation of 
a full series of shield and tipi models on a suitable scale, 
together with related investigations and collections. The 
heraldry study and the series of models relating to the con- 
federated Kiowa and Kiowa Apache are nearly finished, 
and the latter is expected to constitute part of the Smith- 
sonian exhibit at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition . The 


complete series of models may be estimated to contain 
150 shields and 40 tipis of the Kiowa and confederated 
Apache and a somewhat smaller numlier from the Chej^- 
enne. In April Mr Mooney shifted his base of operations 
about 100 miles north from Mount Scott, in the Kiowa 
country, to a station near Bridgeport, in the Cheyenne 
country, and has since been moving about among the 
widely separated Cheyenne camjis. Some weeks were 
devoted to a practical study of the hide -dressing process 
in all its stages in connection with the making of a full- 
sized skin tipi. This important industry is thus for 
the first time placed fully on record. At the close of the 
present year Mr Mooney was preparing to attend the 
great annual sun dance of the Cheyenne, to be held about 
the middle of July. 

In addition to the research work referred to above, 
Mr Mooney has assisted, both in the field and during 
his brief stay in the office, in preparing material for the 
Handbook of Indian Tribes which is in course of prepa- 
ration l)y the Bureau. 

The heraldry studies of Mr Mooney have opened a new 
field in American ethnology, and are expected to con- 
tribute materially to our knowledge of many questions 
heretofore imperfectly understood in relation to the 
social and military organization, laws of succession, 
war customs, tabu system, and religious symbolism of 
the Plains tribes. The urgency of the work may be 
judged by the fact that of perhaps 300 shields possessed 
by the Kiowa a generation ago only 8 are now known 
to be in existence (4 of which have been ol)tained by 
Mr Mooney for the National Museum) , while more than 
half the information gained on the subject came from 
old men who have passed away since the investigation 
began . 

During the year Dr Cyrus Thomas, ethnologist, was 
engaged mainly on the IIandl)ook of Indian Tribes, under 
the supervision of Mr F. W. Hodge. In the early months 
he made a final examination of the data relating to the 

24 ETH — 05 II 


Algonqxiiaii family, and later took up the Sioiiau, Musk- 
hogeaii, Timuquauau, and Natehesau stocks. Brief 
articles intended for the handbook on various subjects, 
such as agriculture, mounds, mound -builders, govern- 
ment, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent 
Indians have been prepared hj Doctor Thomas. He has 
thus contributed greatly to the interests of the Bureau in 
a practical way, putting in final and concise form much 
of the knowledge accumulated during his thirty years 
of sei'vice in his chosen field. 

Doctor Thomas has been employed largely during pre- 
ceding years, in direct association with Major Powell, 
in the important work of compiling a list of linguistic 
families, languages, and dialects of the tribes of Mexico 
and Central America, and the manuscript of this work, 
comprising some 200 typewritten pages, was submitted 
by him at the close of the present year. 

At the beginning of the fiscal year Mr J. N. B. Hewitt 
was engaged in the work of making an interlinear trans- 
lation of a version of the Onondaga (Iroquoian) cosmo- 
logic myth, obtained in the field in 1900 from Mr John 
Arthur Gibson, an intelligent and gifted Seneca priest. 
This text is by far the longest and fullest of the five 
versions of this myth recorded by Mr Hewitt during 
several field seasons. Two of these texts are Seneca, two 
are Onondaga, and one is Mohawk. The Mohawk text, 
related by Mr Seth Newhouse, the shorter Onondaga 
text, told by John Buck, and the longer Seneca text, told 
by John Armstrong, were sent to press in the previous 
fiscal year. The longer Onondaga text contains more 
than 44,000 words in the Onondaga dialect, to about one- 
third of which an interlinear translation has been added. 
The first draft of a free translation of it was completed 
in October of the previous fiscal year. This manuscript 
will be ready for the press as soon as the interlinear 
translation is completed and the free translation revised. 
With it will be sulnnitted the shorter Seneca version, 
which is practically ready for the press. 


Later iii tue year much work was done on portions of 
the ritual of the Condoling Council of the League of the 
Iroquois. A free translation was made of the Onondaga 
version of the so-called Fourteen Matters and also of the 
Mohawk version of the Address of Welcome of the Brother 
Mourning Nations. The Chant of Lamentation, requir- 
ing more than an hour to intone, was typewritten, ready 
for interlineation. This work has enabled Mr Hewitt to 
ascertain approximately what is yet needful to complete 
his projected monograph on the Condoling Council of the 
League of the Iroquois. 

In September Mr Hewitt, assisted by the Reverend 
Jesse Kirk, an educated and intelligent Klamath quarter - 
blood Indian, undertook the special study of the system 
of blood relationships and affinities among the Klamath, 
of the Lutuamian linguistic family, to ascertain whether 
or not these peo])le have a clan system. This was done 
by means of two charts, one for the paternal and the 
other for the maternal lines of descent. It was shown by 
this study that the Klamath have no such clan system as 
that prevailing among the Iroquois. An extensive vocab- 
ulary of Klamath vocables, covering 57 manuscript pages, 
was also obtained from Mr Kirk. Mr Hewitt also devoted 
much time to work connected with the Handbook of 
Indian Tribes, furnishing, among other contributions, the 
articles on Adoption, Confederacy, and the Attacapan 

During the year Mr Hewitt's regular research work 
has been interrupted to a considerable extent by duties 
imposed in connection with the official correspondence of 
the Bureau. Many communications were received calling 
for information regarding the native languages, especially 
as to the significance of names and the interpretation of 
phrases and sentences, and these were mostly referred to 
Mr Hewitt for report. Besides this, a number of manu- 
scripts forwarded for examination or for purchase have 
been placed in his hands for expert consideration. 

In past years Mr Hewitt has taken part in the care of 


the great collection of manuscripts in the Bureau vaults, 
and toward the close of the present year he was appointed 
custodian of manuscripts. In this capacity he has again 
taken up the work of identifying, classifying, and cata- 
loguing these documents, one of no little difficulty, 
requiring much time. 

Dr John R. Swanton was engaged for the greater part 
of the year in copying and translating texts obtained by 
him from the Haida Indians of Queen Charlotte islands, 
British Columbia, during the winter of 1900-1901. There 
are two series of these texts taken in the dialects of 
Skidegate and Masset, respectively. Of the Skidegate 
series there are 75 texts (one -third of which are war 
stories) , covering about 360 typewritten pages, and of the 
Masset series about 90 texts, covering about the same 
number of pages. These texts will be ready for publica- 
tion early in the next fiscal year. 

Doctor Swanton has also been engaged in the prepara- 
tion of a grammatical study of the Haida language, which, 
while not exhaustive, will cover all essential points. He 
has also in hand a Haida dictionary. 

Doctor Swanton has assisted Mr Hodge in the coni|)ila- 
tion of the Handbook of Indian Tribes, for which he has 
revised, copied, and arranged all the descriptive matter 
relating to the Chimmesyan, Koluschan, Salishan, Skit- 
tagetan, Takilman, and Wakashan linguistic families. 

Dr Albert S. Gatschet has continued his linguistic 
work, giving his principal attention to the completion 
of a work on Algonquian texts, including the Peoi'ia, 
Miami, and Wea dialects. He has also made some prog- 
ress in the preparation of a Peoria dictionary and gram- 
mar, and in addition has rendered substantial aid by 
furnishing linguistic data called for by correspondents of 
the Bureau. 

Dr Frank Russell, ethnologist, spent most of the pre- 
vious year among the Pima Indians of Arizona, and on 
the return journey paid a brief visit to the Fox ti-ibe in 
Iowa, reaching Washington in July. It is expected that 


the re])oi"t on Ms researehes will appear in the Twenty - 
fourth Annual Report of the Bureau under the title : The 
Pima Indians of Arizona. His active connection with 
the Bureau ceased on October 30, but certain unfinished 
portions of the work were completed subsequently. 

Mr Stewart Culin, of the Brooklyn Institute Museum, 
has completed an elaborate monograph on native Ameri- 
can games which he has had in preparation for some 
years. This monograpn appears as the accompanying 
paper of this re]iort. 

In September Mr R. H. Partridge was commissioned 
by the Acting Director to visit New Mexico for the pur- 
pose of mapping certain ancient ruins situated in the 
valley of the Rio Hermoso, Socorro county. A month 
was spent in the work, and the map i)roduced and a brief 
report descriptive of the exploration have been placed in 
the Bureau archives. 

Dr Albert E. Jenks, ethnologist, on furlough from the 
Bureau and connected \vith the Ethnological Survey for 
the Philippine Islands, has communicated some details 
of a successful expedition conducted by himself among 
the Bontoc Igorrotes of northern Luzon. About the 
close of the year he became acting chief of the Ethno- 
logical Survey, Doctor Barrows, the chief, having been 
appointed commissioner of education for the islands. 

Under the immediate direction of Dr Fi'anz Boas, hon- 
orary ])liilologist, important linguistic studies were made 
by Mr H. H. St Clair, 2d, among the Ute, Shoshoni, and 
Comanche tribes. Numerous texts, grammatical notes, 
and vocabularies were collected, and in parts of this work 
the phonograph was used with success. That instrument 
was employed for recording the dictation of old men, and 
then the record was re])eated slowly by interpreters. 
During the winter months Mr St Clair assisted Doctor 
Boas in carrying forward various linguistic studies; in 
addition, he continued work on a Chinook dictionary, 
on which considerable progress had previously been 
made, and in June, 1903, began work among certain tribal 


remnants in Oregon, more particularly the Alsea, Coosa, 
and Takilma. 

Under Doctor Boas's supervision Mr William Jones con- 
tinued his linguistic work among the Sauk and Foxes, 
making a large collection of texts, all of which have been 
copied, and elaborating a comprehensive grammar of the 
language of these tribes. In these studies Mr Jones has 
succeeded in carrying out the analysis of the Algonquian 
language in a much more satisicictory manner than did 
any of the older authors, most of whom devoted their 
attention chiefly to works designed for religious instnic- 
tion. It is expected that the manuscript of his gram- 
matical studies will be completed by the end of the 
present calendar year. In the spring of 1903 Mr Jones 
made investigations of the lang-uage of the Kickapoo, 
obtaining a considerable amount of linguistic material 
among that tribe. 

Besides directing the work of these assistants, Doctor 
Boas has continued his investigation of the grammar of 
the Tsimshian and Chinook languages. 

The ripening of linguistic studies in America initiates 
a new era in philologic research. Powell gave great 
impetus to the work, and numerous other students have 
devoted their energies assiduously to the important task 
of recording and classifying the American languages and 
of applying the results to the elucidation of the history of 
the languages and peoples. The ultimate object of the 
work conducted under the direction of Doctor Boas is a 
morphological classification of the languages of America. 
The enumeration of linguistic stocks published by Major 
Powell in the Seventh Annual Report of the Bureau is 
based entirely on vocabularies, many of which are very 
brief. By means of the study of the morphology of lan- 
guages more remote relationships may be traced and the 
results of lexicographic comparisons may be confirmed. 
The grammatical studies that are carried on at present 
will therefore serve to elucidate many of the obscure parts 
of the earlier history of our country and the significance 


of the multitude of liinguages in California and in the 
lower Mississippi region. The work is being done in 
systematic cooperation with investigators not connected 
with the Bureau. Among these are Dr A. L. Kroel)er, 
of the University of California, Dr Roland B. Dixon, of 
Harvard University, and a feM' other students who are 
collecting material in California, partly for the Univer- 
sity of California, partly for the American Museum of 
Natural History. Up to the present time the Bureau 
has taken up, in connection with this work, morpho- 
logical studies of the languages of the Northwest coast 
and of the Siouan, Shoshonean, and Algonquian stocks, 
three of the largest on our continent. The work has 
so far advanced that it is proposed to prepare at once a 
handbook of the American languages as a preliminaiy 

The Bureau has had under way for some years the 
transcription of the Diccionario de Motul, a manuscript 
Maya -Spanish dictionary, borrowed from the library of 
the University of Pennsylvania. The copy is intended 
for the use of Sehor Andomaro Molina, of Merida, Yuca- 
tan, who is engaged in compiling a Maya -English dic- 
tionary to be pulilished by the Bureau. The transcription 
was in the hands of Miss Jessie E. Thomas, librarian of 
the Bureau, but her untimely death in January brought 
the work to a close. The dictionary was returned to the 
university library on March 15, as previously arranged, 
but permission has since been granted to bring it again to 
Washington when a competent copyist is found. 

An important feature of the work of the year has been 
the preparation of material for a Handbook of the Indian 
Tribes. It was the Secretary's wish that this iindertaking 
should be carried rapidly to completion, and Mr F. W. 
Hodge, formerly of the Bureau, Init now connected 
directly with the Smithsonian Institution, was detailed 
to take charge of the work. Mr Hodge by arrangement 
has spent the afternoon of each day at the Bureau, and 
has thus been able personally to direct the work, a report 
on which is here presented. 



At the time of the early exploration and settlement of 
North America there were encountered many Indian 
tribes, varying in customs and speaking divei'se langi;ages. 
Lack of knowledge of the aborigines and ignorance of 
their languages led to many curious errors on the part of 
the early explorers and settlers : names were applied to 
the Indians that had no relation whatever to those by 
which they were aboriginally known; sometimes nick- 
names were bestowed, owing perhaps to some personal 
characteristic, fancied or real; sometimes there was 
applied the name given by another tribe, which was often 
opprobrious ; frequently an effort was made to employ the 
designation by which a tribal group knew itself, and, as 
such names are often unpronounceable by an alien tongue 
and unrepresentable by a civilized alphabet, the result 
was a sorry corruption, varying as the sounds were 
impressed on English, Spanish, French, Dutch, Rus- 
sian, or Swedish ears, or recorded in various languages, 
only to be as grossly corrupted when the next traveler 

Sometimes, again, bands of a single tribe would receive 
distinctive names, while clans or gentes would l)e regarded 
as independent autonomous groups, to which separate 
tribal designations were likewise applied. Consequently, 
in the allusions to the American Indians which are found 
scattered throughout the literature of the first three 
centuries of the New World thousands of tribal names 
are encountered only a small proportion of which are 
recognizable at a glance ; therefore, one of the most prac- 
tical and important studies that was undertaken at the 
inception of the work of the Bureau was the classification 
of these names, with the view of their publication as an 
Indian synonymy. As time passed, however, the scope 
of the work was enlarged; for, as the studies of the 
Bureau were prosecuted, a large amount of information 


in regard to the tribes, botli past and present, was gained, 
so that it was deemed desiraljle to make of the work a 
cyclopedia or handbook of the Indians north of Mexico, 
containing tribal synonyms. 

The work was continued at intervals during several 
years, most of the scientifie corps, particularly Mr James 
Mooney, being engaged in the compilation, under the 
general supervision of Mr H. W. Henshaw, until 1891, 
when, owing to failure of health, Mr Henshaw was com- 
pelled to relinquish ethnologic work. Later, the task 
was assigned to Mr Hodge, who continued it, so far as his 
other duties permitted, until early in 1901, when he was 
transferred to the office of the Smithsonian Institution. 
The work was continued, with many interru})tions. until 
November of the present fiscal year, when, as has been 
stated, Mr Hodge was again assigned to the task. In 
accordance with the Secretary's wish, the scope of the 
work was enlarged so as to in(dude not only descriptions 
of the Indian stocks, confederacies, tribes, subtribes, 
phratries,/ bauds, clans, gentes, and settlements, as pre- 
viously planned, but also biographies of the most noted 
Indians, sketches of the native manners, arts, customs, 
industries, and antiquities, together with the Indian words 
incorporated into the English language. 

The facilities of the Bureau were immediately made 
available, most of the scientific corps devoting at least a 
part of their time to the work, Avhile the services of others 
not officially connected with the Bureau were enlisted in 
directions in which their special knowledge would be 
advantageous. To this end the Athapascan stock was 
assigned to Dr Washington Matthews, whose ill health 
unfortunately compelled him to relinquish it. The Atta- 
capan, Beothukan, Iroquoian, and Uchean stocks were 
assigned to Mr J. N. B. Hewitt; the Chimakuan, Chi- 
nookan, Kalapooian, Kusan, Lutv;amian, Shahaptian, 
Takihnan, Waiilatpuan, and Yakonan, to Dr Livingston 
Farrand; the Chimmesyan, Eskimauan, Koluschan, Sali- 
shan, Skittagetau, and Wakashan, to Dr John R. Swanton ; 


the Californiaii stocks, to Dr A. L. Kroeber and Dr Roland 
B. Dixon; the Algonquian, Chitimachau, Karankawan, 
Muskhogean, Natchesan, Siouan, and Timuquanan, to Dr 
Cyrus Thomas; the Caddoan, to Miss Alice C. Fletcher; 
and the Kitunahan, to Dr A. F. Chamberlain; while the 
Piman, Ynman, and Pueblo stocks were undertaken per- 
sonally by Mr Hodge. At the close of the year the work 
on these stock and tribal descriptions had been well 
advanced, most of the important as well as a number of 
the smaller linguistic groups being entirely ready for final 
editorial revision. Owing to pressure of other duties, a 
number of the specialists not officially connected with the 
Bureau, required more time than was expected, so that 
some of the outstanding matter can not be finished as 
soon as was desired. 

In accordance with the plan of enlargement of the 
scope of the handbook outlined by the Secretary a 
schedule of the anthro]:)ologic and other topics of what- 
ever nature thought to be necessary, was prepared ; and 
these were assigned to specialists for succinct treatment. 
Those who have been engaged in this part of the work are 
Dr A. F. Chamberlain, Mr Stewart Culin, Miss Alice C. 
Fletcher, Mr J. N. B. Hewitt, Mr F. W. Hodge, Mr W. H. 
Holmes, Dr Walter Hough, Prof. O. T. Mason, Dr 
Washington Matthews, Mr Joseph D. McGuire, Mr James 
Mooney, Dr J. R. Swanton, and Dr Cyrus Thomas. At 
the close of the fiscal year many of the articles were com- 
pleted . 

For several weeks Mr Hodge has been engaged in put- 
ting in final form the first half of the matter of the first 
of the proposed two volumes. The moiety of the Algon- 
quian descriptions (A to M) , recorded on about 10,000 
cards, was more than half revised for the printer by the 
close of June, and material for many more linguistic 
families was awaiting similar editorial treatment. 



Early in the year an allotment of $2,000 was made by 
the Smithsonian Institution, from fnnds placed at its 
disposal by the Oovernment board of the Louisiana Pur- 
chase Exposition, to be used by the Bureau in preparing 
an exhibit for the exposition. It is arranged that this 
exhibit shall comprise ethnological and archeologieal col- 
lections illustrative of the research work of the Bureau ; 
and instructions have been given to members of the staff 
in the field to take up the work. Progress has been 
reported by Dr J. W. Fewkes, who will illustrate his 
researches in the West Indies; by Mrs Matilda Coxe 
Stevenson, who will collect specimens illustrating Zuni 
arts and customs; and by Mr James Mooney, who has in 
hand a series of exhibits designed to represent the her- 
aldic systems of the Plains Indians. 


The illustrations are a most important feature of the 
research and publication work of the Bureau. They con- 
sist of drawings, photographs, rubbings, engravings, etc., 
derived from many sources, and either used in the illus- 
tration of papers or filed for reference. The photographic 
work includes the making of photographs of all visiting 
Indians, copying pictures and maps, and photographing 

Mr DeLancey Gill has continued in charge of illustra- 
tions, the volume of work being about the same as in 
previous years. The preparation of illustrations, the crit - 
icism and revision of engravers' proofs, and the photo- 
graphic work have been carried on in the usual manner. 
Illustrations for Doctor Pewkes's paper on his Porto Rican 
studies, consisting of 25 original drawings and photo- 
graphs, were prepared and sent with the manuscript to 


the Public Pi-iuter. Eiigraved proofs of 330 drawings 
and photographs, intended for use in the Twenty -second 
Annual Report, have been received from the Public 
Printer during the year, and have been criticised and 
corrected. The printed editions of 107 colored plates, 
representing nearly 1,000,000 impressions, to be used in 
the Twenty-first and Twenty-second Annual Reports, 
have been examined liy Mr Gill, and the imperfect work 
has been rejected. Drawings to the number of about 
200, intended for forthcoming reports by Mrs M. C. Stev- 
enson and Mr Stewart Culin, were executed by contract 
under the supervision of the authors. The preparation 
of illustrations for reports following the Twenty -third 
was taken up toward the close of the year. 

The photographic work has progressed satisfactorily; 
646 negatives, 6^ by 8i inches, have been made, 123 of 
which were exposed in the field by Dr Frank Russell and 
developed in the office laboratory. About 500 4 -by -5 -inch 
films were exposed in the field l)y Doctor Fewkes, and 
also developed in the office laboratory; and a large num- 
ber of portraits of visiting Indians were made during the 
year. In all, 1;146 negatives were added to the collection 
and 1,341 prints were made. 

Detailed plans by Mr Gill of three of the great ruined 
buildings of Mexico — the temple of Xochicalco, the 
Temple of the Columns at Mitla, and the House of the 
Governor at Uxmal — were prepared for use in construct- 
ing models of the buildings for the Louisiana Purchase 
Exposition exhibit of the Smithsonian Institution. 


For a number of years previous to the separation of the 
work of the Bureau from the Geological Survey, and 
also since the separation took place, the Bureau has made 
extensive collections of objects illustrating its researches 
and foi'ming the basis for important studies. The col- 
lections have usually been catalogued on arrival at the 


Bureau, and after serving their purposes for study and 
illustration have been transferred to the United States 
National Museum, where they have been recorded and 
properly accredited to the Bureau. 

During the year important collections have been made, 
as follows : Archeological collection from Santo Domingo 
and Porto Rico, by Dr J. W. Fewkes, 1,210 specimens; 
ai'cheological collection from an aboriginal hematite mine 
in Missouri, by Mr W.H. Holmes and Mr Gerard Fowke, 
160 specimens; collection of flint implements from Indi- 
ana and Kentucky, by Mr Gerard Fowke, many thou- 
sands of specimens; ethnological collection from Zuni 
pueblo, New Mexico, by Mrs M. C. Stevenson, 220 speci- 
mens. These have been transferred to the National 
Museum, together with numerous other collections found 
in the Bureau offices and in storage. The latter include a 
large collection from the Maine coast shell -heaps, made by 
Mr F. H. Cushing, 8,058 specimens; an important collec- 
tion of ethnological material from the Pima Indians of 
Arizona, made by Dr Frank Russell, 324 specimens; and 
numerous small collections and single specimens. These 
collections are accompanied with all available data relating 
to them, and are so placed in the Museum as to be con- 
venient for study. 


Of peculiar value and interest are the manuscripts 
brought together in the archives of the Bureau. They 
number upward of 1,600, and relate (diiefly to the Indian 
languages. Of these documents 332 were transferred by 
the Smithsonian Institution to the Bureau on its organi- 
zation ; many have been presented to the Bureau since 
that time, a large number have been purchased from 
their authors, while many others have been prepared 
by employees of the Bureau, and, being fragmentary or 
not fully elaborated, have been filed for future comple- 
tion and for reference. A valuable body of linguistic 


data is thus preserved and is available for the use of 
students. Besides the linguistic material many miscel- 
laneoiis mani;seripts and documents have accumulated. 
A few of these are historical, but the majority are of an 
ethnologic character. These manuscripts are kept in two 
fireproof vaults, and recently have been placed under the 
custodianship of Mr J. N. B.i Hewitt, ethnologist. 


When the United States Geogra])hical and Geological 
Survey of the Rocky Mountain Region was discontinued 
by act of Congress approved March 3, 1879, it had pub- 
lished two volumes in quarto (1 and 3) of a series of Con- 
tributions to North American Ethnology. The same act 
made an appropriation for completing and preparing for 
publication other volumes of the series. The work was 
put in charge of Major J. W. Powell, previously Director 
of the Rocky Mountain Survey, and the Bureau of Eth- 
nology was organized. The new Bureau continued the 
publication of the Contributions, and in 1880 the Di- 
rector began a series of annual rex'orts of progress to the 
Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, which were 
published, with accompanying scientific papers, in illus- 
trated royal octavo volumes. The printing of the volumes 
of both series was at first specially authorized by Con- 
gressional resolution, but on March 2, 1881, volumes 6 to 
10 of the Contributions were provided for by a single 

Under the joint resolution of August 5, 188G, the Director 
of the Bureau commenced in the following year the pub- 
lication of a series of bulletins in octavo form, unbound, 
which was continued by authority of the concurrent reso- 
lution of July 28, 1888. The public printing act of Jan- 
uary 12, 1895, which superseded all previous acts and 
resolutions relating to public printing and binding, pro- 
vided for the continuance of the series of annual reports 


only. At that time there had been published or were in 
course of publication 8 volumes of Contributions to North 
American Ethnology, numbered 1 to 7 and 9, 24 bulletins, 
and 13 annual reports. 

From 1895 to 1900 the Bureau issued the series of 
annual reports only, but on April 7 of the latter year 
Congress passed a concurrent resolution authorizing the 
commencement of a new series of bulletins in royal 
octavo, uniform with the annual reports. Three num- 
bers of this series (25 to 27) have been issued. The pres- 
ent edition of both annual reports and bulletins is 9,682 
copies, of which the Senate receives 1,500, the House 
3,000, and the Bureau 3,500 (of which 500 are distriluited 
by the Smithsonian Institution) . From the remaining 
1,682 are drawn the ])ersonal copies of the members of 
Congress, those for the Library of Congress and a few 
other Government libraries, and those sold by the Super- 
intendent of Documents and distvil)uted by him to various 
designated libraries throughout the country. 

Besides the series mentioned there have been issued 
small editions of several miscellaneous publications, 
intended chiefly or wholly for the use of collaborators 
and correspondents. These comprise three introductions 
to the study of aboriginal activities (one having been 
published previously by the Rocky Mountain Survey) ; a 
collection of Indian gesture signs; a set of proof-sheets 
of a bibliography of North American languages; a pro- 
visional list of the principal North American tribes, with 
synonyms ; and two samples of style for the Handbook 
of American Indians that is now in preparation. 

There have been issued up to the present time 19 an- 
nual reports, of which 4 are in 2 parts; 27 bulletins, of 
which 24 are in octavo, unbound, and 3 in royal octavo, 
bound ; 8 volumes of Contributions, of which one is in 2 
parts ; 4 introductions to the study of aboriginal activities, 
and 6 miscellaneous pamphlets ; making 69 volumes and 
pamphlets in all. The papers published have covered 
the entire range of aboriginal characters, activities, and 


history. Seven deal largely (3 of them almost wholly) 
with the classification of the tribes; almost all contain 
some cyclopedic material, 1 being devoted to it chiefly, 
while ] 8 others have a large amount of such material ; 3 
deal principally and 9 largely with history and tradition ; 
and 3 treat of Indian relations with the whites, as shown 
through land cessions and reservations. Of those ti'eat- 
ing of aboriginal activities, 3 deal chiefly and 12 largely 
with social organization; 50 are devoted to arts and 
industries, and 20 more contain considei'able material on 
this svibject; 40 are devoted mainly to linguistics, about 
35 to mythology and folklore, and a number of others 
contain material on both these topics. The whole con- 
stitutes a record of great practical value to those dealing 
with the interests of the native tribes and is of the utmost 
importance to students of the science of man. 

The Nineteenth Annual Report, Bulletins 25 and 27, 
and a sample of style of the Handbook of Indian Tribes 
(250 copies printed by the Smithsonian Institution for 
the use of collaborators) have been issued during the 
year ; the Nineteenth Annual in October, 1902 ; Bulletin 
25 in June, 1903; Bulletin 27 in January, 1903, and the 
pamphlet early in the same year. The Twentieth, 
Twenty -first, and Twenty -second Annual Reports are in 
press, the first being almost completed ; the Twenty -third 
Report, containing Mrs M. C. Stevenson's memoir on the 
Zufii Indians and Dr Frank Russell's paper on the Pima 
Indians, are nearly ready for transmission to the Pultlic 
Printer. A collection of Haida Texts, by Dr J. R. Swan- 
ton, and a series of papers on Mexican and Mayan 
Antiquities, History, and Calendar Systems, by Eduard 
Seler, E. Forstemann, Paul Sehellhas, Carl Sapper, and 
E. P. Dieseldorff, is in preparation, and the following 
unassigned papers have been submitted: Algonquian 
Texts (Peoria, Miami, and Wea) , by A. S. Gatschet; List 
of Linguistic Families of Mexico and Central America, 
by Cyrus Thomas. 

Publications are sent to two classes of recipients: (1) 


Eegularly, without special request, to working anthro- 
pologists, public libraries, scientific societies, institu- 
tions of learning, and others who are able to contribute 
to the work of the Bureau through publications, ethnologic 
specimens, or manuscript notes; (2) to others in response 
to special requests, frequently indorsed by members of 

During the year 1,380 copies each of the Nineteenth 
Annual Report and Bulletins 26 and 27 have been sent 
to reg-ular recipients, about one -half of them in the United 
States; and 3,600 miscellaneous volumes and pamphlets 
have been sent in response to about an equal number of 
special requests, more than 200 of which have come 
through Congressmen, about 400 volumes having been 
sent in response. 


The editorial work has been in charge of Mr H. S. 
Wood, assisted during July, August, and a part of Sep- 
tember, 1902, by Dr Elbert J. Benton. This work has 
comprised the proof-reading of the Twentieth Annual 
Report, Bulletin 27, and Bulletin 25, and of the galleys 
of the Twenty-first and Twenty-second Annual Reports, 
the preparation of a list of abbreviations for Bulletin 25, 
and the reading in manuscript of the Mayan and Mexican 
papers already mentioned. 


Although books and documents relating to ethnology 
were collected to a limited extent by the Geological Sur- 
veys, almost from their inception, the library of the Bureau 
did not have a separate existence until 1882, at which time 
a librarian was first appointed in the United States Geo- 
logical Survey, with which organization the Bureau was 
still domiciled. The systematic acquisition of volumes by 

24 ETH — 05 III 


purchase or exchange was begun at that time, though the 
first entry in the list of accessions was not made until 
1885. From then until separation from the Survey the 
record shows a steady growth, though it was slow, as 
allotments for purchase were small. At the time of the 
removal from the Survey building, in 1898, the vol- 
umes numbered about 2,500. Since that date growth 
has been more rapid, partly by reason of larger allotments 
for purchase, but chiefly through judicious exchange. 
The library now contains 11,863 volumes, somewhat more 
than 6,000 pamphlets, and several thousand numbers of 
unbound periodicals. 

Only books dealing with the American Indians and 
such general works as are needed for constant reference 
are purchased, but books and periodicals treating of all 
branches of anthropology and the related sciences are 
received in exchange. 

During the year there have been received 524 volumes, 
about 600 pamphlets, and the current numbers of more 
than 500 periodicals. 


The property of the Bureau may be grouped in seven 
classes, as follows: (1) Office furniture, appliances, and 
supplies; (2) field outfits; (3) ethnologic manuscripts 
and other documents; (4) photographs, drawings, etc., 
for illustrations ; (5) books and periodicals; (6) collec- 
tions held tem])orarily by collaborators for use in research; 
(7) undistributed residue of the editions of Bureau pub- 

The additions to the office and field property during the 
year have been few and unimportant. Numerous minor 
manuscripts have been added, ]irincipally in connection 
with the Handbook of Indian Tribes. The illustrative 
material has been increased by several hundred negatives 
and by numerous prints and drawings. The library has 
continued to grow steadily through exchange and, to a 
limited extent, by purchase. 



When the present Chief took charge of the oflfice a 
clerk who had been transferred from one of the execu- 
tive departments occupied the position of custodian of 
accounts and property. It w^as ascertained during the 
spring that vouchers were being tampered witli, and he 
was promptly arrested and indicted. 

A critical examination of the Bureau accounts thus 
became necessary, and all papers connected with disburse- 
ments were at once turned over to the disbursing officer 
of the Smithsonian Institution, who proceeded to give 
them the fullest scrutiny. One noteworthy result of this 
examination was the discovery of the fact that deficien- 
cies existed for the years 1901 and 1902, amounting to 
between $G00 and $700. The accounts at the close of the 
present year were fortunately in such condition that a 
sufficient balance remains to li(iuidate this indebtedness, 
if Congress so desires. At the close of the year the 
accounting work was again placed in charge of the 
Bureau; and, with its other affairs, is now reorganized 
and put on a proper business footing. 

John Wesley Powell 

John Wesley Powell, founder and director of the Bureau 
of American Ethnology, was born March 24, 1834, at 
Mount Morris, N. Y. He died September 23, 1902, at his 
summer home in Haven, Me., and was buried in Arling- 
ton National Cemetery with the honors due to a soldier. 

His boyhood was spent mostly in the town of Jackson, 
Ohio, where his mind was first directed toward the study 
of nature by James Crookham, an eccentric but able 
teacher of the village youth. He was a student for brief 
periods in Jacksonville and Oberlin colleges, and, taking 


up natural -history studies, traversed many sections of the 
Middle West and South, observing, studying, and collect- 
ing. It whs thus, no doubt, that he acquired a decided 
bent for exploration, but it was probably his experience 
as an officer in the civil war that developed the masterly 
qualities which made him a leader among men and an 
organizer in the realm of science. 

At the close of the war, declining political preferment, 
he resumed his scientific studies and engaged in teaching 
and in lecturing on geology. During his connection with 
Wesleyan University and the Illinois State Normal Uni- 
versity he conducted classes in the field, and thus became 
more fully a devotee of research. In 1867 he found his 
way to the Far West, where later he reached the climax 
of his career as an explorer in his memorable voyage down 
the Grand Canyon of the Colorado. This expedition 
brought into play his splendid courage and commanding 
abilities, and the story of his adventures is fraught with 
deep and romantic interest. On these journeys of explo- 
ration contact with the native tribes gave him an interest 
in ethnology, and thenceforth for many years his energies 
were divided almost equally between the sciences of 
geology and anthropology. 

Major Powell's mind was so broadened and strengthened 
by the varied experiences of his early career that when he 
was called u])on to enter the service of the nation as 
explorer, geologist, geographer, and ethnologist he natu- 
rally assumed the role of organizer. He gathered about 
him the best available men in the various departments of 
science, assigning them to the fields for which their abili- 
>ties particularly fitted them ; but at all times he was the 
master spirit, compassing with clear vision the widest 
horizon, and easily pointing the way to even the ablest. 
His vigorous methods were an inspiration and his large - 
mindedness and generosity made a deep impression on 
scores of students, who recognized the potent influence 
exerted by the master. 

As Director of the Geological Survey Major Powell 


originated and conducted many enterprises of importance 
to science and to public welfare, but lie was finally forced 
by failing health to withdraw from all branches of the pub - 
lie service save that relating to ethnologic research; in 
1893 he resigned the directorship of the Geological Survey 
to devote the remainder of his life to the science of man, 
and as Director of the Bureau of American Ethnology he 
achieved results that establish his claim to lasting renown. 
The Bureau of American Ethnology is peculiarly his, the 
lines of research initiated by him being in the main those 
that must be followed as long as the Bureau lasts — in fact 
as long as the human race remains a subject of study. 
Although the investigations made and directed by Powell 
related almost exclusively to the American race, the results 
are so broad as to apply to all mankind . It was a fortunate 
circumstance that his energies were directed to a field little 
encumbered by the forms, methods, and determinations of 
earlier students, since it enabled him to conduct his inves- 
tigations on new lines, and thus to raise the science to a 
higher plane. 

The series of volumes published by the Bureau, which 
are more completely Powell's own than the world can ever 
know, are a splendid monument to his memory, a monu- 
ment that will lose none of its impressiveness as the years 
and generations pass, and when, a little later, the Indian 
race and its unique culture are but shadows on the 
face of the world, and other primitive peoples have like- 
wise passed forever out of view, this monument that 
Powell has reared will stand, not only for himself but for 
the nation, among the most important contributions to 
human history ever made by an individual, an institution, 
or a state. The world of the future, viewing Powell *s 
career, will thank the guiding star that led the farmer boy 
to become a teacher, the teacher a soldier, the soldier an 
explorer, the explorer a geologist, and the geologist the 
historian of a vanishing race. 


Jessie E. Thomas 

Ou Januaiy 14, 1903, a skating accident caused the death 
of Miss Jessie E. Thomas, Hbrarian of the Bureau. 

Miss Thomas was born at Carbondale, 111., October 31, 
1875. She received a public school education; studied 
French, German, and Spanish under private teachei's; 
and during four years which she spent as secretary and 
assistant to her father, Dr Cyrus Thomas, of the Bureau, 
gained considerable knowledge of the Maya language and 
of the literature relating to the American Indians in gen- 
eral, as well as some experience in proof-reading and in 
bibliographic work. She acquired familiarity with library 
methods through attendance at Columbian University, 
Washington, D. C, and in May, 1900, was temporarily 
appointed to fill a vacancy in the staff of the Bureau 
library, of which Mr F. W. Hodge was then in charge. 
In September the appointment was made permanent, after 
Miss Thomas had passed highest in a special examination 
given by the United States Civil Service Commission to 
fill the ])osition. 

On Mr Hodge's resignation in the following January 
she was put in full charge, and from that time until 
her death performed with marked ability the difficult 
task of administering a scientific library. Much of Miss 
Thomas's time was taken up by the copying of the Motul 
dictionary (Maya-Spanish, Spanish -Maya) from the late 
Doctor Brinton's collection, and in addition to her other 
duties she gave, considerable attention to bibliographic 
studies intended to lessen the labors of students of anthro- 

Her extreme carefulness and methodical habits are well 
illustrated by the perfect order in which all her work 
was left, and her staunch character, modest demeanor, and 
lovable disposition were highly appreciated by her 



Appropriation by Congress for the (iscal year ending June 30, 190.S, "for 
continuing ethnological researches among the American Indians under 
the direction of the Smithsonian Institution, including salaries or com- 
pensation of all necessary employees and the purchase of necessary 
books and periodicals, fifty thousand dollars, of which sum not ex- 
ceeding one thousand five hundred dollars may be used for rent of 
building" (sundry civil act, June 2S, 1902) $50, OIU). 00 

Salaries or compensation of employees i?32, 327. 8!) 

Special services SI , 161 . 00 

Traveling expenses 4, 1 1 7. 65 

Ethnologic specimens I, 937. 00 

Illustrations 300. 90 

Manuscripts 3, 651. 70 

Books and periodicals for lil)rary 498. 67 

Rental 1,375.00 

Furniture 96. 50 

Lighting 67.98 

Stationery and supplies 665. 95 

Freight 45. 10 

Postage and telegrapli and telephone 102. 50 

Miscellaneous 162. 17 


Total disbursements 46, 510. 01 

Balance July 1, 1903, to meet outstanding liabilities 3, 489. 99 


This report is accompanied by a single paper, a mono- 
graphic study of American Indian games, by Mr Stewart 
Culin. The collection of the data therein embodied was 
begun by the author a number of years ago, in collabora- 
tion with Mr F. H. Cushing, but at the time of Mr Cush- 
ing's death slight insight had been gained into the real 
character and significance of the games as a whole. The 
popular notion that games of chance are trivial in nature 
and of no particular significance as a subject of research 
soon gave way, under the well-conducted studies of Mr 
Culin, to an adequate appreciation of their importance as 
an integral part of human culture. Although engaged in 
by both men and women, apparently as a pastime, and 
played persistently and with utter recklessness as to the 
wagers laid, games of all classes are found to be inti- 
mately connected with religious beliefs and practices, and 


to have universally a devotional aspect and in cases a 
divinatory significance. Mr Culin's studies, therefore, 
not only afford an understanding of the technology of the 
games and of their distribution, as well as their bearing 
on the history of the tribes, but they contribute in a 
remarkable manner to an appreciation of native modes of 
thought and of the motives and impulses that underlie 
the conduct of primitive peoples generally. The paper 
thus practically creates the science of games and for the 
first time gives this branch its proper place in the science 
of man. 


24 BTH~05 M 1 






Preface '^ 

Introduetion ^^ 

Tabular index to tribes and games 36 

Games of chance ■*^ 

Dice games ** 

Guessing games -^' 

Stick games -- '' 

Hand game -•'' 

Four-sticlv game ^ ' 

Hidden-ball game, or moccasin 335 

Games of dexterity , 383 

Archery ^^ 

Snow-snake •'^ 

Hoojt and pole **^ 

Ring and pin •'-' 


Racket ^'■^ 

Shinny '^^t* 

Double ball ^ ''"47 

Ball race *"*'* 

Football ^"07 

Iland-and-foot ball — ^^ 

Tossed ball '^08 

Foot-cast ball r '^^ 

Ball .iuggliug - ''1- 

Hot ball 714 

Minor amusements ''^•* 

Shuttlecock '^^'* 

Tipcat '^-^ 

Quoits — — '^22 

Stone-throwing '^28 

Sbuffleboard '^28 

Jackstraws '^29 

Swing '^30 

Stilts '^31 

Tops '^33 

Bull-roarer '^^ 

Buzz ''^l 

Popgun J 7'^^ 

Bean shooter '^^ 

Cat's cradle '^^1 

Unclassified games '^^^ 

Games derived from Europeans '89 

Ai)pendix : Running races , 803 

Summary of conclusions ^^ 




Plate I. Basket shield fiom ;t tliff-tlwelling Frontispiece 

II. Altar of War God. Zuui. New Me.xifo 33 

III. Tewa Iviva altar at Haiio. Arizona 4t! 

III«. Menominee |>laying l)0\\i game. Wisconsin T.'! 

ni&. Olanieutke playing stick game. California 144 

IIIc. Tarabumare pla.viug stick-dice game. Chihuahua. Mexico 152 

IV. Taku gambling sticks. Alaska •J4ii 

V. Haida stick game. Alaska 2(50 

VI. Four-stick game. Klamath. Oregon .T2S 

Vll. Soyal altar. Ilopi. Walpi. Arizona 387 

VIII. Menominee ])laying uiorcasin game. Wisconsin 343 

' IX. Gaming arrows. Kiowa. Oklahoma ^ 38.S 

X. Hidatsa playing lioop and pole. Xorth Dakota 511 

XI. Soquoquas. Klamath, Oregon 550 

XII. Menominee ball game. Wisconsin 5ti>< 

XIII. Ball dance. East Cherokee, Xorth Carolina 57»J 

XIV. Scratching a pla.ver, Cherokee l)all game, Xorth Carolina 580 

XV. Cherokee ball player. Xorth Carolina 583 

XVI. Cherokee Ijall team, Xorth Carolina . 58t". 

. XVII. Choctaw liall-iilay dance. Indian Territory 000 

■'XVIII. Choctaw liall play, liall up. Indian Territory 001 

XIX. Choctaw ball pla.v, ball down, Indian Territory 0(il 

XX. Flute children throwing annulets and cylinders on rain-cloud 

symbols, Hopi, Arizona 049 

XXI. Bark playing cards. I'inkaret. Arizona 701 

Figure 1. O^qol altar. Hopi. Arizona 35 

2. Sacrificial gaming canes. Znni. New Me.xico 40 

3. Cane dice. Zufii. Xew Mexico 40 

4. Handle of atlatl. cliff-dwelling, Colorado 47 

5. Atlatl (restored), cliff-dwelling. Colorado 47 

6. Stick die, cliff-dwelling, Colorado 47 

7. Bone dice. Tanner springs. Arizona 48 

8. Cane and wood dice and wooden dice cups, Utah 48 

9. Bone dice. Am.ilecite. Xew Brunswick 49 

10. Counting sticks for stick dice. Anialeeite, Xew Brun.swick 50 

11. Stick dice, Arapaho. Wyondng 50 

12. Stick dice. Arapaho, Wyoming 51 

13. Stick dice. Arapaho. W.voniing 51 

14. Stick dice. Arai)aho. Wyoming 51 

15. Leather disk used with .stick dice. Arapaho, Wyoming 51 

10. Stick dice. .Vr.ipaho. Wyoming 52 

17. Leather disk used with stick dice. Arapaho. Wyoming 52 

18. Stick dice. .\ra|iaho. WyDiiiing 52 




FiGiRt iri. Bone dice, Arapalio. W.vomiiijr 53 

20. Boue and peach-stone dice, Arapalio. Wyoming 5." 

21. Bone dice, Arapaho, Olilahonia 54 

22. Basliet for dice. Arapalio, Oklahoma -54 

23. Bone dice. Arapaho, Oklahoma 55 

24. Baslvet fov dice, Aiapaho, Oklahoma 55 

25. Wooden dice. Arapaho, Oklahoma 55 

26. Stick representing a man. used in dice game. Arapaho. Okla- 

homa 55 

27. Bone stick dice. Blaekfeet. Montana ^7 

28. Bone stick dice. Blaekfeet, Montana 57 

29. Counting sticks for dice, Blaekfeet, Montana 58 

30. Bone .stick dice. Blaekfeet, Albeita 58 

31. Bone dice, Cheyenne. Oklahoma 59 

32. Basket for dice. Cheyenne, Oklahoma 59 

33. I'lum-stone dice. Cheyenne, Montana 60 

34. Basket for dice. Cheyenne, Montana 60 

35. Plum-stone dice, Cheyenne, Montana 61 

36. Stick dice. Chippewa. Minnesota 61 

37. Bowl for dice, Chippewa, Minnesota 62 

38. Counting sticks for dice, Chippewa. Minnesota 62 

39. Beaded bag for dice. Chippewa. Minnesota 62 

40. Bone dice, Chippewa, Minnesota 62 

41. Bone and brass dice, Chippewa, Minnesota ti2 

42. Stick dice. Chippewa, Minnesota <5-( 

43. Stick dice. Chippewa. Minnesota 64 

44. Counting sticks for stick dice. Chippewa. Minnesota 64 

45. Stick dice. Chippewa. Minne.sota 64 

46. Platter for dice. Chippewa, Minnesota 65 

47. Bone and brass dice. Chippewa. Michigan 67 

48. Wooden dice and tray, Chippewa, North Dakota 68 

49. Stick dice. Cree, Assiniboia 68 

50. Bone dice. Cree, Saskatchewan 09 

51. Platter and bag for dice. Cree. Saskatchewan 69 

52. Stick dice and counting sticks. Delawares, Oklahoma 69 

53. Stick dice, Delawares. Oklahoma 70 

54. Stick dice. Grosventres, Montana 71 

55. Stick dice and counting sticks. Grosventre.s. Montana 71 

56. Bone dice. Grosventres. Montana J2 

57. Peach-stone dice. Grosventres. Montana 72 

58. Plum-stone dice, Grosventres. Montana 72 

59. Peach-stone dice. Kickapoo, Oklahoma 73 

60. Bowl for dice. Menominee, Wisconsin 73 

61. Bone dice, Micmac, Nova Scotia 74 

62. Platter for dice, Micmac. Nova Scotia 75 

63. Counting sticks for dice, Micmac, Nova Scotia 75 

64. Counting sticks for dice, Micmac. Nova Scotia 76 

65. Bone die, Jlicmac, Nova Scotia 77 

66. Engraved shell bead or runtee. New York 77 

67. Boue dice. Micmac. Nova Scotia 78 

68. Platter for dice. Micmac. Nova Scotia 79 

60. Counting sticks for dice. Micmac. Nova .Scotia 79 

70. Counting sticks for dice. Micmac. New Brunswick.: 80 

71. Manner of holding dish in dice game. Passamaiiuoddy. .Maine.. 82 



FiGUBE 72. Bone die. Passamaquoddy, Maine 83 

73. Counting sticks for dice game, Passamaquoddy, Maine 83 

74. Counting stielvs for dice game, Penobscot, Maine 84 

75. Limestone disks, possibly used ingame, Nottawasaga. Ontariu_ 84 
7t>. Bone stick dice, Piegan, Alberta 84 

77. Bone dice, Potawatomi, Oklahoma 85 

78. Bone dice. Sauk and Foxes, Iowa 85 

79. Jlessage sticks for woman's dice game. Sauk and Foxes, Iowa. 85 

80. Stick dice. San Carlos Apache. Arizona 86 

81. Stick dice. San Carlos Apache. Arizona Sfi 

82. San Carlos .\pa<he playing stick dice. Arizona 86 

83. Stick dice. White Mountain Apache, Arizona 87 

84. Circuit for stick dice. White Mountain Apache, Arizona 87 

85. Stick dice. White Mountain Apache. Arizona 88 

86. Circuit for stick dice. White Mountain Apache, Arizona 88 

87. White Mountain Apache women playing stick dice. Arizona 89 

88. Stick dice. White Mountain Apache. Arizona 90 

89. Manner of holding .stick dice. White Mountain Apache. Ari- 

zona 90 

90. Wooden dice. White Mountain Apache. Arizona 91 

91. Shell dice, Hupa. California 91 

92. Wooden dice, Kawchodinne, Mackenzie 92 

93. Stick dice, Navaho, Arizona 93 

94. Order of counts in game of ashbii. Navaho, Arizona 93 

95. Stick dice. Xavaho. New Mexico 94 

96. Navaho women playing stick dice. Arizona 94 

97. Wooden dice. Navaho, Arizona 95 

98. Wooden dice, Navaho, Arizona 96 

99. Plum-stone dice, Arikara, North Dakota 98 

100. Canedice, Caddo, Oklahoma 98 

101. Canedice, Caddo, Oklahoma 98 

102. Canedice. board, and counting sticks, Caddo. Oklahoma 98 

10.3. Canedice, Pawnee. Oklahoma 99 

104. Stick-dice game. Pawnee. Oklahoma 10ft 

105. Stick dice, Pawnee, Oklahoma 100 

100. Stone tablet for stick dice, Pawnee. Oklahoma 100 

107. Counting sticks for stick dice. Pawnee. Oklahoma 100 

108. Peach-stone dice, basket, and counters. Pawnee. Oklahoma 101 

109. Plum-stone dice. Pawnee, Oklahoma 101 

110. Stick dice. Wichita, Oklahoma 102 

111. Ivory dice. Central Eskimo, Franklin 102 

112. Game of fox and geese, Yuit Eskimo, Siberia 103 

113. Ivory water birds and seal. Western Eskimo, .\laska 103 

114. Phalanges of seal used in game. Western Eskimo, Alaska 104 

11.5. Bone die. Western Eskimo. Ala.ska 104 

116. Bone dice. Seneca. New York 113 

117. Bowl for dice, Seneca, New York 114 

118. Peach-stone dice, Seneca, New York 114 

119. Position of pla.vers in bowl game, Seneca, Ontario 117 

120. Peach-stone bowl game, Seneca, New York 118 

121. Bone dice. Seneca, New York 118 

122. Cane di<e. Keres. Acoma, New Mexico 119 

12.S. Cane dice, Keres, Acoma, New Mexico 119 



Figure 124. Stick dicp, Keres. Acouia. New Mexico 120 

125. Circuit for sticli dice. Keres. Acoma. New Mexico 120 

120. Sticlv dice. Keres. Cocliiti. New Mexico 121 

127. Stick dice. Keres. Laguna. New Mexico 121 

128. Circuit for stick dice. Keres. Laguua. New Mexico 122 

129. Stick dice, Keres. Laguna. New Mexico 122 

130. Circuit for stick-dice game, Keres. Sia. New Mexico 12.3 

131. Stick dice. Kiowa, Oklahoma 124 

132. Counting sticks and awls for abl game, Kiowa, Oklahoma 12.5 

133. Cloth for ahl game. Iviowa. Oklahoma 125 

134. Stick dice. Kiowa. Oklahoma 128 

1.3.5. Stick dice. Kiowa. Oklahoma.-- 128 

136. Stick dice. Kiowa. Oklahoma...: 129 

137. Stick dice, Kiowa, Oklaliom.i 129 

138. Ivory and wooden dice. Tlingit. Alaska 130 

139. Leather tahlet on which dice are thrown. Tlingit. .Vlaska 130 

140. Stick dice. Pomo, California 131 

141. Stick dice, Pomo, California 132 

142. Stick dice, Pomo, California 132 

14.3. Stick dice. Pomo, California 133 

144. Stick di<e. Pomo. California 133 

145. Stick dice, Pomo, California 133 

140. Stick dice. Pomo. California 133 

147. Stick dice. Pomo, California 134 

148. Stick dice, Pomo, California . 134 

149. Stick dice. Pomo, California 134 

150. Counting .sticks for stick dice, Pomo, California 135 

151. Counting sticks for stick dice. Pomo. California 135 

152. Counting sticks for stick dice. Pomo, California 135 

15.3. Counting sticks for stick dice. Pomo, California 135 

154. Stick dice. Pomo. California 135 

1.55. .Vstralagus of deer, used as die. Pomo, California 135 

150. Stick dice. Klamath. Oregon 136 

157. AVoodchuck-teeth dice. Klamath. Oregon 137 

158. Woodchuck-teeth dice. Klamath. Oregon 1.38 

159. Dice plaque, Wiktchamne, California — _ 139 

160. Cane dice and counting sticks. Yokuts. California 140 

161. Walnut-shell dice. Yokuts. California 141 

162. Dice plaque. Miwok. California 144 

163. Basket, dice-tray and dice. Tulares, California 145 

]t>4. Corn-grain dice. Choctaw, Louisiana 146 

105. Stick dice. Papago. Arizona 147 

166. Papago striking stick dice in the air 147 

167. Circuit for stick dice, Papago. Arizona 147 

168. Stick dice. Papago, Arizona 148 

169. Astralagus of hison used as die. Papago. Arizona 148 

170. Stick dice, Pima, Arizona 149 

171. Stick dice, Pima. .Vrizona 149 

172. Stick dice. Pima. Arizona 149 

173. Circuit for stick-dice game. Pima, .\rizDna 150 

174. Four faces of stick die. Pima. Arizona 150 

17.5. Stick dice, Pima, Arizona 151 

176. Stick dice, Pima, Arizona 151 



Figure 177. Stick liiee. Taralnimare. Cliilniahun. Mexico 152 

178. Stick dice, Teiiehuan. Chilinaluia. Jle.xico 153 

179. Sticlv dice, Tepelniaii, Cbihualiua. Jlexico l-i4 

180. Circuit for stielc-dice game, Tiiraliuinare and Tepehuan, Clii- 

buabua, Mexico 154 

ISl. Wooden dice, Bellacoola, British Columbia 155 

182. Beaver-teetb dice. Snoboniisli (?K Washington 156 

ISH. Counters for l)eaver-teetb dice. Snoboniisli (?). Washington^ 1.56 

184. Beaver-teeth dice. Thoniiison Indians. British Columbia 157 

185. Stick dice, Yakima, Washington 158 

186. Stick dice, Bannock, Idaho 15i) 

187. Counting sticks for stick dice. Bannock. Idaho 159 

188. Bone dice, Comanche. Oklahoma 160 

189. Bone dice. Comanche. Oklahoma 160 

190. Cane dice, Hopi, Arizona 160 

101. Board for cane dice, Hopi, Arizona 161 

192. Board for cane dice, Ilopi. .Vrizona 161 

19:i. Cane dice, Ilopi. Arizona 161 

194. Cane dice and board. Ilopi. Arizona 162 

19.5. Cane dice and board, Ilopi. Arizona 162 

19G. Cane dice and board. Ilopi. Arizona 162 

197. Decorated pottei-j- bowl with gambling sticks. Hopi. Arizona 163 

198. Decorated pottery bowl with gambling sticks. Hopi. .\rizona 163 

199. Decorated pottery bowl with Eagle-man and gaming reed casts. 

Ilopi, Arizona 164 

2<Ki. Cane dice, Chevlon ruin, Arizona 165 

201. Stick dice, Kawia, California 165 

202. .\ci)rn-cup dice. Mono, I'alifornia 166 

203. Basket tray for dice, ilono. California 166 

204. Cane dice, Paiute, Utah 166 

205. Cane dice, Paiute, Utah 167 

206. Stick dice, Paiute, Nevada 167 

207. Stick dice, Paiute. Nevada 168 

20S. Walnut-shell dice. Paiute. Nevada 168 

200. Stick dice. Sbosboni, Wyoming 169 

210. Stick dice, Sbosboni. Idaho 169 

211. I'.one dice. Sbosboni. Wyoming 170 

212. Bone dice, Shoshoni, Wyoming 170 

213. China dice, Shoshoni, Wyoming 170 

214. China dice. Shoshoni. Wyoming 170 

21.5. Bag for dice. Shoshoni. Wyoming 170 

216. Basket for dice, Shoshoni. Wyoming__"l 170 

217. (\)nnting sticks for dice. Shoshoni. Wyoming 171 

215. Stick dice, Salioba, California . 171 

219. Stick dice, I'inta Ute, Utah 172 

220. Stick dice for basket dice, Uinta Ute. Utah 172 

221. Uinta Ute women playing basket dice. Utah 173 

222. Stick dice, Assiniboin, North Dakota 174 

223. Bowl game. Assiniboin, Montana 174 

224. Counts in bowl game. Assiniboin. Montana 1 175 

22.'. Stick dice. Assiniboin. Montana 176 

226. Claw, plum-stone, and lirass dice, Assiniboin, Montana 177 

227. Stick dice. Crows, Montana 178 



Figure 228. Bone dice and counting stielvs. Crows. Montana 17.8 

22!». Platter for dice. Crows. Montana ITS 

230. Plum-stone dice. Crows, Montana ITS 

2.31. Basket for plum-stone dice. Brule Dakota. South Dakota 1T9 

232. Counting sticks for plum-stone dice. Brule Dakota. Scmtli 

Dakota ITO 

2.3.3. Plum-stone dice. Oglala Dakota. South Dakota 180 

234. Basket for dice, Oglala Dakota, South Dakota 180 

23.5. Wooden cup for dice, Oglala Dakota, South Dakota 180 

23(;. Casts in plum-stone dice. Santee Dakota, Minnesota 181 

23T. Plum-stone dice. Wahpeton and Sisseton Dakota. South Da- 
kota 183 

238. Plum-stone dice, Yankton Dakota, Montana 184 

23!l, Plum-stone dice, Yanktonai Dakota, Xortli Dakota 185 

24(1. Plum-stone dice. Yanktonai Dakota. North Dakota 180 

241. Bone stick-dice. Hidatsa. North Dakota 180 

242. Bone dice. Mandan. North Dakota 18T 

243. Basket for dice, Mandan, North Dakota 18" 

244. Clay fetish used with dice. Mandan. North D.akota 18T 

24."). Plum-stone dice, Omaha, Nebraska 188 

241!. Brass dice. Osage, Oklahoma 188 

24T. Bone dice. Winnebago. Wisconsin 189 

24.S. Positions of die in winning throw.s, Haida. British Columbia-- 180 

249. Stick dice. Tewa, Hano. Arizona 190 

2.50. Stick dice. TIgua. Isleta, New Mexico 191 

2.51. Counts in stick dice, Tigua, Isleta, New Jlexico 191 

252. Counts in stick dice. Tigua. Isleta. New Mexico 192 

253. Stick dice, Tewa, Nambe, New Mexico 193 

254. Stick dice. Tewa, Santa Clara, New Mexico • 193 

2.5.">. Stick dice. Tewa. Santa Clara. New Mexico 194 

25n. Stick dice and marking sticks, Tigua, Taos, New Mexico 194 

2."5T. Circuit for stick dice, Tigua, Taos, New Mexico 195 

258. Beaver-teeth dice, Clayo(iuot, British Columbia 196 

259. Wooden die, Kwakiutl, British Columbia 19(1 

260. Beaver-teeth dice, Makah, Washington 19G 

201, Beaver-teeth dice, Mak.ih. Washington 19T 

2G2. Counters for beaver-teeth dice, Makah, Washington 19T 

20."!. Charm used with beaver-teeth dice, Makah, Washington 19T 

204. Bone dice, Nootka, British Columbia 198 

265. Bone dice, Nootka, British Columbia 198 

200. Stick dice, Cocopa, Sonora, Mexico 200 

20T. Cirls playing stick dice, Ilavasupai. .\ri7,ona . 200 

208. Stick dice, JIarieopa, Arizona 201 

209. Stick dice. Mission Indians. California 204 

2T0. Stick dice and board. Mission Indians, California 204 

2T1, Stick dice, Mohave, Arizona 205 

2T2. Stick dice. Mohave. Lower California (Mexico) 205 

2T3. Stick dice. Jlohave. Arizona 206 

2T4. Stick dice. Mohave. Arizona 200 

2T5. Stick dice, Walapai. Arizona 20T 

2T0. Stick dice, Walapai. Arizona 20T 

2TT. Stick dice. Walapai. Arizona 20T 

2T8. Stick dice. Walapai. Arizona 20T 



Figure270. Circuit for stick dice. Walapai, Arizona 208 

280. Stick dice. Yuma, Arizona 208 

281. Stick dice. Yuma. Arizona 209 

282. Stick dice. Yuma. California 209 

283. Sacrificial cane dice, Zufii. New Mexico 210 

284. Sacrificial cane dice. Zuni. New Mexico 210 

285. Sacrificial cane dice, Zuni. New Mexico 211 

286. Cane dice. Zuni. New Mexico 211 

287. Cane dice. Zuni, Xew Mexico 211 

288. Cane dice, showing method of t.ving in hundle, Zuni, New 

Mexico •— - 212 

289. Cane dice, Zuni. New Mexico 213 

290. Cane dice, showing method of tying in bundle, Zuni, New 

Mexico 213 

291. Arrow shaftments of the four directions, Zuni, New Mexico.- 214 

292. Hide gaming circuit for cane dice. Zufii. New Mexico 216 

29;!. Manner of holding cane dice. Zuni. Xew Mexico 216 

294. Split reeds used in sholiwe, Zuni. Xew Mexico 218 

29."i. Method of placing reeds in playing sholiwe, Zuni, New Mexico. 219 

296. Stick dice, Zuni. New Mexico 220 

297. Stick dice, Zuni. New Mexico 220 

298. Stick dice, Zuni, New Mexico 221 

299. Stick dice, Zuni, New Mexico 222 

3(HI. Stick dice. Zuni. New Mexico . 222 

301. Stick dice. Zuni. New Mexico 223 

302. Stick di<-e for basket-dice game. Zuni. New Mexico 223 

."iO;!. Wooden dice for baslvet-<li(e game, Zuni. Xew Mexico 224 

.304. Rasket for dice. Zuni. New Mexico 224 

305. Wooden dice and tossing instrument. Zufii, New Mexico 224 

306. Wooden dice, Zuni, New Mexico 224 

307. Arrow shaftment. showing rilibanding, Hupa. California 228 

.308. Cut arrow shaftment. cliff-dwelling. Colorado 228 

309. Head ornament. Hupa. California 22.9 

.310. Stick game, Chippewa, North Dakota . 229 

311. Stick game, Cree, Wyoming 230 

.312. Stick game. Cree. Assiniboia 230 

31.3. Stick game. Sauk and Foxes. Iowa 232 

.314. Dividing stick for stick game, Sauk and Foxes, Iowa 232 

31.">. Stick game, Sauk and Foxes, Iowa 233 

310. Stick game, Ataakut, California 233 

.317. Counting sticks for stick game. Hupa. California 234 

318. Stick game. Hupa. California 234 

319. .Stick game. Hupa. California 235 

32(1. Stick game. Hupa. California 2.35 

.321. Stick game. Hupa. California 236 

322. Stick game. Sekani. British Columbia 236 

32.3. Stick game. Tututni, Oregon 239 

.3^. Counting sticks for stick game, Tututni, Oregon 239 

32.^, Wooden pipe used in stick game, Tututni, Oregou 2.39 

.326. Stick game. Whilkut, California 239 

.327. Sti<-k game. Winnimen. California 241 

32,S. Stick game. Ponio, California 247 

.329. Sti<k game. Pomo. California 247 

3.30. Stiik game, I'omo, California 247 



Figure 331. Stick game, KlMmath. Uregon 248 

332. Wooden gamiug disk. Clemflemalats. British Columbia 24ft 

333. Position of players in disk game, Puyallup. Washington 252 

334. Stick game. Thompson Indians, British Columbia 255 

335. Gambling mat for stick game, Thompson Indians. British Co- 

lumbia 2.55 

330. Pointer for stick game. Thompson Indians. British Columbia.. 2.55 

337. Copiier pins used in liolding down gambling mat in disk game. 

Klikitat, Washington 257 

338. Stick game, Achomawi, California 257 

339. Stick game, Shasta, Oregon 258 

340. Gamiug disks, Makah, Washington 264 

341. Stick game, Turok, California 265 

342. Stick game. Klamath river, California 266 

343. Stick game. Zuni. Xew Mexico 266 

344. Beads for hand game, Cree. Wyoming 270 

345. Beads for hand game, Grosventres. Montana 271 

346. Counting sticks for hand game, Grosventres, Montana 271 

347. Bones for hand game. Grosventres, Montana 271 

348. Bone for hand game, Grosventres, Montana 271 

34!t. Bones for hand g.inie. Piegan. Alberta 271 

3.50. Bones for hand game, Bahine, British Columbia 273 

351, Bones for han<l game. Tsilkotin. British Columbia 273 

3.52. Bones for hand game. Sekani. British Columbia 273 

35.3. Bones for hand game. I'mpyu.-i, Oregon 274 

354. Bead and counting sticks for hand game. Pawnee, Oklahonia__ 274 

355. Sticks for hand game, Pawnee. Oklahoma 274 

356. Counting sticks for hand game. Pawnee, Oklahoma 275 

3.57, Counting sticks for hand game, Wichita, Oklahoma 276 

358, Counting sticks for hand game, Wichita, Oklahoma 277 

359, Counting .sticks for hand game, Wichita, Oklahoma 277 

360, Counting sticks for hand game, Wichita, Oklahoma 278 

.361. Counting sticks and beads for hand game, Wichita. Oklahoma_ 278 

.362. Drum used in hand game. Wichita, Oklahoma 278 

363. Drum used in hand game. Wichita, Oklahoma 279 

364. Bones for hand game. Wasco. Oregon 282 

365. Bones for hand game, Wintun, California 283 

366. Bones and counting sticks for hand game. Calapooya. Oregon^ 284 

367. Hand game. Kiowa. Oklahoma 285 

368. Bones for hand game. Kutenai, Idaho 286 

360. Kutenai playing hand game. Montana 286 

.370, Kutenai playing hand game. Montana 287 

371. Bones for hand game. Chilkat. .Vlaska 288 

372. Bones for hand game. Tlingit, Alaska 289 

373. Bones for hand game. Porno. California 289 

374. Bones for hand game, Porno, California 290 

375. Bones for hand game, Pomo, California 290 

376. Bones for hand game, Pomo, California 291 

377. Bones for hand game. Klamath, Oregon 292 

378. Counting sticks for hand game, Klamath. Oregon 292 

379. Bones for hand game. Klamath. Oregon 292 

380. Stones for hand game. Klamath, Oregon 293 

381. Sticks for hand game, Modoc, Oregon 293 



Figure 382. Sticks ami counters for Imnd fjiiine. Yokuts, California 294 

383. Bones for hand game, Toiiiuagugiin, California 295 

384. Bones for hand game, Topinagngini. California 295 

385. Bones for hand game, Toiiinagngim. California 295 

386. Sticks for i)e(in. r'apago. .Arizona 295 

387. Sticks for wahpctah. IMnia. Arizona 296 

388. Bones for hand game, Konkau. California 297 

389. Bones for hand game, Maidu, California 297 

39<). Bones for hand game. Bellacoola, British Coliuul)ia 299 

391. Bones for hand game. Penelakut, British Columbia 301 

392. Bones for hand game. Penelakut, British Columbia 301 

.393. Bones for hand game. Penelakut, British Columbia .301 

394. Bones for hand game, Pu.v.illup, Washington .302 

39.5, Bones for hand game, Thompson Indians, British Cohnnbia 303 

396. Knnckle-covering for hand-game players. Thompson Indians, 

British Columbia 303 

397. Bones for hand game, Twana, Washington : 304 

398. Bones for hand game, Nez Perces, Idaho 305 

399. Bones for hand game, Umatilla, Oregon 306 

400. Counting sticks for hand game, Umatilla, Oregon .306 

401. Sticks for hand game, .\chomawi, California 307 

402. Bones for hand game, Bannock, Idaho 308 

403. Counting sticks for hand game, Bannock, Idaho 308 

404. Bones for hand game. Bannock and Shoshoni, Idaho 309 

405. Bones and sticks for peon, Kawia, California 310 

406. Sticks for hand game. Jlono. California 310 

407. Beads and counters for hand game. Mono, California 310 

408. Bones for hand game, Paiute, Nevada 311 

409. Bones for hand game, Paiute, Utah 311 

410. Paiute ))Iajing hand game, Utah 312 

411. Bones and sticks for jieon, Saboba. California 313 

412. Bones for hand game. Shoshoni. Wyoming 813 

413. Counting sticks for hand game. Shoshoni, Wyoming ;_ 314 

414. Bones for band game. Uinta Ute, Utah .315 

415. Sticks for baud game, Yankton Dakota, Montana 317 

41(>. Counting sticks for hand game, Yankton Dakota, Montana 317 

417. Bones for hand game. Ilaida, British Columbia 318 

418. Bones for liand game. Clayoquot, British Columbia 319 

410. Bones for band game, Clayoquot. British Columbia .319 

420. Bones for hand game. Clayoquot. British Columbia 319 

421. Bones for liand game, KwaUiutl, British Columbia 319 

422. Bones for hand game. Kwakiutl, British Columbia 319 

423. Kwakiutl playing hand game. British Columbia .320 

424. Bones for hand game. Makah, Washington .322 

425. Bones for hand game, Huchnom, California 323 

426. Sticks and bones for peon, Dieguenos, California 324 

427. Counting sticks for peon, Dieguenos, California 324 

428. Bones for peon. Mission Indians. California .325 

429. Rone for hand game, ilohave, .Vrizona .326 

4.30, Sticks for peon. .Mohave, .Vrizona 1 .326 

431. f^loth-covercd sticks for hand game, Mohave, Arizona .326 

4.32. Sticks for peon. Y'uma. California 327 

433. Billets for game, cliff -dwelling. Arizona 328 


l-"iurRK4:M. rossible oonibinntious of large ami small sticks in the four- 
stick game, Klamath, Oregon -i'— ) 

4:i.">. Four-stick game, Klamath, Oregon "530 

436. Four-stick game. Klamath. Oregon 330 

487. Counting sticks for four-stick game. Klamath, Oregon 3.'?0 

4.38. Basket for four-stick game. Klamath, Oregon 331 

43!). Four-stick game, Achomawi, California 3."!2 

440. Four-stick game, Paiute, Nevada 333 

441. Counting sticks for four-stick game, Paiute. Nevada 333 

442. Four-stick .game. Paiute. Utah 3:i4 

443. I'aiute playing four-.stick game, Utah 334 

444. I'osition of sticks in four-stick game. Washo. Nevada 335 

44.">. Sacrificial tubes for hiding game, Zuni. New Mexico 3.36 

44(;. Drab Flute altar. Ilopi. Mishonguovi. Ari/.cjna 330 

447. Blue Flute altar. Ilopi, .Mishonguovi, Arizona 337 

448. Flute altar, Ilopi. Shum<)i)avi. Arizona 338 

44!). Flute altar, Ilopi. Shipaulovi, Arizona 339 

450. Bullets for moccasin game, Chippewa, Minnesota 340 

451. Counting sticks for mo<'casin game. Chippewa, Minnesota 340 

452. Bullets for moccasin game, Chippewa, Minnesota 340 

453. Chippewa pla.ving mo<casin game, Minnesota 341 

454. Pads, counters, and striking stick for moccasin game. Chip- 

pewa. Nortli Dakota 342 

45.5. Counting sticks and pointer for moccasin game, Sauk and 

Foxes. Iowa •'>^~' 

456. Ball, counting sticks, and striker for moccasin game. Navaho. 

Arizona 340 

457. Counting sticks for moccasin game. Navaho, New Mexico 346 

458. Tubes for hiding game. Keres. Acoma, New Mexico 351 

4.5!t. Tubes for hiding game. Keres. Laguna. New Mexico 3.52 

4t;(». Counting sticks for hiding game. Keres. Laguna. New Mexico. 352 

461. Paper tubes for hiding game, Keres. Sia, New Mexico 353 

462. Cane tul)es for hiding game. Papago. Arizona 3.54 

463. Cane tubes for hiding game. Papago. Arizona 354 

464. Cane tubes for hiding game, Papago, Arizona 355 

465. Papago playing hiding game, .\rizona 3.55 

466. Cane tubes for hiding game, Pima, Arizona 356 

467. Tubes for hiding game. Pima. Arizona 3.56 

468. beans for hiding game. Zuaiiue. Sinaloa. Mexico—. 357 

469. Wooden tubes for hiding game. Hopi, Arizona 357 

470. Wooden tubes for hiding g.uue. IIo])!. .Vrizona 357 

471. Wooden tubes for hiding game, Ilopi. .Vrizona 358 

472. Wooden tubes for hiding game. Ilopi, Arizona 3.5!) 

47.3. Wooden tubes for hiding game, Ilopi, Arizona 3.59 

474. W^ooden tubes for hiding game. Hopi. Arizona 359 

475. Wooden tubes for hiding game, Hopi, Arizona 359 

476. Wooden tubes for hiding game. Hopi. Arizona 360 

477. Wooden tubes for hiding game. Hopi, Arizona 360 

478. Wooden tubes and counting sticks for hiding game. Hopi. Ari- 

zona 360 

470. Wooden tubes for hiding game, Hopi, Arizona 361 

480. Tubes for hiding game, Tewa. Hano. .Vrizona 362 

481. Plaza Cocotukwi at Sichomovi, Arizona 362 



Figure 4S2. I'lau of kiva biding game, Iloiii. Ai-izuiia ^ SOH 

483. Hiding horn for moccasin KJmiP. Oglala Dalcota, Soutli 

Dalvota 3C4 

484. Pointing sticlis for moccasin game. Oglala Dakota, Sonlli 

Dakota :i(U 

485. Counting sticks for moccasin game, Oglala Dakota, South 

Dakota 364 

486. Wooden tubes for hiding game, Tewa, Nambe, New Mexico 367 

487. Wooden tubes for hiding game. Tewa, Santa Clara, New Mexico- 36f> 

488. Wooden tubes for hiding game, Tewa, Santa Clara, New Mexico. 369 

489. Wooden tubes for hiding game, Tigua, Taos, New Mexico 369 

490. Cane tubes for hiding game. JIaricoi>a, Arizona 370 

491. Hiding ball and counting sticks, Walapai. Arizona 371 

49:i. Wooden tubes for biding game. Zuni. New Mexico 372 

493. Wooden tubes for hiding game. Zuni. New ?fIexico 373 

494. Stone liall for liiding game. Zuni. Xcw Mexico 374 

495. Counting straws for hiding game, Zuni, New Mexico 374 

496. Plan of hiding game, Zuni, New Mexico 379 

497. Sand mounds with hiding tubes, Zuni, New Mexico 380 

498. Sand moimd with hiding tubes. Zuni, New Mexico 380 

409. Arrangement of tulies before pla.ving biding game, Zuni, New 

Mexico _' 381 

500. Stone disk used to determine first pla.v in hiding game, Zufu, 

New Jlexico 382 

501. Arrow target, Grosventres, Jlontana 384 

502. Arrow target, Navaho, Arizona 386 

503. Game dart. Western Eskimo, Alaska 387 

504. Arrow target. Crows, Montana 391 

505. Crow Indian pla.ying grass-target game, Montana 391 

506. Toy bow and arrow, Oglala Dakota, Sonth Dakota 392 

507. Game of the arrow, Mandan, North Dakota 394 

508. Method of holding arrows in playing showialtowe, Zuni, New 

Mexico 397 

509. Plumed sticks u.sed in playing lapochiwe. Zuni. New Mexico 397 

510. Lapochiwe, Zuni, New Mexico 398 

511. Target and bow and arrows, Zmli. New Mexico 399 

512. Feathered bone slider. Cheyenne, Oklahoma 400 

513. Snow-snake, Chippewa, Minnesota 402 

514. Snow-snakes. Cbi|ipew.i. Minnesota 402 

515. Snow-snakes, Cliippewa. Minnesota 402 

516. Snow-snake, Cliippewa, Minnesota 403 

517. Snow-snake, Cbipiiewa, North I>akota 403 

518. Snow-dart, Cree, Assiniboia , 403 

519. Snow-dart, Cree, Assiniboia . 404 

520. Snow-dart, Cree, Assiniboia 404 

.521. Menominee holding snow-snake, Wisconsin 405 

522. Snow-darts, Passama<iuoddy, Maine 406 

.523. Snow-snakes, I'enoliscot, Maine 40" 

524. Snow-snake. Saulc and Foxes. Iowa 407 

.525. Snow-snakes, Sauk and Foxes. Iowa . 407 

.526. Snow-snakes, Sank and Foxes, Iowa 40,S 

.527. Slinging darts and stick. Sank and Foxes. Iowa 408 

528. Game dart, Takulli.Kritisli Colnml)ia 409 


I age 

Figure 52ii. Siiow-suake. TakuUi, British (_'oluinl)ia 40<i 

530. Snow-snake, Seneca, New York 41(i 

531. Snow-boat. Seneca, Xew York 411 

532. Featberefl l»ne slider, Kiowa. Oklahoma 4i;', 

5.33. Ground coasting arrows, Pomo, California 413 

534. Snow-snake. Yokuts, C'iiliforuia 414 

5.3.5. Throwing- or whipiiing-sticks, Topinagugiiu, California 414 

53(j. Game dart. Crows, Montana 41.- 

537. Feathered bone slider, Oglala Dakota. South Dakota 415 

538. Boys' throwing arrow, Oglala Dakota, South Dakota 4Hi 

539. Girls' throwing stick, Oglala Dakota, Soutli Dakota 417 

540. Snow-snakes. Teton Dakota, .South Dakota 417 

541. Feathered bone slider. Yankton Dakota. Montana 41S 

542. Feathered horn dart. Mandan, North Dakota 410 

543. Game dart, Omaha. Xeliraska 4i!i 

544. Pottery bowl with spider-web decoration. Ilopi. Arizona 422 

54.J. Pottery IkjwI with spider-web decoration, Hopi, Arizona 42:; 

it-id. Netted shield, bow, and arrows attaclicd to plume offering. 

Zuni, New Mexico 424 

547. Plume offering, Zuni, Xew Mexico „___ 4J4 

548. Baho stand with netted sliield. Hopi. Arizona 424 

549. Sacrificial feather darts. Zuni. New .Mexico 425 

550. Netted hoops and feathered darts used by the Oilqol manas. 

Hopi, Arizona 42i; 

551. Oaqol manas throwing darts into netted lioops, Hopi. .Vri 

zona 427 

552. Marau arrows, Hopi, Arizona 42s 

553. Corncob feather dart, cliff-dwelling. Colorado 428 

; 554. Feather dart, cliff-dwelling, Ccdorado 428 

55.5. Yucca ball, cliff -dwelling. Colorado 42S 

550. Cradle charm. Hnpa. California 428 

557. Hair ornament (netted hoop I. Cheyenne. Oklahoma 428 

5.58. Hair ornament (netted hoop). Crows, .Montana 420 

5.50. Protective amulet (netted li<X)p). Grosventres. M(>nt,ina__ _. 420 

.5(;(l. Protective anudet (netted hoop). Grosventres, Montana 429 

561. Four-strand medicine cord. Chiricahua Apache, Arizona 4:^0 

5G2. Three-strand medicine cord. Chiricahua Apache. Arizona 430 

563. Amulets of scented grassTNavaho. New Mexico 430 

504. Hair ornament. Oglala Dakota. South Dakota 431 

50.5. Hair ornament. Arapaho. Wyoming 431 

5C,li. Hair ornament, Arapaho. W.voming 431 

567. Mask of Ilehea tahaanni. Hopi. Arizona 432 

508. Deerskin iilume worn with head ring. IIu|ia. California 4.32 

569. Flute priest's headdres.s, Hopi. Arizona 4.33 

570. Conjurer's hoop and sticks, Oglala Dakota. South Dakota 4.34 

571. Gaming ring, Navaho, Arizona 43(; 

572. Stone medicine ring, Cheyenne, Oklahoma 4.37 

573. Gaming wheel and sticks, Dakota. South Dakota 4.37 

574. Arapaho Sun Dance altar with wheel. Oklahoma 438 

575. Netted hoop. Arapaho. W.vonnng 441 

576. Darts for netted hoop, Arapaho. W.voming 441 

•577. Gaming ring, Blackfeet. Montana 44i 

24 ETii— 05 M 2 


• Page 

Figure .">78. Netted lioop, ("heyeniie and AraiJiilm, Uklalionia • 445 

579. Netted hoop, ("he.reiiiie. Oklahoma 445 

580. Netted hoop and dart. Chippewa. North Dakota 446 

581. Netted hoop. Orosventres. Montana 447 

582. Netted hoop. Piegau. Alberta 447 

58.3. P.eadetl ring. Piegan. Alberta 448 

584. (Jauie rhigs. Sauk and Foxes. Iowa 448 

585. Bundle of elm bark used as target. Sauk and Foxes, Iowa 448 

586. How and arrows used in ring game. Sauk and Foxes, Iowa__ 448 

587. San Carlos Apache pla.ving hoop and pole. Arizona 451 

588. Plan of pole grounds. White Mountain Apache, Arizona 451 

.589. San Carlos Apache playing hoop and pole. Arizona 4.52 

590. White Mountain Ajiache iihi.ving hoop and pole. Arizona 453 

591. Plan of pole ground. White Mountain Apache, Arizona 4.54 

592. Cross section of counting Held in pole game. White Mountain 

Apache. Arizona 4.54 

59.3. Counting end of pole for pole game. White Mountain Apache, 

Arizona 454 

504. Hoop for pole game. White Mountain Apache. Arizona 455 

595. Counting points in polegame.White MountainApache.Arizona_ 455 

596. Hoop for pole game. White Mountain Apache, Arizona 4.56 

597. Ring for pole game, Navaho, Arizona 458 

598. Poles for pole game. Navaho, Arizona 4.58 

590. FiUds of lashing of pole for pole game, Navaho, Arizona 458 

6(Xl. Hoop for game. Takulli. British Columbia 460 

6(tl. Dart for ring game. Pawnee. Nebraska 464 

602. Dart for boys" ring game. Pawnee. Nebraska 464 

603. Netted hoop. Pawnee. Oklahoma 466 

604. Netted hoop. Pawnee, Oklahoma ; 466 

605. Netted hoop. Pawnee. Oklahoma 466 

<>06. (Jame hoop. Pawnee. Oklahoma 467 

607. Hoop and poles. Pawnee, Oklahoma 467 

6(i.S. Game hoop. I'awnee. Oklahoma 467 

6(19. (Jame hoop. Pawnee. Oklahonui 467 

610. King for buffalo game. Pawnee, Oklahoma 468 

611. Poles for buffalo game. Pawnee, Oklahoma 468 

■ 612. Ring and pole. Pawnee, Oklahoma 469 

613. Netted hoop and dart. Wichita. Oklahoma 470 

614. Game hoop. Wichita, Oklahoma 470 

615. Game ring, Wasco, Washington 472 

616. (iame of nuglutang. Central Eskinjo, Franklin 473 

617. Netted hoop and darts. Western Eskimo, Alaska 474 

618. lloo|) and pole, Seneca. New York 476 

610. (Jame hoop. Tusearora. New York 477 

620. Poles for hoop game. Tusearora, New York 477 

621. Game ring, Keres, New Mexico 478 

' 622. Poles for ring game, Keres, New Mexico 478 

623. Game ring, Kiowa, Oklahoma 478 

624. Hoop and dart. Pomo. California 479 

62.5. Plan of field for hooji game. Pomo, California 479 

626. (iame ring. Klamath, Oregon 480 

627. Boy's game ring. Klamath, Oregon 480 

628. Rings, bow, and arrows for ring game, Klamath, Oregon 480 



Figure 020. Game ring and awl. Klamath. Oregon 481 

030. Game ring, Klamatb. Oregon 481 

031. Ring and poles. Chukohansi, California 482 

632. Ring and arrow. PitUachi. California 483 

633. Ring and pole. Yokuts. California 483 

634. Implements for lance-and-peg game. Yokuts. California 484 

635. Plan of Held for hoop-and-lance game. Topinagugim, California- 484 

636. Cbuuk yard, Muskogee. Georgia 488 

637. Position of jila.yers in lioop-and-lance game, Nishinam. Cali- 

fornia 489 

638. Cedar-bark game rings, Bellacoola, British Columbia 489 

6.39. Lava game rings. Bellacoola. British Columbia 490 

640. Beaded game ring and arrows. Pend d'Oreilles, Montana 490 

641. Beaded game ring and spear. Thompson Indians. British Co- 

lumbia 492 

642. Game dart, Thompson Indians, British Columbia 492 

643. Game hoop. Umatilla, Oregon 493 

tH4. Poles for hoop game, Umatilla, Oregon 493 

m'j. Beaded game ring and darts, Umatilla. Oregon 494 

640. Bark game disk, Achomawi. California ; 494 

tMT. Bannock boy playing hoop and pole. Idaho 495 

648. Corn-husk game ring, Hopi. Arizona 495 

649. Corncob darts, Hopi, Arizona 495 

650. Corn-husk game ring and corncob darts. Hopi. Arizona 496 

651. Corn-husk ring and corncob dart. Hopi. .Vrizona 497 

6.52. Lanee-and-i>eg game. Mono, California 498 

653. Netted game hoop and feathered darts. Paiute, Utah 498 

654. Game ring and dart. Paiute. Nevada 499 

65.5. Game ring. Sbosboni. Wyoming . 499 

6.56. Darts for ring game, Shoshoni, Wyoming 499 

6.57. Counting sticks for ring game. Shoshoni. Wyoming 500 

658. Game arrow. Uinta Ute, Utah 500 

659. Darts for ring game. Uncompahgi-e Ute. I'tah 501 

660. Game ring. Ute 501 

661. Netted game hoop. Crows, Montana 502 

662. Darts for netted hoop. Crows. Montana 502 

603. Beaded ring. Crows. Montana ■--- 502 

664. Game hoop, Oglala Dakota, South Dakota 503 

665. Marks on game hoop. Oglala Dakota. South Dakota 503 

666. Darts for hoop game. Oglala Dakota. .South Dakota 503 

667. Ring for elk game. Oglala Dakota. South Dakota 505 

668. Darts for elk game, Oglala Dakota. South Dakota 505 

669. Haka game, from American-Horse's Winter Count, 1779-80, 

Oglala Dakota 5*W> 

670. Haka game, from Americau-Horse's Winter Count. 1779-80, 

Oglala Dakota 506 

671. Netted hoop. Oglala Dakota. South Dakota 506 

672. Dart for netted hoop. Oglala Dakota. South Dakota 506 

673. (iame hoop. Yankton Dakota. Montana 509 

674. Darts for hoop game, Yankton Dakota, Montana 509 

67.5. Chunkee stones. Eno(?). South Carolina 510 

676. The game of tehung-kee. Mandan, North Dakota 512 

677. Netted hoop and pole, Maudau, North Dakota 513 



Figure ti78. Game ring ami dan, (jiiialia. Xeliraska 514 

679. Ring-aud-dart game. Omaha. Nebraska 515 

680. Game ring and darts. Omaha. Nebraska 51Ci 

681. Game ring ami darts. Tigua. Isleta. New Mexico 51!> 

682. Game ring. Kwakiutl, British Columbia 520 

68-3. Game ring. Kwakiutl, British Columbia 520 

68-1. Dart for ring game, Kwakiutl. British Columbia .520 

685. Stone game ring. Kwakiutl. British Columbia 521 

680. Dart for spear-and-kelp game. Kwakiutl. British Columliia .521 

i~. Game ring. Makah, Washington _ 


688. Garnering, Mohave, Arizona 523 

689. Rings for ring and pole. Mohave. Arizona 52-1 

690. Game ring, Walapai, Arizona 525 

691. Game ring. Walapai. Arizona .525 

692. Game ring and dart. Zuni. New Me.xico 527 

693. YuM-a ball and i-orneob darts. Zuni. New Mexico 527 

694. Stick and ring, Zuni, New Mexico .528 

695. Chetguetat. Arapaho, V\',vomiug ."i2!t 

696. Che.venne woman playing nitonisdot, Oklahoma 531 

697. Nitonisdot. Che.venne. Oklahoma 532 

698. Napawagan, Chippewa, Minnesota 533 

699. Napawagan. Chippewa. Minnesota .533 

700. Napaagauagi. Chip] lewa. North Dakota .534 

701. Pepenggunegun, Chipi)ewa. Ontario .534 

702. Tapa whan, Cree. Saskatcliewan .535 

703. Cup and pin, Cree, Saskat<liewan 535 

704. Napahwhan. Cree. Assiniboia 5.36 

705. Teheapi, Cree, Wyoming : 530 

70C. Tsaitkusha, Grosventres, Montana 5.37 

707. Phalangeal-bone game. Missisauga. Ontario 538 

708. Cup-and-pin game, Montagnais, Quebec 538 

709. Cup and pin. Nascapee. Labrador 539 

710. T"wis, Passamaquoddy, Maine 540 

711. Artoois, Penobscot. Maine 541 

712. Ahduis. Penobscot. Maine 541 

713. Nibiiiuaihaki. Sauk and Foxes. Iowa 542 ■ 

714. Kiolki.s. Hupa. California .543 

715. PhaIan.geal-bone game, Kawchodinne, Mackenzie .543 

716. Ecagoo, Thlingchadinne. Mackenzie .544 

717. Ivory carving representing head of fox. used in the game of 

a.iegaung. Central Eskimo, Franklin .545 

-718. Ivory carving representing polar l)ear. used in the game of 

a.iegaung. Central Eskimo, Franklin 545 

71'.K Ivory carving representing jiolar bear, used in the game of 

ajegaung. Central Eskimo. Franklin .54ii 

720. Bone game. Central Eskimo, Keewatin •">4(> 

721. Fish game. Central E.skimo. Keewatin .547 

722. Bone game. Central Eskimo. Keewatin 547 

723. Seal-bone game. Central Eskimo. Keewatin 547 

724. Skull used in the game of a.iegaung. Labrador Eskimo, Uugava 

bay. Labrador 548 

72.5. Bone game. Central Eskimo, Lalirador 549 

726. Ajagaq. Ita Eskimo. Greenland 549 



FifURK 7l.'7. Ajagaq. Ita Eskimo, Greenlaiul 549 

728. Dittcega, roino, California 550 

72(1. Chelgwegoooot. Pima. Arizona 551 

7;^0. Ball-and-pin game, Tliompson Indians, British Columbia 552 

731. Pactslewitas, Umatilla. Oregon 553 

732i Salmon-lione game. Shasta. California 5.53 

733. Xadohetin. I'aiute. Nevada 554 

734. Skull and pin and bone and pin. Paiute, Utah 554 

7:{5. Keed and pin. Ute. Utah 554 

7."{t>. Bone and pin, Ute. Utah 555 

737. Taseha. Assinihoin, Montana 555 

7.38. Cup and pin, Brnlr Dakota. South Dakota 556 

730. Tasiha, Oglala Dakota. South Dakota 556 

740. Hokiwaxoxokke, Winuebago, Wksconsiu 557 

741. Ngoila uabapi. Tewa, I-Iano, Arizona 558 

742. Seal-bone game. Clayofiuot. British Columbia 558 

74.3. Seal bone for divining, Kwakintl. British Coluuibia 559 

744. Pumpkin-rind game, Mohave, Arizona 560 

74.5. King game. Zuni. New Mexico 560' 

74fi. King game. Zufii. New Mexieo .561 

747. King game. Zuni. New Mexieo 561 

748. Miniature racket. Missisauga. Ontario 562 

749. Kacket. Chippewa. Minnesota 565 

750. Kacket, Chippewa, Wisconsin 565 

751. Ball and racket, Chippewa, Ontario 567 

7.52. Kacket. Menominee. Wisconsin 568 

753. Ball. Passama<]Uodd.v, Maine 570 

754. Racket. I'assaniaquoddy. Maine 571 

75.5. Ball, Penobscot. Maine 572 

7.50. Kacket. Sauk and Foxes. Iowa 572 

757. Ball. Sauk and Foxes, Iowa 572 

758. Message sticks for ball game. Sauk and Foxes. Iowa 572 

759. Kacket, Sauk and Foxes. Iowa 573 

700. Racket. Sauk and Foxes, Oklahoma 573 

761. Racket. Mohawk. Ontario 590 

7»;2. Ball, Mohawk, Ontario - 590 

76,3. Ball, St Regis. New York .592 

7(U. Kacket. Seneca, New York .594 

7(!5. Ball and racket. Porno. California 595 

706. Ball and racket. Pomo. California 595 

767. feall and racket, Yokuts, California 596 

768. Ball baskets. Miwok, California i 596 

769. Ball and ball-casting basket. Topinagugim. California 597 

770. Choctaw ball player. Indian Territor.y 600 

771. Rackets, Choctaw, Indian Territory 602 

772. Horse tail worn in ball game. Choctaw. Indian Territory 60'i 

773. Racket, Choctaw. Louisiana 604 

774. Rackets, negroes. New Orleans 605 

775. Rackets. Muskogee. Indian Territory 606 

776. Ball, Seminole, Florida 60S 

777. Rackets, Seminole, Florida 008 

778. Racket. Seminole, Indian Territory 608 

779. Ball racket, Nishinam, California 608 



Figure 780. Ball sticks, TUomp.son Indians, British Columbia liOO 

781. Stick for protecting ball. Thompson Indians. British Colum- 

bia (Hd 

782. Balls and catching hoop.s. Thompson Indians, British Colum- 

bia 611 

78o. Santee Daliota ball-play on the ice, Minnesota 613 

784. Santee Dakota ball-play on the prairie, Minnesota f;i4 

785. Ball and racket, Oto. Oklahoma lil.j 

78t;. Ball. Winnebago, Wisconsin 016 

787. Racket, Winnebago. Wisconsin 610 

788. Shinny ball and stick. Arapaho. Oklahoma ^ 617 

789. Shinny ball. Arapaho. Wyoming 018 

790. Shinny ball. Arapaho. Wyoming 618 

791. Shinny stick. Arapaho. Wyoming 618 

792. Shinny ball. Arapaho. Wyoming 618 

703. Shinny ball. Cheyenne, oklalioma 619 

794. Shinny ball. Che.venne. Oklahoma (CO 

79.''>. Shinny stick. Cheyenne. Oklahoma 620 

796. Shinny ball and .stick. Cheyenne. Montana 621 

797. Shinny ball and stick. Cheyenne, Montana 621 

798. Shinny ball and stick. Chippewa, North Dakota 621 

799. Shinny ball and stick. (Jrosventres, Montana 621 

800. Ball and stick for ice hockey, Sauk and Foxes, Iowa 623 

801. Shinny ball. Navaho. New Mexico 623 

802. Shinny stick. Navaho. Arizona 623 

803. Plan of shinny ball field, Navaho, Arizona 624 

804. Shinny ball. Pawnee, Oklahoma 625 

80.5. Shinny sticks, Pawnee. Oklahoma 625 

806. Goal .sticks and pole for shinny. Pawnee, Oklahoma 025 

807. Shinny ball and stick. Wichita, Oklahoma 620 

808. Shinny hall. Kiowa, Oklahoma 6.30 

809. Shinny stick. Kiowa. Oklahoma 630 

810. Shinny ball. Kiowa. Oklahoma 630 

811. Shinny ball and stick. Yokuts. California 630 

812. Ball Wasania, California 631 

813. Shinny ball and stick, Zuaque, Sonora, Mexico 032 

814. Shinny stick, Pend d'Oreilles, Montana 632 

815. Shinny ball. Umatilla, Oregon 633 

816. Shinny stick. T'matilla. Oregon 633 

817. Shinny ball and stick. Achomawi, California 6.33 

818. Shinny ball. Ilopi. Arizona ..!. 634 

810. Shinny ball. Hopi. Arizona 634 

820. Shinny ball, Hopi, Arizona 634 

821. Shinny stick. Hopi, Arizona 634 

822. Shinny ball and stick. Mono, California 635 

82.3. Shinny ball and .stick. Mono. California 635 

824. Shinny ball. Shoshoni. Wyoming 636 

82.5. Shinny stick. Shoshoni. Wyoming 636 

826. Shinny ball. Uinta Ute. Utah 636 

827. Shinny stick. Uinta I'te. Utah 636 

828. Shinny ball and stick, Oglala Dakota. South Dakota 638 

829. Stick for wood shinny. Oglala Dakota, South Dakota 638 

§30. Shinny stick. Teton Dakota. South Dakota 6.39 



Figure 831. Shinny stick. Yanlcton Daliota. MdHtaiui W1 

832. Shinny ball. Omaha. Nebraska 641 

833. Shinny stiolc; Omaha. Nebraska Gil 

834. Plan of shinny ball frrouml. Onmha. Nebraska *>i- 

835. Shinny ball and stick. Osasre. Oklahoma 842 

83»i. Shinny ball and stick. Tisna. Isleta. New Mexico (U3 

837. Shinny sticks. Tewa. Tcsuque. New Mexico MS 

838. Shinny iKill, Makah. Washington <544 

839. Shinny sticks, Makah, Washington f!44 

840. Shinny ball and stick. Mission Indians. California G44 

841. Shinny ball and stick, Mohave, Arizona 645 

842. Shinny ball. Mohave. Arizona 645 

84.3. Shinny ball and stick, Walapai. Arizona 645 

844. Shinny ball and stick. Yuma. California lUr. 

845. Shinny ball and stick. Znfii. New Mexico HIT 

840. Shinny ball. Znni. New Mexico <)47 

847. Yoke-shaped billet, cliff-dwelling. Colorado 648 

848. Annulet baho, used in Flute ceremony, Hopi, Arizona 640 

849. Cylinder tossed in Flute ceremony. Hopi, Arizona 1 (;4",l 

850. Double balls, Cheyenne, Oklahoma 6.50 

851. Double billets. Chippewa. Minnesota 6.50 

852. Double billets. Chippewa. Minnesota 6.5(i 

85.3. Double b.ill and stick. Chippewa. Ontario 651 

854. Double ball and stick. Chippewa. North Dakota 651 

855. Double ball. Cree. Assiniboia 652 

856. Double ball. Cree, Wyoming 6.52 

857. Sticks for double ball, Cree, Wyoming 652 

858. Double ball and stick, Cree, Alberta 653 

8.59. Double ball. Menominee, Wisconsin 6,53 

860. Double ball. Sauk and Foxes, Iowa 654 

861. Double liall. Sauk and Foxes, Iowa 655 

862. Sticks for tb)uble ball. Sauk and Foxes, Iowa 655 

86.3, Double billct.s. Ilupa. California 656 

864. Sticks for double-billet game. Hupa. California 656 

865. Double ball and stick. I'awnee. Oklahoma , 657 

866. Double ball and stick. Wichita. Oklahoma 6.58 

867. Double billets and sticks. Klamath. Oregon 6,59 

868. Double ball and stick. Papago. Arizona 660 

869. Double billets and stick, Papago. Arizona 660 

870. Double ball. Pima. Arizona 660 

871. Double billets. Tepehuan, Chihuahua. Mexico <!6I 

872. Implement for tossing game, Kaoni. California 1161 

873. Stick for double ball, Achomawi. California 661 

874. Double billets and stick. Shasta. California 662 

875. Double ball and stick. Paiute. Nevada 602 

876. Double ball, Shoshoni, Wyoming 6(!3 

877. Stick for double ball, Shoshoni, W.yoming 663 

878. Double ball, Uinta Ute, Utah 663 

879. Santee Dakota women playing double ball, Wisconsin 664 

880. Double billets. Yurok. California 665 

881. Stick for double billets. Yurok. California 665 

882. Double ball. Maricopa, Arizona 665 

883. Set of sacrificial wooden cylinders, Hopi, Arizona 66(; 



Figure 884. Kicking billets, cliff-ilwelling. ColoiMilo (567 

885. Kifking billets, cliff-dwelling. Colorado 667 

886. Clown kii-king billet. Mexico 667 

887. Kicking billets. Keres. .Veonia. New Jlexieo 668 

888. Kicking billets. Keres, ('ocliiti. New Jlexico 66!) 

880. Kicking liillets. Keres. Lngiina, New Mexico 66f) 

89(1. I'apago kicking-ball players, Arizona 671 

891. I'apago kicking-ball player. Arizona 673 

892. I'apago kicking-ball race — the start — Arizona 674 

893. I'apago kicking-ball race. .Vrizona 674 

894. Stone kicking balls. Pima. .Vrizona 67.5 

89.5. Wooden kicking ball. Pima. .Vrizona (i7.5 

896. Tossing balls for women's race, Taraliumare, Chihuahua. 

Mexico 677 

897. Tossing sticks for women's ball race, Taraliumare. Cliilnia- 

hua, Mexico 677 

898. Tossing rings t'lir women's race, Tarahuniare, Chihuahua, 

Jlexleo 677 

899. Tossing rings for women's race, Tarahumare, Chihuahua. 

Mexico 67S 

9(n;i. Tossing sticks for women's ring race, Tarahumare, ("hihua- 

hua. Mexico 678 

901. Kicking balls. Hopi. .Vrizona 679 

902. Footballs. Mono. California 679 

903. Kicking billets, Tewa, Hauo, Arizona (■>80 

904. Slinging ball. Tewa, Hano, Arizona 680 

90.5. Wooden kicking ball, Cocopa, Sonora, Mexico 681 

906. Stone kicking ball. Maricopa. Arizona 681 

907. Wooden kicking ball. Mohave, .\rizona 682 

908. Wooden kicking ball, Yuma, California 682 

909. Kicking billets. Zuni. New Mexico 683 

910. Kicking billets. Znni. New Mexico 683 

911. Kicking billets of the Bow priests, Zvini, New Mexico 690 

912. Kicking billets used in clan races. Zuiii. New Mexico 696 

913. Kicking stone. ZuiSi, New Mexico 696 

914. Tossing ring for race game. Zufli. New Mexico 696 

915. Tossing rod for race game. Zuni. New Mexico 696 

916. Ring, tossing vnd. and kicking billet. Zuiii. New Mexico 697 

917. Footballs, Labrador Eskimo. I'ngava 699 

918. Football and driver. Kokso.igniint Eskimo, Labrador 700 

919. Plan of ball field, Topinagugim, California 702 

920. Football. Achomawi. California 703 

921. Football. Paiute. Nevada 704 

922. Ball with thong. .Vrapaho. Wyoming 705 

923. Hand-and-foot ball. Cheyenne. Jlontana 705 

924. Hand-and-foot ball, Cheyeinie. Montana 706 

925. Position of players in women's football game. Western Es- 

kimo, Alaska 706 

9'_'6. Iland-and-t'oot ball. Crows. Montana 707 

927. Iland-and-foot ball. .Mandan, .North Dakota 707 

928. Ball, Central Eskimo, Franklin 709 

929. Ball. Zuni, New Mexico 711 

930. Stone foot-casting ball, ChuRchansi, California 711 



FioiHEiK:!!. Juggling balls. Sliosliuui. W.voiuiug 713 

!)31'. Juggling balls, Uinta Ute. Utah 7i:5 

933. Juggling balls. Zuiii, New Mexico 714 

934. Hot ball. Mono. Califoniia 714 

93.5. Bone sled. Yankton Dakota. Montana 71i; 

930. Battledoor. Bellacoola. Hiitisli Columbia _' 717 

937. Battledoor, Hescjiii.-ilit. British Columbia 718 

938. Shuttlecock. Hesiiniaht. British Columbia 71S 

939. Battledoor and shuttlecock. Makah. Washington 718 

940. Battledoor. Ninikish. British Columbia 719 

941. Battledoor. Opitchesaht. British Columbia 719 

942. Shuttlecocks. Zuni. New Mexico 720 

943. Shuttlecocks. Zuni. New Mexico 720 

944. Tipcat. Zuni. New Me.xico 722 

945. Bat for tipcat. Zuni. New Mexico-. : 722 

94t;. Ring for game. Navaho. .\rizona 722 

947. Ivor.v gaming disks. Western Eskimo, Alaska 723 

948. Stone (|Ui>its. Tarahumare. Chiluiahua. Me.xico 724 

i»49. Stones for lukia. Kwakiutl. British Columbia : 72."> 

950. Standing-cob game, Zuni. New Mexico 72('> 

951. Stone quoits. Zuiii. New Mexico 727 

952. Stone quoit, Zuni, New Me.xico 727 

953. Sun i|U<>it. Zuni. New Mexico , 727 

954. Stone ball used to throw at a mark. Bannock. Idaho 728 

9.55. Implements for umpapi, Yankton Dakota. Montana 729 

95(5. .Jackstraws. Western Kskimo. Alaska 729 

9.57. Stilt-walking I ?). Yucatan 731 

9.58. Stilts. Hopi. Arizona 732 

959. Stilts, Shoshoni. Wyoming 7.32 

960. Digging sticks (used as stilts I. Zuiii. New Mexico 7.32 

9til. Whip top. Arapaho. Wyoming 733 

9H2. Whip tops. Blackfeet. Montana 734 

963. Whip top and whip. Cree. Alberta 734 

9(j4. Whip top and whip. (Jrosventres, Montana 735 

9(i5. Top. (irosventres. Montana 735 

9ti(i. Whip top and whip. Sauk and Foxes, Iowa : 73.5 

9(;7. Top. Tsimshian. British Columbia 7.3(> 

9(58. Top, Central Eskimo. Franklin 7.3(> 

969. Top. Labrador Eskimo. Ungava bay 737 

970. Top, Labrador Eskimo. I'ngava bay 737 

971. Top. Labrador Eskimo. Ungava bay 737 

972. Top. Labrador Eskimo. Ungava bay 737 

973. Wooden top. Western Eskimo. Alaska 737 

974. Wooden top. Western Eskimo. Alaska 7.38 

975. Ivory top. We.stern Eskin)o. Alaska 7.38 

976. Wooden top. Western Eskimo, Alaska 738 

977. Bone toi>. Western Esk inio. Alaska 73s 

978. Top, Western Eskimo. Alaska 739 

979. Top. Western Eskimo. Alaska 7.39 

980. Ivory top. Western Eskimo. Alaska 739 

981. Top, Keres. Sia. New Mexico 740 

382. Top. Kiowa. Oklahoma 74(» 

88:^. Ivory top. Yakutat. Alaska 740 




FiGiREltS4. Tops. Klamath. Oregon 741 

985. Hand tops. Yokuts. California 741 

980. Top, Thompson Indians, British «'oliinibia 742 

987. Top. Thompson Indians. Britisli Columbia 742 

988. Finger top. Bannock. Idalio 743 

989. Whip top. Mopi. Arizona 743 

990. Top. Iloi)!. .Vrizona 743 

991. Whip top and whip. Ilopi. Arizona 744 

992. Tops. Paiute. rtah 744 

993. Whip top and whip, Shoshoni. Wyoming ^ 744 

994. Whip tops, Crows, Montana 745 

995. Whip tops and whip. Oglala Dakota. South Dakota 745 

990. Whip top. Yankton Dakota. Montana 747 

997. Horn top. Yankton Dakota, Montana 747 

998. Top. Hidatsa. North Dakota 747 

999. Top. Tewa. Santa Clara. New Mexico 747 

100(1. Top. Tewa. Santa Clara. New Mexico 747 

1001. Top with handle. nes(iuiaht. British Columbia . 748 

1002. Top. MaUah. Washington 748 

1003. Top, Makah. Wa.shiugton 748 

1004. Top. Makah, Washington _, 749 

100.5. Top. Nootka. British Columbia 749 

1000. Top. Nootka. British Columbia 749 

1007. Top. Zuni. New Mexico 749 

1008. Bull-roarcr. Oglala Dakota. South Dakota 750 

1009. Stone buzz, cliff-ruins. Arizona ; 751 

1010. Bone buzz. Atsina ((irosventres). Montana 751 

1011. Buzz, Central Eskimo. Franklin 752 

1012. Buzzes, Central Eskimo, Keewatiu 752 

1013. Buzz, Ita Eskimo. Greenland 752 

1014. Buzz, Western E.sklmo. Alaska 753 

1015. Whirligigs. Western Eskimo. Alaska 754 

lOlC. Buzzes, Hopi. Arizona 755 

1017. Bone whirligig. Mono. California 756 

1018. Buzz. Mono, California 750 

1019. Bone buzz, Oglala Dakota. South Dakota 750 

1020. Buzz. Maricopa, Arizona 757 

1021. Buzz. Zufii, New Mexico ■ 757 

1022. Wooden popguns. Ancon. Peru 758 

1023. Popgun, Cheyenne, Oklahoma 758 

1024. Popgun. Sauk and Foxes. Iowa 758 

102.5. Popgun. Arikara. North Dakota 758 

102G. Poiigun. Yokuts. California 759 

1027. Popgun. Oglala Dakota. South Dakota 759 

1028. Popgun, Omaha, Nebraska 759 

1029. Bean shooter, Hopi. Arizona 760 

1030. Stone Hipper, Mono. California 760 

1031. Stime Hipper. Opitchesaht. British Columbia 761 

10.32. Bean shooter. Zuni. New Mexico 761 

1033. Cord arranged for the trick of splicing in the mouth. Maya. 

Y'ueatan 762 

1034. Cat's cradle. White Jlountain Apache. Arizona 763 

10.35. Cat's cradle, lightning. X.ivaho. .\rizona 763 



FlGUKE KKJti. Cat's cradle, big star, Navabo, Arizona TC;; 

1037. Cat's cradle, many (group of) stars. Navaho. Arizona 7(5.3 

1038. Cat's cradle, twin star.s. XavaUo. Arizona 70:5 

10.39. Cat's cradle, borned stars. Xavabo. .\rizona 703 

1040. Cat'.s cradle. Pleiades. Xavabo. Arizona 764 

1041. Cat's cradle, coyotes running apart. Xavabo. Arizona 7<!4 

1042. Cat's cradle, owl. Xavabo. Arizona 7<>4 

1(>43. Cat's cradle. snaUe. Xavabo. Arizona , 7fi5 

1044. Cat's cradle, lizard, Xavabo. Arizona ^ . 765 

104.0. Cat's cradle, poncbo. Xavabo, Arizona 1 765 

1046. Cat's cradle, bogban. Xavabo. Arizona 766 

1047. Cat's cradle, |)aeking (carrying) wood. Xavabo. Arizona 766 

1048. Cat's cradle, carrying wood. Xavabo. Xew Mexico 767 

1040. Cat's cradle — deer. bare, bills, and ponds — Central Eskimo, 

Franlclin 70S 

1050. Cat's cradle, wolf. ussu(id,iung. Central Eskimo. Franklin 769 

1051. Cat's cradle — fox. raven, polar bear — Ita Eskimo. (Jreeidand- 769 
10.V2. Cat's cradle — narwbal. bare, walrus bead — It.i Eskimo, 

Greenland 770 

1053. Cat's cradle, cbicken foot, Keres. Cochiti, New Mexico 77(i 

10.54. Cat's cradle, butterfly. Keres. Cocbiti. Xew Mexico 771 

105.5. Cat's cradle. Kere.s. Cocbiti. New Mexico 771 

1056. Cat's cradle, bat. Keres, Cocbiti. Xew Mexico 771 

1057. Cat's cradle, bunnuing liird. Porno. California 772 

1058. Cat's cradle, cbicken foot. Maya. Yucatan 772 

1059. Cat's cradle, sawing wood. .Maya. Yucatan 773 

1060. Cat's cradle— dressing a skin, pitcbing a tent— Tliouiii^Dii In- 

dians. British Columbia 774 

1061. Cat's cradle. TIgua. Isleta. Xew Mexico 774 

106'2. Cat's cradle, star. Tigua. Isleta. New Mexico _p ^___ 77."i 

1063. Cat's cradle. Tigua. Isleta. New Mexico 77ri 

1004. Cat's cradle, lightning. Tigua, Isleta, New Mexico 775 

1065. Cat's cradle, mealing stone. Maricopa. Arizona 776 

10()0. Cat's iradle. turtle. Jlaricopa. Arizona 776 

1067. Cat's cradle, netted shield. Zuni. New .Mexico 777 

1068. Cat's cradle, netted shield. Zuiji. Xew Mexico 777 

1069. Cat's cradle, lightning, Zufd, New Mexico 777 

1070. Cat's cradle, brush bouse. Zuiii, New Mexico 77s 

1071. Cat's cradle, brush bouse. Zuni. New Mexico 77s 

1072. Cat's cradle, top crossbeam of ladder. Zuni, New Mexico 778 

1073. Cat's cradle, sling. Zuni. Xew Mexico 779 

1074. Implements for te'ko. Takulli, P.ritisb Columbia 782 

107.5. Saketan. or roulette. Central Eskimo. Franklin 783 

1076. ^Vbalebone hoops. Central Eskimo. Keewatin 783 

1077. Game of sealing. Central Eskimo. Keewatin 784 

1078. .Stick for wak pel pul. Maya, Yucatan 784 

1079. Slats for k'lemgua, Kwakiutl, British Columbia 785 

1080. Sticks for mena. Kwakiutl. British Columbia 785 

1081. Stick-dropping game. Kwakiutl, British Columbia 786 

1082. Ring game, Zuiii, Xew Mexico !__ 787 

1083. Implements for " horns kill," Zuni, New Mexico 787 

1084. Ball field, Xavabo, Arizona . 790 

108.5. Ball. Thompson Indians, British Columbia 790 



Figure loSti. Bat. Thompson Indians. Hritish Columbia 790 

1087. Board game and men, Cree and Chippewa. Assinilioia 792 

1088. Board game. Keres, Aeoma, New Me.xito 792 

1080. Chessmen. Yakutat, Alaska 793 

1090. Stone game board and men. Yokuts. California 794 

1091. Game of coyote and chickens. Papago. Arizona 794 

1092. Star game. Pajiago. Arizona 794 

• 1093. Stone game board. Hopi. Arizona 794 

1094. Arrangement of men in game of tuknanavuhpi, Hopi, .\ri- 

zona 795 

1095. Game of totolospi, Hopi. Arizona 795 

1090. Game board and men. Mono, California 796 

1097. Stone game board for totolospi. Tewa. Hano. Arizona 796 

1098. Arrangement of men in totolospi, Tewa, Hano. Arizona ._ 797 

1099. Game of picaria. Tigua. Isleta. New Mexico 797 

1100. (iame of picaria. Tigua, Isleta, New Mexico 797 

1101. Game of pitarilla. Tewa. Santa Clara. New Mexico 798 

1102. (iame of pitarilla. Tewa. Santa Clara. New Mexico 798 

1103. <iame of .lack rabbit. Tewa. Santa Clara. New Mexico 798 

1104. Star game. Tewa, Santa Clara, New Mexico 798 

1105. Game of Indian and jack rabbits, Tigua, Taos, New Mexico— 798 

1106. Game of stone warriors. Zufii, New Mexico 799 

1107. Potter.v men for game of stone warriors. Zuiii. New Mexico__ 800 

1108. Stone game board. Zuui. New Mexico 80O 

1109. Stone game board. Znni. New Mexico 800 

1110. Stone game board. Znni. New Mexico 801 

nil. Kolowis awithlaknannai. Zufii, New Mexico 801 

1112. .Vwithlakuan mosona, Zuni. New Mexico 801 


B\ Stewakt Ci'lin 


In the sprin*;: of lSi>l tin- writer was invited bv Prof. F. AV. Pntnam 
to prepare and take charge of an exhibit illustrative of the games 
of the world, at the Columbian Exposition at Chieago. During the 
course of the exposition his attention was directed l)v Mr Frank 
Hamilton Cashing to the remarkable analogies existing between the 
oriental and modern European games in the collection and those of 
the American Indians. A joint work in which Mr Cushing should 
discuss the American games and the writer those of the Old Worlil 
was then projected. Mr Cushing's ill health delayed and finally 
prevented his i)roposed collal)oration. Deeply impressed with the 
importance of the subject, the present author took up the sj'stematic 
study of American games, constantly aided by Mr Cushing's advice 
and suggestions. In 1895. at the request of Dr (t. Brown Goode, 
Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, in charge of the 
United States National Museum, he prepared a collection of games 
for the exhibit of the National ^luseuni at the International aiul 
Cotton States Exposition at Atlanta, Ga. A catalogue of this col- 
lection, including a comparative stud}- of the Indian stick-dice 
games, which is incorporated in the present volume, was jjublished 
in the report of the United States National Museum for 1890. Stimu- 
lated by this work, increased attention was paid to Indian games 
by collectors and students in the field. Dr (ieorge A. Dorsey. curator 
of anthropology in the Field Columbian Museum, undertook the 
systematic collection of specimens of gaming implements of all the 
existing triijes. To his efforts and those of his assistants. Rev. 
H. E. Voth. Dr J. W. Hudson. Dr C. F. Newcombe, Mr S. C. Simms. 
and Mr Charles L. Owen, is chiefly due the great wealth of material 
on which the writer has been enabled to draw in the prei)aration of 
his work. Doctor Dorsey not only encouraged the widest use of the 
collections in the Field Columbian Museum, but made many special 


inquiries of the Indians, and freely placed the field notes and manu- 
scripts which he himself had intended for publication, in the hands 
of the writer. A trip through tlie Indian reservations made with 
Doctor Dorsey in the summer of 1900 resulted in the collection of 
much new material, and subsequent trips made by the writer alone in 
1901. 1902, 1903, 1904, and 1905 yielded satisfactory results. 

In 1898, on the invitation of Dr W J McGee. of the Bureau of 
American Ethnology, the writer arranged with the Bureau for the 
25ublication of the present volume. It contains a classified and illus- 
trated list of practically all the American Indian gaming imple- 
ments in American and European museums, together with a more 
or less exhaustive summary of the entire literature of the subject. 
The collection has been confined to games in which implements are 
employed, and the argument rests directly on the testimony afforded 
by them. Indian children have many amusements which they play 
without implements, such as tag, etc., corresponding to those of civi- 
lization, but these belong to a different category from those herein 
described, and their exclusion does not affect the questions vuider dis- 
cussion. Since the relation and, in no small degree, the significance 
of the games become through comparison self-evident, the writer has 
retained the catalogue form for his work, prefacing the whole with a 
general dissei'tation and each of the several divisions into which the 
games naturally fall, with a short introduction. 

In conclusion, the writer desires to express his obligations to Amer- 
ican and foreign students and collectors, who have generously placed 
at his disposal material which they have zealously collected. His 
thanks are due also to the Chief of the Bureau of American Eth- 
nology and the curators of the United States National ^luseum, who 
have in everv wav aided and facilitated his work. 


The games of the Anierieaii Indians may be divided into two gen- 
eral chisses: I. games of chance; II. games of dexterity, (iames of 
pure skill and calculation, such as chess, are entirely absent. The 
Indian games of chance fall into two categories: 1. games in which 
imjilements of the nature of dice are thrown at random to determine 
a number or numbers, and the sum of the counts is kept by means of 
sticks, pebbles, etc., or upon an abacus, or counting board, or circuit ; 
'2. games in which one or more of the players guess in which of two 
or more places an odd or particidarly marked lot is concealed, success 
or failure resulting in the gain or loss of counters. The games of 
dexterity may be enumerated as: 1, archery in various modifications; 

2, a game of sliding javelins or darts upon the hard ground or ice; 

3. a game of shooting at a moving target consisting of a netted wheel 
or a ring; 4. the game of ball in several highly specialized forms; 
.5. the racing games, more or less related to and complicated with the 
ball games. In addition, there is a subclass related to the games of 
shooting at a moving target, of which it is a miniature and solitaire 
form, coiTesponding to the Eui'opean game of cup and ball. 

Games of all the classes designated are found among all the Indian 
tribes of North .Vmerica and constitute the games par excellence of 
the Indians. Children have a variety of other amusements, such as 
top spinning, mimic fights, and similar imitative sports, but the 
games first described are played only by men and women, or youth- 
and maidens, not by children, and usually at fixed seasons as the 
accompaniment of certain festivals or religious rites. 

There is a well-marked affinity and relationship existing between 
the manifestations of the same game, even among the most widely 
separated tribes. The variations are more in the materials employed, 
due to environment, than in the object or method of play. Precisely 
the same games are jjlayed by tribes belonging to unrelated lingiiistic 
stocks, and in general the variations do not follow differences in 
language. At the same time, there appears to be a progressive change 
from what seems to be the oldest forms of existing games from a 
center in the southwestern United States, along lines north, north- 
east, and east, l^imilar changes probably occurred along lines radi- 
ating from the same center southward into Mexico, but in the absence 
of sufficient data this conclusion can not be verified. 



There is no evidence that any of the games described were imported 
into America at any time either before or after the Conquest. On the 
other hand, they appear to be the direct and natural outgrowth of 
alwriginal institutions in America. They show no modifications due 
to whit« influence other than the decay which characterizes all Indian 
institutions under existing conditions. It is probable. how(?ver, that 
the wide dissemination of certain games — for example, the hand 
game — is of comparatively recent date, due to wider and less restricted 
intercourse through the abolition of tribal wars. Playing cards 
and. prot)ably, the simple board game called by the English nine 
men's morris are among the few games borrowed by the Indians froni 
the whites. On the other hand, we have taken their lacrosse in the 
north and racket in the south, and the Mexicans on the Rio (Jrande 
plaj' all the old Indian games under Spanish names. 

My first conclusions as to the interrelation and common origin of 
Indian games were based upon a comparative study of the stick-dice 
game, published in the report of the United States National Museum 
for 1896. " I was then, in default of other data, inclined to view the 
question from its objective side and to explain the manifold inter- 
relationshij^s of the dice games as dtie chiefly to the progressive modi- 
fications of the implements employed. This explanation, however, 
failed to account for the manifest relations which I afterward dis- 
covered between the dice game and most of the other games, as well 
as those which exist between the gaming implements and many cere- 
monial appliances, and I was led to the conclusion that behind Ijoth 
ceremonies and games there existed some widespread myth from 
which both derived their impulse. 

References to games are of common occurrence in the origin myths 
of various tribes. They usually consist of a description of a series 
of contests in which the demiurge, the first man. the culture hero, 
overcomes some opponent, a foe of the human race, by exercise of 
superior cunning, skill, or magic. Comparison of these myths not 
only reveal their practical unity, hut disclose the primal gamblers 
as those curious children, the divine Twins, the miraculous offspring 
of the Sun, who are the principal personages in many Indian mytholo- 
gies. They live in the east and in the west ; they rule night and 
day. winter and summer. They are the morning and evening stars. 
Their virgin mother, who appears also as their sister and their wife, 
is constantly spoken of as their grandmother, and is the Moon or 
the Earth, the Spider Woman, the eml>odiment of the feminine 
principle in nature. Always contending, they are the original 
patrons of play, and their games are the games now played l)y men. 
1 shall reserve for another work the task of attempting to untwine the 

"Chess ami I'iiniti,:.' Cards. 





tangled web in which the myth of the Twins is interwoven. These 
tales are involved with tho:-e of two other similar cosmical person- 
ages, who occupy places midway between them. AVe find the follow- 
ing description of the Twins in their relation to games in Mr Cush- 
ing's account of the Zufii 'War Gods : " 

Lo! and of Chance and Fate were they the masters of foredeeming, for they 
carried the word-painted arrows of destiny (sh6Iiweatsinapa), lilce the regions 
of men. four in niuuber. And they carried the shuttlecoclis of divination 
(bapochiwe), lilve tlie regions of men, four in number. And they carried the 
tubes of hidden things (iyanliolotdmawe). lilie the regions of men, four in num- 
ber, and the revealing balls thereof (lyankolote tsemak'ya moliwe). like the 
regions of men. four in number. Yea. and they bore, with these, other things— 
the feather bow and iilume arrow of far-finding, tipped with the shell of heart- 
searching : and the race sticks of swift journeys and way-winning ( moti- 
kwawe). two of them, the right and the left, the pursuer and the pursued of men 
in pontention. All these things wherewith to divine men's chance, and play 
games of hazard, wagering the fate of whole nations in mere pastime, had they 
with them. 

The significant emblems of the Twins are their weapons. These 
consist of a throwing-club made of heavy wood, their bows and cane 
arrows, the bows interchangeable with a lance, and a netted shield. 
These objects are distinguished one from the other by their markings, 
which again are commonly fourfold, one pair referring to one of 
the Twins, and one to the other. In this fourfold division we find 
included those other interrelated twins of whom mention has been 
made. Gaming implements are almost exclusively derived from these 
symbolic weapons. For example, the stick dice are either arrow 
shafts or miniature bows, and a similar origin may be asserted for 
the implements used in the hand game and in the four-stick game. 
Counting sticks in general and sticks for the stick game are arrows. 
The engraved and painted tubes used in the guessing game are arrow 
shaftments. In the games of dexterity we find again bows and 
arrows and the netted shield with bows. Snow-snakes are either the 
club, the bows, or arrows. Ball seems to be less sure, but the racket 
may be referred to the net shield. The painted sticks of the kicked- 
billet race are miniature bows. The opposing players are frequently 
the representatives of the two War Gods. We find gaming imple- 
ments, as things pleasing to the gods, among the objects sacrificed 
npon the altar of the Twins in Ziini. 

This is well illustrated in the model of the shrine of the War God 
arranged for exhibition by Mrs Matilda Coxe Stevensoii in the 
United States National Museum (plate ii).'' 

" Outlines of Zuui Creation Myths. Thirteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Eth- 
nology, p. 423, 18(10. 

'The following is a descriptive label of the altar of the War God in the Museum, fur- 
nished b.v .Mrs Stevenson; Idol and paraphernalia of the Zufii war god Ahaiyuta. em- 
ployed in the worship of the deity and forming a petition for rain. The plumes surround 

24 ETH— 05 M ,S 


The games on the altar are as follows: Set of four cane dice (fig- 
ure 284) ; set of four long cane dice (figure 2) ; set of four wooden 
cylinders for hidden-ball game (figui'e493) ; two corncob feather darts 
with ball made of yucca leaves (figure 549) ; sticks for kicked! )inet 
game (figure 913). 

From the account of the altars of the twin War Gods among tlie 
Hopi given by Doctor Fewkes," it would appear that the games are 
absent, but we find them upon the altars in the Flute ceremony. For 
example, on the altar of the Drab Flute (Macilenya) from Oraibi. 
as reconstructed in the Field Columbian Museum at Chicago, four 
little flowerlike cups, yellow, green, retl, and white, rest upon the floor 
at the base of the effigy. Between them are two wooden cylinders, 
painted black, corresponding to the kicked sticks of the Zuni race 
game. A corn-husk ring, tied to a long stick, precisely like one used 
in certain forms of the ring-and-dart game, stands on each side of 
the princijial figure.'' 

In addition, stuck on sand mounds at the right and left, are artifi- 
cial trees or plants covered with flowers. These flowers are wooden 
gaming cups. 16 in number — 4 white. 4 green, 4 red, and 4 yellow. 
The four cups are seen again, surmounted with birds, resting upon 
cloud symbols on the Hopi Oaqol altar (figure 1). 

In general, games appear to be played ceremonially, as j^leasing 
to the gods, with the object of securing fertility, causing rain, giving 
and prolonging life, expelling demons, or curing sickness. My 
former conclusion as to the divinatory origin of games, so far as 
America is concerned, was based upon ilr Cushing's suggestion that 

ing the image and the objects before it are offeiings from the Bow, or War. society and 
certain members of the Deer clan. They are displayed as they appear in the house of 
the director of the Bow society, where they are set up previous to being deposited at the 
shrine of Ahaij'uta on Uhana YiialUinf'. Wool mountain, southwest of the pueblo of Zuni. 

1. Carved figure of Ahaiyuta, a very old original, collected hy Col. James Stevenson, 

2. Shield of Ahai.vuta ; hoop and network of cotton. 

2. Symbolic feather bow and arrow. 

3. 3. Ceremonial staffs. 

4. Symbolic war club. 

5. Ceremonial tablet, with symbol of crescent moon. sun. morning star, lightning, and 
house of Ahaiyuta. 

6. 7, 8, 9, 10. Cames supposed to have originated with the gods of war, and made by 
the Deer clan. 

11. Plumes of offerings made by two members of the Bow society. 

12. Four plume offerings of a member of the Deer clan. 

13. Sacred meal bowl containing prayer meal. 

14. Ued bread, food offering to the god of war. 

l."». Tur(]Uoise and sbell-bead offerings in corn husks. 

16. Feathered staff, offering to the god of war by the Bow society. Included in this 
case, but presented at a different ceremonial. 

17. Oraibi basket for holding the prayer plumes afterward deposited in connection with 
the ceremony. 

18. Old handled vase and medicine plume box, personal property of the direitor of the 
Bow society. 

" Minor Hopi Festivals. American Anthropologist, n. s.. v. 4. p. 487. lOci-'. 
"It is carried by two girls in the public ceremony on the ninth day, the ring being 
tossed with the stick. 




the gaming implonu'uts which iire sacrificed uiion tlie Zuni aUar were 
symbols of the divination with whicli the ceremonies were originally 
connected. From that i:)oint of view the divination might be regarded 
as an experiment in which the dramatization of war, the chase, agri- 
culture, the magical rites that secured success over the enemy, the re- 
production of animals and the fertilization of corn, is performed in 

1. Oaqol altar. Hopi Indians. Oraibi. Arizona; from model in the Field 
r'olnmbian MuKeiim. 

order to discover the probable outcome of human effort, representing 
a desire to secure the guidance of the natural powers by which 
humanity was assumed to be dominated. As opposed to this view, it 
should be said that I have no direct evidence of the employment of 
games in divination by the Indians apart from that afforded by Mr 
Cushing's assertion in regard to the Zuni sholiwe. This game is 
ceremonially played to-day to secure rain. 



Games of chance 

Games of dexterity 















Tabular Index to 
Tribes and Games 












ca 5 
^ o 















Algonquian stock: 

























































































Sauk and Foxes 








Athapascan stock: 
Apache (Chirica- 
nua) . .'. 






Apache (.Hcarilla) 


Apache (SanCarlosI 


Apache (White 








Han Kutchin. 

Hupa 91 




Kawchodinne ' 92 






Mish ikhwutrae- 













Takulli . 














Beothukan stock: 




Caddoan stock: 
















Chimmesyan stock: 


TainiahiflTi . 





Minor amusements 








































































' " ■ • 








" " " ' 


















Games of chance ' Games of dexterity 1 




Cruessing i 
games 1 











Tabular Index to 

Tribes and Games 







1— 1 






n o 

(U l-r 


















Chinookan stock: 

Chinook . . 





Clatsop, . ... 





Chumashan stock: 

Santa Barbara . . 


Copehan stock: 





Costanoan stock: 



Eskimauan stock; 
Eskimo (Central). 







Eskimo (Central: 
Aivilirmiut and 

Eskimo (Ita) 




Eskimo (Koksoag- 










Iroquoian stock: 











St Regis 












Kalapooian stock: 



Keresan stock: 










Kiowan stock: 


Kitunahan stock: 

Koluschan stock: 











Kulanapan stock: 





Porno. ... 






Lutuamian stock: 




Mariposan stock: 




















Mayan stock: 


Moquel'umnan stock: 















Minor amusements 















































:;::: : 























Games of chance 

Games oj dexterity 













Tabular Index to 
Tribes and Games 





















Moquelumnan stock— 



















Miiskhogean stock: 











Natchesan stock: 






Piman stock: 


















Piijunan stock: 















Salishan stock: 



Chi Hi whack 









Pend d'Oreilles 

















Skokomish ....'. 






Songish . 









Shahaptian stock: 








Shastan stock: 











Shoshonean stock: 









































Uinta Ute 






Vte ' 




Yampa Ute ! 



. 1 






Minor amusements 

1 , 



































1 3 


■^ to 

> s. 















■ ■ 















. .. 






























Games of chance Games of dexterity 















Tabular Index to 
Tbibes and Games 








^ o 





















Siouan stock: 













1 1 



! 1 








Dakota. . . 

Dakota (Bruie i 



Dakota (Oglalai ... 










Dakota (Tetou) 








Dakota (Wahpe- 

Dakota ( Yankton). 1 184 





Dakota(Yanktonai) 185 





















Osage . . 













Skittagetan stock: 







Tanoan stock: 








^ liya 

Wakashaii slock: ! 


Clavoquot i 196 









Makah 197 








Washoan stock: 









Weitspekaii stock: 

VVishoskan stock: 

Yukian stock; 


Yumau stock: 






















2ufiian stock: 



372 396 








Minor amusements 





*** OS 
























































































777 787 



The ultimate object of all Indian games of chance is to determine 
a number or series of numbers, gain or loss depending upon the 
I^riority in which the players arrive at a definitive goal. The Indian 
chance games, as before mentioned, may be divided into dice games 
and guessing games — that is, into those in which the hazard depends 
ui^on the random fall of certain imijlements emjjloyed like dice, and 
those in which it depends upon the guess or choice of the player ; one is 
objective, the other subjective. In general, the dice games are played 
in silence, while the guessing games are accamj)anied by singing and 
drumming, once doubtless incantations to secure the aid and favor 
of the divinity who pi-esides over the game. 

The guessing games consist of four kinds : 

I. Those in which a bundle of sticks, originally shaftments of 
arrows, are divided in the hands, the object being for the opponent 
to guess in which hand the odd stick or a particularly marked stick 
is held ; these for convenience I have designated stick games. 

II. Those in which two or four sticks, one or two marked, are held 
in the hands, the object being to guess which hand holds the un- 
marked stick; for these the common name of hand game has been 

III. Those in which four sticks, marked in pairs, are hidden 
together, the object being to guess their relative position : these I have 
designated four-stick games. 

IV. Those in which some small object — a stone, stick, or bullet — 
is hidden in one of four wooden tubes, in one of four moccasins, or in 
the earth, the object being to guess where it is hidden; for these I 
have accepted Mr Cushing's designation of the hidden-ball game, 
and for a particular form of the game, the common descriptive name 
of the moccasin game. 


Under this caption are included all games in which number is 
determined by throwing, at random, objects which, for convenience, 
may be termed dice. A game or games of this type are here described 



as existing among 130 tribes belonging to 30 linguistic stocks, and 
from no one tribe does it apjjear to have been absent. 

The essential imi>lemeuts consist, first, of the dice, and, second, 
of the instruments for keeping count. The dice, with minor excep- 
tions, have two faces, distinguished by colors or markings, and are 
of a great variety of materials — split canes, wooden staves or blocks, 
bone staves, beaver and woodchuck teeth, walnut shells, peach and 
Ijluni stones, grains of corn, and bone, shell, brass, and pottery disks. 
They are either thrown by hand or tossed in a bowl or basket, this 
difference giving rise to the two principal types of the game. Both 
are frequently found among the same tribe, and the evidence goes to 
show that the basket-dice game, which is most commonly played b}^ 
women, is a derivative from the game in which the dice are thrown 
by hand. In the latter the dice are cast in a variety of ways — tossed 
in the air against a hide or blanket, struck ends down upon a stone 
or a hide disk, struck ends down upon a stone held in the hand, or 
allowed to fall freely upon the earth or upon a hide or blanket. 

There are many variations in the method of counting, but they 
can all be divided into two general classes — those in which the score 
is kept with sticks or counters, which j^ass from hand to hand, and 
those in which it is kept upon a counting board or abacus. In the 
first the counters are usually in multiples of ten, infrequently of 
twelve, and vary from ten up to one hundred and twenty. They com- 
monl}^ consist of sticks or twigs, and. from the fact that arrows are 
employed by some tribes and that many others use sticks bearing 
marks that may be referred to those on arrow shaftments, they may 
be regarded as having lieen derived from arrows, for which the 
game may have originally been played. The game terminates when 
one of the opposing sides wins all the counters. The counting board 
or abacus consists either of stones placed in a square or circle upon 
the ground, of a row of small sticks or pegs, or of an inscribed cloth, 
hide, stone, or board. It is almost invariably arranged in four divi- 
sions, consisting of ten places each, the number of counts in the cir- 
cuit varying from forty to one hundred and sixty. In connection 
with the counting board, men, or pieces, frequently known as 
" horses," are used to indicate the positions of the several players. 
It is an invariable rule that when a man, or piece, falls upon a place 
occupied by a man of an opponent, the latter piece is said to be killed, 
and is sent back to its starting place. The number of players varies 
from two, one on each side, up to an indefinite number, depending 
upon those who desire to take part. Two or four are most com- 
mon, the spectators betting upon the residt. Both men and women 
participate in the dice games, hut usiuilly apart. In their ceremonial 
forms these are distinctively men's games. As mentioned in the 



Fjg. 2. Sacrificial gaming canes from shrine 
of War God, Zuni Indians, Zuiii, New Mex- 
ico; length, 15 inches: cat. no. 22681. Free 
Museum of Science and Art, University of 

introduction, the dice game was one of the games sacred to the War 
God in Zuiii, and the cane dice were sacrificed upon his shrine. Fig- 
ure 2 represents a set of such sacrificial dice, collected by the writer 
from the shrine of the War God on Corn mountain, Zuni, in 1902. 

They consist of four split canes 
15 inches in length, painted black 
on the outside, and bound in 
pairs, one fitting into the other, 
to form a cross. The middle and 
two ends are tied with cotton 
cord, to which down feathers are 
attached. These canes api)ear to 
have been used in a different form 
of the dice game from that de- 
scribed in the present volume as 
plaj^ed in Zuiii. 

Dr J. Walter Fewkes" men- 
tions a bundle of gaming reeds 
being placed with otiier ol)jects 
upon the Tewa kiva altar ( plate 
III) erected at the winter solstice at Haiio, and in a letter '' to the 
writer says that the markings on these canes resemble very closely 
those on the set (figure 200) which he found in the old altar at Clu'vlon. 
A comparison of the dice games of the Indians throughout the 
United States led the writer at first to refer them all to canes, such 
as are employed in the Zuiii game 
of sholiwe. These canes in their 
original form consist of split arrow 
shaftmeuts, and are marked botli 
inside and out with bands or rib- 
bonings corresponding with th(^ 
markings on the arrows of th(>, 
four world quarters. Many of the 
wooden dic«. wliich the Zuni call 
" wood canes," bear an incised mark 
on tile inner side, corresponding 
to the inner concave side of the 
canes. The chevron pattern on the 
outer face of many of the staves 
agrees with, and appears to be derived from, the crosshatching on the 
sholiwe. AMien the staves are differentiated liy marks, tiiese, too, 
agree more or less closely with those on the canes. It will be observed 
that ill many of the sets one of tlie dice is distinguished from the 
others by marks on the face, or convex side, as well as on the 










Fig. 3. Cane dice (reproductiunsi: length, 
5i inches; Zuni Indians, Zuiii, New Mex- 
ico; cat. no. 16543, Free Museum of Science 
and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

o American Anthropologist, n. s.. 

1, p. 272. 1800. 

''January 27. IMOO. 

' , •■.■) 

i / 

. i^.?-* ' .. 



















When tliis piece falls with this side uppermost it augments the count 
in the play. 

Figure 3 represents the obverse of a set of Zuhi canes for sholiwe, 
reproduced from memory by ^Ir Cushing for the writer in the sum- 
mer of 1893. The athlua. or " sender," the uppermost cane in this 
set, corresponding with the north, is marked on the convex side with a 
cross, agreeing in this 
respect with one of 
the sticks of the Tewa 
game, figure 25.5. 

This peculiarity, in 
one form or another, 
is repeated through- 
out the implements 
hereafter described, 
the obverse of one of 
the sticks in many of the sets being carved or burned, while in others 
the stave is tied about the middle. This specially nuirked die is the one 
that augments the throw. In attempting to account for it, it occurred 
to the writer to compare the Zuni cane bearing the cross marks with 
the atlatl, or throwing stick, from a cliti-dwelling in Mancos canyon, 

Fio. 4. Handle of atlatl, showing crossed wrapping: for the 
attachment of finger loops; cliff-dwelling. Jlanctis canyon, 
Colorado; Free Museum of .Science and Art, University of 



Fig. a. Atlatl (restored); length. 15 inches; cliff-dwelling. Mancos canyon, Colorado; Free 
Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

Colorado, in the ITniversity of Pennsylvania museum (figures 4 
and .->). Mr Cushing had suggested that the athlua, placed beneath 
the other canes in tossing them, corresponded to the atlatl. The 
comparison seemed to confirm his suggestion. The cross mark is pos- 
.•^ibly the cross wrapping of the atlatl for the attachment of finger 

Fig. I). Stick die; length, 7 inches; cliff-dwelling, Mancos canyon. Colorado; Free Museum of 
Science and Art. University of Pennsylvania. 

loops. According to this view, the Zuni canes ma}' be regarded as 
feymbolic of the atlatl and three arrows, such as are carried by the 
gods in Mexican pictures. From the evidence furnished by the 
impleiiients employed, I concluded at first that the games with 
tossed canes, staves, etc., must all be referred to the regions of cane 
arrows and the atlatl, i)robably the southwestern TTnited States. 
Later observations upon other Indian games, in which it is ap- 



FiQ. 7. Bone dice; length, |J to i| inch; Tanner 
springs, Arizona; cat. no. 22770, Free Museum 
of Science and Art, University of Pennsyl- 

pareut that the implements represent the bows of the War Gods, 
caused me to reexamine the stick dice, with the resuU that I am 
inclined to believe that many of them are to be indentified with bows 
rather than with arrows. At any rate, whether as arrows or bows, 

the four dice are to be referred 
to the AVar Gods. It will be seen 
that the counting circuit agrees 
with the gaming wheel, which 
in some instances is notched at 
its four quarters in agreement 
with the dice marks. 

The wide distribution and 
range of variations in the dice 
games point to their high antiq- 
uity, of which objective evi- 
dence is afforded in the prehistoric stick die (figure G) from the cliff- 
ruins of Colorado. Similar evidence exists in the pottery bowls (fig- 
ures 197-199) decorated with representations of gaming sticks, with 
their peculiar markings, from prehistoric Ilopi graves in Arizona. 

Small bone dice are found in the j^rehistoric graves 
and ruins of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. Seven 
such dice in the Free Museum of Science and Art of the 
University of Pennsylvania (cat. no. 22770), collected 
by Henry Dodge at Tanner springs, Arizona, are len- 
ticular in form and from eleven-sixteenths to fifteen- 
sixteenths inch in length. The flat sides are marked — 
five with fine diamonds formed of cross lines, and two 
with straigjit transverse lines, as shown in figure 7. 
Four are plain, and three have transverse bands on 
the rounded side. Four of them have also traces of 
blue and three of red j^aint. There are several such 
dice in the American Museum of Natural History. 
Eight from pueblo Penasca Blanca, Chaco canyon. 
New Mexico, are similar to those above described. 
Witli them are a similar object of limonite, two small 
cii'cular bone disks, and three small rectangular pieces 
of thin bone, which also appear to have been used as dice. 
From (rrand Gulch, Utah, in the same museum, are 
three similar lenticular bone dice, plain on their flat 
side, and two somewhat smaller ones with the flat side 
inscribed with four transverse lines. With them are 
four small bone disks, the flat sides of which show 
grooves, the natural ca\ities of the bone, and one somewhat smaller 
that is marked on the flat side with a cross. 
From Grand Gulch also, in the same museum, are a number of 

Fig. 8 a, h, c. 
Cane and wood 
dice and wood- 
en dice cups; 
Grand Gulch, 
Utah; Ameri- 
can Museum of 
Natural His- 




other dice. Nine consist of small fragments of cane (figure 8a), 
made to include a joint, and slightly flattened and marked with 
notches at each end. on the flat side. Two of these are somewhat 
shorter than tlie rest and have the joint smoothed down. Another set 
of four wooden dice from the same place is accompanied In' a finely 
wrought wooden cup 2 inches in height and 1| inches in diameter. 
These dice are three-fourths of an inch in length, slightly flattened 
on one side, the rounded jjart being marked with burned devices, as 
shown in figure 8^. Another similar dice cup in the same collection 
Contains three wooden dice (figure Be) and two cane dice like those 
first described. The wooden dice in these two sets appear to be copies 
of canes. 


Algoxkix. Three Rivers, Quebec. 

Pierre Boucher " says : 

The game of the dish is played with nine little flat round bones, blaek on 
one side, white on the other, which they stir ui) and cause to jump in a large 
wooden dish, preventing them from striking the earth by holding it in their 
hands. Loss or gain depends upon the largest number of one color. The game 
paquessen is almost the same thing, except that the little bones are thrown into 
the air with the hand, falling upon a robe .spread on the ground like a carpet. 
The number of one color determines loss or gain. 

Amalecite (Malecite). New Brunswick. (Cat. no. 20125, Free 

Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania.) 
Set of six disks of caribou bone marked on the flat side (figure 9) ; a 
platter of curly maple cut across the grain. Hi inches in diam- 

FiG.'9. Bone dice; diameter, 1 inch; Amalecite ( Malecite i Indians, New Brunswick; cat. no. 
30125, Free Musenm of Science and Art, Univei'sity of Pennsylvania. 

eter; and fifty-two wooden counting sticks about 8 inches in 

length (figure 10), four being much broader than the others 

and of different shapes. 

These were collected and deposited by Mr George E. Starr, who 

purchased the game from a woman named Susan Perley, a member 

"■ Histoire Veritable et Naturelle des Moeurs et Productions du Pays de la Novelle 
France, ch. 10. Paris, 1664. 

24 ETH— 05 M 4 



of a tribe calling themselves the Tobique. at an Indian village half 
a mile north of Andover, New Brunswick. Three of the disks and 
the counting sticks were made for the collector, while the jjlatter and 
three of the disks shown in the upper row (figure 9) are old. Two 
of the latter are made apparently of old bone buttons, there being 

Flo. 10. Counting sticks for stick dice; length, 8 inches; Amalecite (Malecite i Indians, New 
Bronswick; cat. no. 20125, Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

a hole in tlie reverse into which the shank fitted. The designs on 
t\w faces are not the same. The woman informed Mr Starr that 
the game was called altestagen, and that it was played by two jDcrsons, 
one of whom places the counting sticks in a pile together. 

Theu the stones are placed at random in the plate, which is held in both 
hands and struck sharply on the ground so as to make the stones fly into the air 
and turn before landing in the plate again. A player continues as long as he 
scores, taking counters from the pile of sticks according to his throw. When 
the pile is exhausted, each having obtained part, tlie game is continued until 
one wins tliem all. Three plain sticks count one point. The three carved 
sticks count each four points, or twelve plain sticks. The snake-like stick is 
kept to the last. It is equal to three plain sticks, and a throw that counts three 
is necessary to take it. 

Arapaho. Wind River reservation, Wyoming. (Free Museum of 

Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania.) 
Cat. no. 36963. Four willow^ twigs, marked alike on the flat side, 
painted red; length, 6f inches (figure 11). 




Fio. 11. 

Stick dice; length, lij inches: Arapalio Indians, Wyoming; cat. no. 36963, Free Museum 
of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 


DICE games: aeapaho 


Cat. no. 36964. Four others, similar, but marked on the round sides,, 
painted yellow; length. 6} inches (figure 12). 

Fig. 12. Stick dice; length, BJ inches: Ai-apaho Indiana, Wyoming; cat. no. MXA, Free Mnseiun 
of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

Cat. no. 36965. Five flat shaved twigs, painted orange yellow; 
one face plain, the other marked with incised lines painted blue; 
length, 8f inches (figure 13). 


"T ^ f/Tl D 

Fig. 13. Stick dice; length, 8^ inches; Arapaho liulian-s, Wyoming; cat. no. .36965, Free Museum 
of Science and Ai't, University of Pennsylvania. 

Cat. no. 36966. Four flat willow twigs, one side j'ellow, with notches 
painted green and red, all ditlerent (figure 14), reverse plain 

i '^m 



Fig. 14. Stick dice; length, 9^ inches; Arapaho Indians, Wyoming; cat. no. 36!M>6, Free Mtiseum 
of Science and Art. Univei-sity of Pennsylvania. 

green; accompanied by a thick rawhide disk. 11 inches in 
diameter, painted green, with the device shown in figure 15a on 

Pig. 15. Leather disk used with stick dice; diameter, 11 inches; Arapaho Indians, Wyoming; 
cat. no. 36966, Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 



one face; reverse, green with internal ring of red. ami Itlue 
center (figure 15h). The bets are said to be laid on this. 
Cat. no. 36967. Four flat twigs, having one side painted yellow, with 
notches painted green and rrd. all diiferent, as shown in figure 

Fio. 16. Stick dice; length. 9 inches; Ar.ipaho Indians. Wyoming: cat. no. 36967, Free Museum of 
Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

16; length, 9 inches: accompanied by a disk of rawhide jiainted 
red, yellow, and green, upon which the bets are laid: diameter, 
6^ inches (figure 17). 

Fio. 17. Leather disk used with stick dice; diameter, 6; inches; Arajjaho Indians, Wyoming; 
cat. no. 36967, Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

Cat. no. 36968. Six shaved twigs, ovoid in section, painted red. three 
marked on the round side with incised line and three with incised 
lines on both sides, all different; lengtli, 10 inches. 

Cat. no. 36969. Five slender peeled willow twigs, with burnt mark- 
on one side; length, 7 inches (figure 18). 

■*> ■" H> ~? 

— w V- 

" — — n 

Pio. 18. Stick dice; length, 7 inches; Arapaho luUians, Wyoming; cat. no. :«y69, Free Museum 
of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

Cat. no. 36961. Eight pieces: Three bone disks with three incised 
intersecting lines painted red and yellow, diameter about 1 inch; 
three diamond-shaped bone pieces with incised Greek cross 




burned and painted green, length. If inches; two rectanguhir 
pieces with siniihir cross burned and jjainted red, length, li 
inches. The reverse sides are all ]ilain (figure 10). 



i\ ' 

Fig. 13. Bone diue; diameter, 1 to Ij inches; Arapahu ludiaus, Wyoming; cat. no. 36961, Free 
Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

Cat. no. 3(;9fi2. Twenty piece.s, contained in a small cotton-cloth bag. 

The following arc bone, with burnt designs on one face, the reverse 
being plain: Three diamond-shaped with cross (figure 20fl) ; three 
diamond-shaped, quartered, the alternate quarters burned (figure 
20h) ; three elliptical, with elongated diamond in field (figure 20e) ; 
three ellii^tical, with cross band and lines at end (figure 20d) ; one 
elliptical, with central diamond inclosed by chevrons (figure 20e) ; 
tAvo rectangular, with central cross lines and wedge on each end (fig- 
ure 20/) : one rectangular, with lines at the ends (figure 20ff) ; two 
rectangular, with three dots (figure 20h). 

The following are of peach stone: Three with Greek cross (figure 
20/): two witli dot ijU circle (figure 20/). All of these specimens 
were collected bv the writer in 1000. 


Fig. 20. Bone and peach-stone dice; diameter, i inch to 21 inches; Arapaho Indians, Wyoming^ 
cat. no. ;i6962, Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

Aeapaho. Cheyenne and Arapaho reservation, Oklahoma. (Cat. 
no. 1.52802, 152803, United States National Museum.) 

Set of fiA^e dice of buffalo bone, marked on one side with burnt de- 
signs (figure 21) and basket of woven grass. 9 inches in diameter 
at top and 2i inches dee^D (figure 22). The rim of the basket is. 



Fig. 21. Bone dice; lengths, ■ and 1| inches; Arapabo In- 
dians, Oklahoma; cat. no. 152802, United States National 

bound with cotton cloth, and the inner side of the bottom i.s 
covered with the same material. The game is played l)y women. 
Collected by Mr James IMooney in 1801. 

The following account 
of the game is given by 
the collector : " 

The dice game is called ta- 
u'seta'tlua (literally, strik- 
ing or throwing agtiiust 
something) b.v the Arapaho, 
and mo'nshiinOnh b.v the 
Cheyenne, the same name 
being now given to the mod- 
ern card games. It was prac- 
tically universal among all 
the tribes east and west, and, under the name of hubbub, is described liy a 
New England writer i as far back as 1634 almost precisely as it exists to-day 
among the prairie tribes. The only difference seems to have been that in the 
cast it was played also by the men, and to the accompaniment of a song, such 
as is used In the hand games of the w'estern tribes. The requisites are a small 
wicker bowl or basket (hatechi'na), five dice made of lione or plum stones, 
and a pile of tally sticks, such as are used in the awl game. The bowl is 6 or 8 
inches in diameter and about 2 inches deep, and is woven in Ii:\sket fashion of 
the tough fillers of the yucca. The dice ma.v lie round, elliptical, or diamond 
shaped, and are variousl.v marked on 
one side with lines or figures, the tur- 
tle being a favorite design among the 
Arapaho. Two of the five must be 
alike in shape and marking. Theother 
three are marked with another design 
and may also be of another shape. 
Any number of women and girls may 
play, each throwing in turn, and some- 
times one set of partners playing 
against another. The partners toss up 
the dice from the basket, letting them 
drop again into it, and score points ac- 
cording to the way the dice turn up in the basket. The first throw by each player 
is made from the hand instead of from the basket. One hundred [loints usually 
count a game, and stakes are wagered on the result as in almost every other 
Indian contest of skill or chance. For the purpose of explanation we shall 
designate two of the five as " rounds " and the other three as " diamonds," it 
being understood that only the marked side counts in the game, excepting when 
the throw happens to turn up the three "diamonds" blank while the other 
two show the marked side, or, as sometimes happens, when all five dice turn 
up blank. In every case all of one kind at least must turn up to score a point. 
A successful throw entitles the player to another throw, while a failure obliges 
her to pass the basket to someone else. The formula is : One onl.v of either 
kind counts 0; two rounds, 3; three diamonds (both rounds with blank side up). 



Pig. 22. BaskPt for dice; diameter, 9 inches; 
Arapaho Indians, Oklahoma; cat. uo. 15280:5, 
United States National Museum. 

"The Ghost Dance Religion. Fourtpenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, 
j)t. 2, p. 1004. 1800. 

* William Wood. New England's Prospect. London. 10:^4. 




3; three diamonds blank (both rounds with marlied side up), 3; four marlced 
sides up, 1 ; five blanlv sides up, 1 ; five marlied sides up, 8. 

A game, similar in principle Ijut played with six dice instead of five, is also 
played by the Arapaho women, as well as by those of the Comanche and prob- 
ably of other tribes. 

Arapaiio. Oklahoma. (United States Xational Museum.) 


Fig. 24. 

Fig. 25. Fig. 26. 

Fto. 23. Bone dice; length, 1} to 2i inches; Arapaho Indians, Olilahoma; cat. no. 1IW76.5, UnitKil 

States National Museum. 
Fig. 24. Basket for dice; diameter, 10 inches; Arapaho Indians. Oklahoma; cat. no. 16.576.5. United 

States National Museum. 
Fig. 25.- Wooden dice; length, U inches; Arapaho Indians, Oklahoma; cat. no. 16.5T6.5(f. United 

States National Museum. 
Fig. 26. Stick representing a man, used by women in dice game; length, 1.5.1 inches; Arapaho 

Indians, Oklahoma; cat. no. {r% American Museum of Natural History. 

Cat. no. 165765. Set of five bone dice, marked on convex side with 
burned designs (figure 23), and much worn basket of woven 
grass, 10 inches in diameter at top and 2 inches deep (figure 21). 


Cat. no. lG5765a. Set of five wooden dice, marked on one side witli 
burned designs (figure 26), representing on three a swallow or 
swallow hawk and on two a dragon fly. Both collected by Rev. 
H. R. Voth. 

Aeapaho. ( )klahoma. ( Cat. no. ^^, American Museum of Natural 

AVooden stick. 15i inches in length, knobbed at the upper end and 

jDointed at the lower, the upper half painted red and the lower 

Ijlack. with four feathers and a small brass bell tied at the top 

(figure 26). 

It was collected by Dr A. L. Kroeber, who describes it as rej^re- 

senting a man : 

When women gamble with dice they use this stick as a charm to prevent 
cheating in tlie game. 
Blackfeet. Alberta. 

Rev. Edward F. Wilson" says: 

Their chief amusements are horse racing and gambling. For the latter of 
these they employ dice of their own construction — little cubes i>( wood with 
signs instead of numbers marked upon them. These they shake together in a 
wooden disli. 

Rev. J. W. Tims '> gives katsasinni as a general term for gambling. 

Dr George Bird Grinnell has furnished me the following account 
of the stave game among the Blackfeet, wdiich he describes under the 
name of onesteh. the stick, or travois,'' game : 

This is a woman's gambling game, in vogue among the tribes of the Blackfoot 
nation, who know nothing of the basket or .seed game so generally played by the 
more southern i)lains tribes. 

Four str.-iigbt bones, made from buffalo ril)s — or .S inches long, one-fourth of 
an inch thick, and about three-fourths of an inch wide, tapering gradually to a 
blunt point at either end — are used in playing it. Three of these bones are un- 
marked on one side, and the fourth on this side has three or five transvei'se 
grooves running about it at its middle, or sometimes no grooves are cut and the 
bone is marked by having a buckskin string tied around it. On their other 
sides the bones are marked, two of them by zigzag lines running from one end 
to the other: another, called the chief, has thirteen equally distant holes 
drilled in. but not through, it from one end to the other. The fourth, called 
" four." from its four depressions or holes, has four transverse grooves close 
to each end. and within these is divided into four erinal spaces by three sets 
of transverse grooves of three each. In the middle of each of these spaces a 
circular depi-ession or hole is cut. .\ll the lines, grooves, and marks are painted 
in red, blue, or black [figure 27]. 

These bones are played with either by two women who gamlile against each 

° Report on the Blackfoot Tribes. Report of the Fifty-seventh Meeting of British Asso- 
ciation for the Advancement of Science, p. lOH, London, 1888. 

''Grammar and r>ictionary of the Blackfoot Language, London, 18S9. 

■■ The wold travois has been vai-iously explained as coming from travail and from trai- 
neau. I believe, however, as stated In The Story of the Indian, p. 156, it is a corruption 
from travers or ft travers. meaning across, and referring to the crossing of the poles over 
the horse's or over the dog's withers (G, B, G.). 


DICE games: blackfeet 


• itUei' or by ;i uumber of women who sit opposite and facing each other in two 
long Hues, each player contesting with her opposite neiglibor. Twelve sticks, 
or counters, are used in the game, and at first these are placed on the ground 
between the two players. 

The player, kneeling or squatting on the ground, grasps the four bones in the 
right or left hand, holding them vertically with the ends resting on the ground. 
With a slight sliding motion she scatters the liones on the ground close in front 
of her. and the sides which fall ui)permost express the count or the failure to 
count. Sometimes, but not always, the players throw the bones to determine 
which shall have the first throw in the game. 

The person making a successful throw takes from the heap of sticks the 
number called for liy the points of the throw — one stick for each point. So 
long as the throw is one which counts the player continues to throw, but if 
she fails to count the bones are passed over to the opposite player, and she 
then throws until she has cast a blank. When the sticks have all been taken 
from the pile on the ground between them the successful thrower begins to 
take from her opiionent so many of the sticks which she has gained as are 
called f(ir by her throw. .\s twelve points nnist be made by a player before the 

<e LjJ\L' til • TTm]fl > 


Fig. 27. Bone stick di<-e. Black- 
foot Indians, Blackfoot agency, 
Montana; in the collection of Dr 
George Bird Grinnell. 

Fig. ^. Bone stick dice: length, 5J 
inches; Blackfoot Indians, South Pie- 
gan reservation, Montana; cat. no. 51693, 
Field Columbian Museum. 

twelve sticks can come into her possession and the game be won. it will be seen 
that the contest ma.v be long drawn out. A run of luck is needed to finish it. 

Some of the counts made by the throws are here given : Three blanks and 
chief count 6 : three blanks and chief reversed, .3 ; two zigzag, one four, and 
chief, 4 ; two blanks, one four, and chief. 2 ; two blanks, one zigzag, and chief, 
; two blanks, one zigzag, and chief reversed, ; one zigzag, one blank, one four, 
and chief. 0. 

The women do not sing at this game as the men do at the gambling game of 

The game described was obtained by Doctor Grinnell from the Pie- 
gan of the Blackfoot agency in northwestern Montana, on the eastern 
flanks of the Eocky mountains. They live on Milk river and Cut 
Bank. Willow. Two Medicine Lodge, and Badger creeks, being the 
southernmost tribe of the Blackfeet. It will be observed that the 
implements for this game are practically identical with those collected 
by Doctor ilatthews from the Grosventres (Hidatsa) in North 
Dakota { figure 241 ) . Concerning the latter Doctor Grinnell remarks : 

The Grosventres of Dakota — by which are meant, of course, the Grosventres 
of the village, a tribe of Crow stock — are not very distant neighbors of the 



Fu;. 29. Counting sticks for dice; length, 5i 
inches; Blackf oot Indians. South Piegan reser- 
vation, Montana; cat. no. .51693, Field Colum- 
bian Museum. 

Blackfeet, ami. in fact, the people of the old Fort Bertbold village — the Gros- 
ventres, Ree, and Mandan — have iiian.v customs, and even some traditions, which 
closely resemble those of the Blackfeet. 

Blackfeet. South Piegan reservation, Montana. (Cat. no. 51G93, 

Field Columbian Museum.) 
Set of four bone staves, made of rib bones. 5J inches in length and 
one-lialf inch wide in the 
middle, tapering to the ends. 
The outer rounded sides are 
cut with lines, which are 
filled with red paint, as 
shown in figure 28. Two 
are alike, and one of the 
others is banded with a narrow thong of buckskin, on which are 
sewed twelve small blue glass beads. The reverses, which show 
the texture of the bone, are alike and jjainted red. 
Accompanied by twelve counting sticks (figure 29) made of twigs, 5i 
inches in length, smeared with red paint. 

Blood reserve. Alberta. Cat. no. 5165-1. Field Columbian 

Museum. ) 
Three bone staves, fif inches in length and five-eighths of an inch in 

width in the middle, taper- 
ing to the ends. The 
outer rounded sides are 
carved as shown in figure 
30, two alike, in which the 
incised lines are filled with 
red paint, and one with 
holes, 10—3 3—9, which are 
painted blue. The inner 
sides, which show the tex- 
ture of the bone, are perfectly plain. 
Both of the above sets were collected by Dr George A. Dorsey. who 
gave me the following particulars regarding the way in which 
they are used : 

I am informed that the Bloods generall.v use three instead of four liones. 
They call the game nit sitai epsktpsepinan. we pla.v. The stick marked with holes 
is called " man " and the other two " snakes." Of the counts I have only this 
much : 

All marked faces up count 4: all unmarked faces up. 4: two unmarked and 
snake up. li : one unmarked and two snakes u|i. <1: one unmarked, snake, and 
man up, 0. 

Cheyenne. Cheyenne and Arapaho reservation, Oklalioma. (Cat. 

no. 1.52803. United States National Museum.) 
Set of five bone dice marked on one side with Ijurned designs (figure 
31 ) and basket of woven grass Si inches in diameter at top and 


FiG.;^). Bone stick dice; length, 6a inches; Black- 
foot Indians, Blood reserve. Alberta; cat. no. 
51654, Field Columbian Museum. 




2^ inches deep (tigiire 32). Both sides of the bottom are covered 
with cotton cloth. Phiyed by women. Collected by Mr James 
Mooney in lSi>l. 
Dr George Bird Grinnell furnislied the writer the following account 

of the Cheyenne basket game, which he describes under the name of 

monshimout : 

The Cheyenne seed or basket game is played with a shallow bowl and five 
plum stones. The bowl is from 3 to 4 inches deep, 8 inches across at the top, 
flattened or not on the bottom, and woven of grass or strips of willow twigs. 
It is nearly one-half inch thick and is strong. All five seeds are unmarked on 
one side, but on the other side [figure 33] three are marked with a figure 
representing the paint patterns often used by girls on their faces, the cross being 
on the bridge of the nose, the side marks on the cheeks, and the upper and 
lower ones on the forehead and chin, respectively. The other two stones are 
marked with a figure representing the foot of a bear." 

These plum stones are placed in the basket [figure 34], thrown up and caught 
in it, and the combination of the sides which lie uppermost after they have fallen 
determines the count of the throw. 

Fit,-, ai. 

Fig. 32. 

Fig. 31. Bone dice: lengths, li and ; inches: Cheyenne Indians, Oklahoma: cat. no. 1538rc^ 

United States National Museum. 
Fig. 32. Basket for dice; diameter at top, SJ inches: Cheyenne Indians. Oklahoma: cat. no. 

152803, United States National Museum. 

The players sit opposite one another, if several are playing, in two rows facing 
each other. Each individual bets with the woman opposite to her. Each player 
is provided with eight sticks, which represent the points which she must gain or 
lose to win or lose the game. When a player has won all the sticks belonging to 
lier opponent she has won the game and the stake. 

There are several combinations of marks and blanks which count nothing for 
or against the player making the throw, except that she loses her chance to 
make another throw. Others entitle the thrower to receive one, three, or even 
all eight sticks, and each throw that counts anything entitles the player to 
another throw. .\11 the players on the side of the thrower — that is, in the same 
row — win or lose from those opposite them as the thrower wins or loses. If 
the person making the first throw casts a blank, she passes the basket to the one 
sitting next her; if this one makes a throw that counts, she has another and 
another, until she throws a blank, when the basket passes on. When the basket 
reaches the end of the line, it is handed across to the woman at the end of the 
opposite row, and in the same way travels down the opposite line. 

In making the throw the basket is raised only a little way, and the stones 
tossed only a few inches high. Before they fall the basket is brought smartly 
down to the ground, against which it strikes with some little noise. Some of 

" Mr dishing identified the msirli of the cross with a star and the other with a bear's 
track, referring, respectivel.v, to the sky and earth. 



the throws are given below, the sides of the seeds being designated li.v their 
marlvs ; Two blanks, two bears, and one cross count nothing ; four blanks and 
one bear count nothing; tive blanks count 1 point and the thrower takes one 
stick : three blanks and two bears count 1 point and the player takes 1 stick ; 
one blank, two bears, and two crosses count 1 point and thrower takes one" 
stick ; two blanks and three crosses count 3 points and the thrower takes three 
sticks ; two bears and three crosses count 8 points and the thrower takes eight 
sticks, and wins the game. 

The women do not sing at tliis game, lint tlie.v chatter and joke continually as 
the play goes on. 

oo oo 

Fig. 33. Plum-stone dice; Cheyenne Indians, Montana; in the collection of Dr George Bird 


Doctor Grinnell states that the specimens figured came from the 
Northern Cheyenne agency, officially known as the Tongue 'River 
agency, in Montana, the Indians living on Eosebud and Tongue rivers, 
which are tributaries of the Yellowstone from the south. At the 
same time the southern Cheyenne of Oklahoma have the same game. 
Cheyenn'e. Oklahoma. 

Mr Louis L. Meeker, late manual training teacher in the Cheyenne 
school at Darlington, refers to the Cheyenne dice game in a communi- 

Fio. 34. Basket lui' dir,-; chL-yi-iiii.' IilIkius. ir..iitiina; in the 


olU'ction of Dr George Bird 

cation on Cheyenne Indian games made to the Bureau of Ethnology. 
He says the bone dice, marked differently on one side, are shaken in a 
basket of Indian manufacture. The game and ordinary playing 
cards are both called moncimon. 
Col. liichard Irving Dodge says : "^ 

« Our Wild Indians, p. 330, Hartford, 1882. 


DICE games: chtppewa 61 

Besides taking part in the round games of the men. the women have games 
of their own which I have never seen [ilayed by men. The most common is 
cailed the pium-stone game, and is played by the women and children of nearly 
all the plains tribes. The stone of the wild plum is polished and the Hatter 
sides are cut or scraped off. nialiing them more flat. Some of these faces are 
then marked with different hieroglyphics, varying with the tribe, and some are 
left blank. The game is played with eight such pieces, which are shaken 
together in a little bowl or a tin cup and then thrown on a blanket. It is 
really nothing but our game of dice, complicated, however, by a system of 
counting so curious and arbitrary that it is almost impossible for a white man 
to learu it. Every possible combination of the hieroglyphics and blanks on 
the eight stones gives a different count. This varies with the tribe. Among 
the Cheyenne the highest possible throw is 200, the lowest 0. The game is 
usually 2,00U, though this varies greatly. Each player, having the gambler's 
superstition as to what is her lucky number, tries to fix the game at that number. 
If the stakes are valuable, the number fixed for the game is generally a com- 
promise. In some tribes a certain combination of the stones wins and another 
combination loses the game, even though it be made on the first throw. 

Cheyenne. Cheyenne reservation, Montana. (Cat. no. GfiOSO, Field 
Columbian Musenni.^ 

Fio. 35. Plum-stone dice; Cheyenne Indians, Montana; cat. no. 69689, Field Columbian Museum. 

Implements for women's dice game. Plum-stone dice (figure 3")) in 
sets of three alike, with burnt designs on one side; accompanied 
by a small basket of twined grass, and counting sticks made of 
stalks of rushes, about 8 inches in length, dyed yellow, green, 
red, and blue, each player having six of the same color. Col- 
lected by Mr S. C. Simms in 1901. 

Chippewa. Bois fort. Near Rainy river, Minnesota. (Cat. no. j-ff^i 

American Museum of Natural History.) 
Four flat sticks (figure 36), 15| inches long, burned black on both 

sides and marked alike in pairs with crosses and cut lines on 

one face. 

Fig. 36. Stick dice: length, 15i inches; Chippewa Indians, Bois fort, Minnesota; cat. no. jSji, 
American Museum of Natural History. 

They were collected in 1903 by Dr William Jones, who gives the 
following counts : 

Four points on a flush : 4 points on a cross and striped flush ; 2 points on a 
pair of striped sticks; 20 points on sticks with medial band and X's. 



Chippewa. Bois fort, Minnesota. (Cat. no. ^-j, American Mu- 
seum of Natural History.) 
Wooden bowl (figure 37), 9i inches in diameter; 80 wooden counters 

Fig. 37. 

Fig. 3S. 

Pig. 40. 

O (i 

Fig. 39. 


Fit,^ 41 

Fig. 37. Bowl for dice; diameter, 9i inches; Chippewa Indians, Bois fort, Minnesota: cat. no. ,^^^, 

American Museum of Natural History. 
Pig. 38. Counting sticks for dice; length, 6 inches; Chippewa Indians, Bois fort. Minnesota; cat. 

no. J72I, American Museum of Natural History. 
Fig. 39. Beaded bag for dice; length, 8 inches; Chippewa Indians. Bois fort, Minnesota; cat. no. 

j72T» Anaerican Museum of Natural History. 
Fig. 4(1. Bone dice; Chippewa Indians, Bois fort, Minnesota; cat. no. ^^sx, American Museum of 

Natural History. 
Fig. 41. Bone and brass dice; Chippewa Indians, Mille Lacs, Minnesota; cat. no. j^go, American 

Museum of Natural History. 

(figure 38), 6 inches in length; a cloth bag (figure 39), S inches 
in length, ornamented with beads for dice, and the following 
dice: Four disks, two knives, one gun, and one figure of a man 
(figure 40). 

ciLix] DICE games: CHIPPEWA 63 

Another set of dice from Mille Lacs, cat. no. xHttj comprises: One 
star, four disks, one eagle, two knives, one serpent, three arrow 
heads, two yoke-shaped objects, and one brass disk (figure 41). 
With the exception of the last these dice are all of bone and are 
plain on one side and finely crosshatched and painted red on the 

These were collected by I)r William Jones in 1903. 

Mr S. C. Simms has kindly furnished the following counts of a 
similar game played at Leech lake. Minnesota : 

Counts of one : Three white sides up of dislis and canoe, rough side of ring, 
one rough side of disk and blue side of moose, woman and wigwam ; all white 
sides up liut woman. 

Counts of two : Blue sides up of small disks, moose and womau, white sides 
of all others and smooth side of brass ring: blue sides of moose and woman, 
white sides of all others, and smooth side of ring. 

Counts of three : Same as count of two. with exception of moose white instead 
of blue side up ; four disks white side up. smooth side of ring, white side of 
wigwam, blue sides of moose, canoe, and woman. 

Count of four : Same as count of three, with exception of rough side of ring up. 

Counts of nine : All white sides up and smooth side of ring ; all blue sides up 
and rough side of ring ; white sides of moose, wigwam, canoe, and woman, blue 
sides of disks, and rough side of ring. 

If canoe stands up on any throw, it counts '2 ; if on succeeding throw it stands 
up, it counts four ; if on third throw, it counts (i. 

If canoe stands upright on ring, it counts 4. and if remaining dice show blue 
sides, an additional count of is made, or i::!. 

If wigwam stands up on any throw, it counts 3 ; if on succeeding throw it 
stands up, it counts 6 : if on third throw, it counts 9. 

If moose stands up, it counts 4: if on succeeding throw, it counts 8: if on 
third throw, it counts 12, regardless of other dice. 

If woman stands up. it counts 5; if on succeeding throw, it counts 10 : if on 
third throw, it counts 20. 

If woman stands up in ring, it counts 10 points, regardless of other dice. 

Chippewa. Bear island. Leech lake, Minnesota. (American Mu- 
seum of Natural History.) 

Cat. no. ^4fj. Four flat sticks (•figure "42), loi inches long, taper- 
ing at the ends, both faces slightly convex and burned black 
on one side and having representations of snakes on the other; 
made in pairs, two alike, distinguished by slight differences in 
the heads. 

Cat. no. j44^. Four flat sticks (figure 43), 131 inches long, tapering 
at the ends, both faces rounded and very slightly convex; made 
in pairs, with faces burned as shown in the figure, and reverses 
burned alike; with four counting sticks (figure 44), 9 inches in 
They were collected in 1903 by Dr William Jones, who gives the 

following counts: 



The two sticks marked with triangles at the ends may be designated as 
major, and the other pair as minor. When the pair of major fall face upper- 
most alike and the minor unlike, the count is 2. but when the minor fall face 
uppermost alike and the major unlike, the count is 1. When the sticks fall all 

Fig. 42. Stick dice; length, 1.')} iuches; Chippewa Indians, Leech lake, Minnesota: cat. no. i^U< 
American Museum of Natural History. 

heads or all tails uppermost, the count is 4. The game is .5, but an extra throw 
is made when the 5 points are gained. The holder of the 5 points lets the 
opponent throw first. If the opponent beats him with a iiair of majors, then 



Pig. 43. Fig. 44. 

Fio. 43. Stick dice: length, 13.; inches: Chippewa Indians, Leech lake, iluinesota; cat. no. jSJj, 
American Museum of Natural History. 

Pig. 44. Counting .sticks for stick dice: length, 9 inches; Chippewa Indians, Leech lake, Minne- 
sota; cat. no. jS;,, American Museum of Natural History. 

the 5-point holder throws 2 points back into tlie pool. If he loses on a flush, 
he throws 4 points back into the pool. A player wins only on the extra throw. 

Chippewa. Mille Lacs, Minnesota. (United States National Mu- 
Cat. no. 204968. Set of four .sticks 15 inches in length, flat and plain 
on one side, and marked as shown in fig. 45 on the other. Two 
reproductions and two originals, the gift of Mr G. H. Beau lieu, 
of St Cloud, Minnesota. 
The following information about the game was obtained by the 
writer from a delegation 





Fig. 4,'). Stick dice; length. l.=j inches: Chippewa Indians. 
Milln Lacs, Minnesota; cat. no. 204968, United States 
National Museum. \ 

of Chippewa Indians 
who visited Washington 
with Mr Beaulieu : 

The game is called shay- 
mahkewuybinegnnug. Men 
and women play. Each player, of whom the number is not fixed, has five 
counting sticks. All put up stakes. The counts are as follows: All marked 
sides count 1 ; all plain sides, 1 ; the counts, however, depend upon the previous' 
understanding. If the first throw is two turtles and two tails, it wins the game, 
but if the other side has won any, then the throw onl.v counts two sticks. A 
player who does not make a point pays double. The sticks are said to be 
marked usually with figures of snakes, on account of a dream. 



Cat. no. 204967. Wooden platter (figure 4(j), 12^ inches long and 7 
inches wide, cut from a single piece of wood. 
This was described by the collector, Mr G. H. Beaulieu, under the 
name of bugaysaj^win as used in the dice game. 
Chippewa. Minnesota. 

J. Long" gives the following description of the bowl game: 
Athtergain. or miss none but catch all, is also a favorite amusement with 

them, in which the women fre- 
quently take part. It is played 
with a number of hard beans, 
black and white, one of which 
has small spots and is called 
king. They are put into a shallow 
wooden bowl and shaken alter- 
FiG.46. Platter for dice; length, 12J inches; Chippewa natelv bv each party, who sit on 
Indians, Mille Lacs, Minnesota; cat. no. 204967, a.i_ * ' , •/ .^ 

United States National Museum. t^e ground opposite to one an- 

other. Whoever i.s dexterous 
enough to make the spotted bean jumj) out of the bowl receives of the adverse 
party iis many beans as there are spots ; the rest of the beans do not count for 


^ Jonathan Carver * describes the game as follows : 

The game of the bowl or platter. This game is played between two persons 
only. Each person has six or eight little Imnes not unlike a peach stone either 
in size or shape, except they are quadrangular, two of the sides of which are 
colored black, and the others white. These they throw up into the air. from 
whence they fall into a bowl or platter placed underneath, and made to spin 

According as these bones present the white or black side upward they reckon 
the game ; he that happens to have the greatest number turn up of a similar 
color, counts 5 points ; and 40 is the game. 

The winning party keeps his i)lace and the loser yields his to another who 
is appointed by one of the umpires ; for a whole village is sometimes concerned 
in the party, and at times one band plays against another. 

During this play the Indians appear to be greatly agitated, and at every 
decisive throw set up a hideous shout. They make a thousand contortions, 
addressing themselves at the same time to the bones, and loading with impre- 
cations the evil spirits that assist their successful antagonists. 

At this game some will lose their apparel, all the movables of their cabins, 
and sometimes even their liberty, notwithstanding there are no people in the 
universe more jealous of the latter than the Indians are. 

Apostle islands, Wisconsin. 

J. G. Kohl '■ thus describes the game called by the Indians pagessan : 
The Canadians call it le jeu au plat (the game of the bowl). It is a 
game of hazard, but skill plays a considerable part in it. It is played with a 
wooden bowl and a number of small figures bearing some resemblance to our 
chessmen. They are usually carved very neatly out of bones, wood, or plum 
stones, and represent various things — a fish, a hand, a door, a man, a canoe, 

" Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter, p. 52, London, 1791. 

'Travels through the Interior Parts of North America, p. 238, Philadelphia, 1796. 

" Kitchi-Gaml. Wanderings round Lake Superior, p. 82, London, 1860. 

24 ETH — 05 M 5 


a half-moon. etc. They call these figures pagessanag (carved plum stones), 
and the game has received its name from them. Each figure has a foot on 
which it can stand upright. They are all thrown into a wooden bowl (in 
Indian onagan). whence the French name is derived. The players make a hole 
in the ground and thrust' the bowl with the figures into it while giving it a 
slight shake. The more figures stand upright on the smooth bottom of the bowl 
through this shake, all the better for the player. Each figure has its value, 
and some of them represent to a certain extent the pieces in the game of chess. 
There nre also other figures, which may similarly be called the pawns. The 
latter, carved into small round stars, are all alike, have no pedestal, but are 
red on one side and plain on the other, and are counted as plus or minus 
according to the side uppermost. With the pawns it is a perfect chance which 
side is up. but with the pieces much depends on the skill with which the bowl 
is shaken. The other rules and mode of calculation are said to be very com- 
plicated, and the game is played with great attention and passion. Jly Indians 
here will lie half the night through round the bowl and watch the variations 
of the game. It is played with sliglit divergences by nearly all the Indian 
tribes, and in many both men and women practise it. How seriously they 
regard the giime and how e.xcited they grow over it I had an opportunity of 
noticing. Some time ago I seated myself by some Indians who were playing 
at pagessan. One of them was a very handsome young fellow, wearing broad 
silver rings on his arms, the carving of which I was anxious to in.spect. On 
turning to him with a question, however, he grew very impatient and angry 
at this interruption of the game, considered my question extremely imperti- 
nent, and commenced such a threatening speech that my interpreter could not 
be induced to translate it to me. He merely said it was most improper, and 
then began, for his part, abusing the Indian, so that I had great difliculty 
in appeasing him. All I imderstood was that an Indian must not be disturbed 
when gambling. 

Chipi'e\v.\. Michigan. 

.Schoolcraft" describes the bowl game tinder the name of piigasaing 
as follows: 

This is the principal game of hazard among the northern tribes. It is i)layed 
with thirteen pieces, hustled in a vessel called onagun. which is a kind of wooden 
liowl. They are represented and named as follow s : 

The pieces marked no. 1 in this cut [figure 47], of which there are two. are 
called ininewug, or men. They are made tapering or wedge-shaped in thick- 
ness, so as to make it possible, in throwing them, that they may stand on their 
base. Number 2 is called gitshee kenabik, or the great serpent. It consists 
of two pieces, one of which is fin-tailed, or a water serpent, the other trun- 
cated, and is probably designated as terrestrial. They are formed wedge- 
shaped, so as to be capable of standing on their bases lengthwise. Each has 
four dots. Number ?< is called pugamilgun, or the war club. It has six marks 
on the handle on the red side, and four radiating from the orifice of the club 
end, and four marks on the handle of the white side, and six radiating marks 
from the orifice on the club end. making ten on each side. Number 4 is called 
keego, which is the generic name for a fish. The four circular pieces of brass, 

° One6ta, or Characteristics of the Red Race of America, p. 83, New York, 184.5. See 
also. Information respecting the Ilistor.v. Condition, and Prospects of the Indian Trihes 
of the T'nited States, pt. 2, p. 7L'. Philadelphia, lS5:i. 




ooo o 

sligbtly concave, with a flat surface on the apex, are called ozawftblks. The 
three bird-shaped pieces, slieshebwuf;. or duclis. 

All but the circular pieces are made out of a fine kind of bone. One side of 
the piece is white, of the natural color of the bones, and polished, the other red. 
The brass pieces have the convex side bright, the concave black. They are all 
shaken together and thrown out of the onSgun, as dice. The term pugasaing 
denotes this act of throwing. It Is the participial form of the verb. The fol- 
lowing rules govern the game : 

1. When the pieces are turned on the I'ed side and one of the ininewugs stands 
upright on the bright side of one of the brass pieces, it counts 15S. 2. When all 
till' pieces turn red side up and the gitshee kenabik with the tail stands on the 
bright side of the brass piece, it coimts 
138. 3. When all turn up red, it coiuits 
58. whether the brass pieces be bright or 
black side up. 4. When the gitshee kena- 
bik and his associate and the two inine- 
wugs turn up white side and the other 
pieces red, it counts 58. irrespective of 
the concave or convex position of the 
brass pieces. 5. When all the pieces 
turn up white it counts 38. whether the 
ozawubiks be bright or black. 0. When 
the gitshee kenabik and his associate 
turn up red and the other white, it counts 
38. the brass pieces immaterial. 7. When 
one of the ininewugs stands up it counts 
.511. without regard to the position of all 
the rest. 8. When either of the gitshee 
kenabiks stands upright it counts 40, 
irrespective of the position of the others. 
'■>. When all the pieces turn up white excepting one, and the ozawiibiks dark, 
it counts 2(». 1(1. When all turn up red except one and the brass pieces bright, 
it counts 1."). 11. When the whole of the pieces turn up white but one. with the 
ozawiibiks bright, it counts 10. 12. When a brass piece turns up dark, the two 
gitshee kenabiks and the two men red, and the remaining pieces white, it counts 
8. l.'i. When the brass piece turns up bright, the two gitshee kenabiks and one 
of the men red. and all the rest white, it is 6. 14. When the gitshee kenabik In 
chief and one of the men turn up red, the ozawabiks bright, and all the others 
white, it is 4. 15. When both the kenabiks and both men and the three ducks 
turn U)! red. the brass piece black, and either the keego or a duck white, it is 5. 
10. When .-ill the pieces turn up red but one of the ininewugs and the brass 
piece black, it counts 2. The limit of the game is stipulated. The parties throw 
up for the plav. 


Pig. 47. Bono and brass dice; Chippewa 
Indians, Michigan: from Schoolcraft. 

Elsewhere ° he says : 

The game is won by the red pieces ; the arithmetical value of each of which 
is fixed : and the count, as in all games of chance, is advanced or retarded by 
the luck of the throw. Any number of players may play. Nothing is required 
but a wooden bowl, which is curiously carved and ornamented (the owner rely- 
ing somewhat on magic influence), and having a plain, smooth surface. 

" Information respecting the Histor.v. T'ondition. and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of 
the United States, pt. 2, p. 72, Philadelphia, 1S53. 



Chippewa. Turtle mountain. North Dakota. (Cat. no. ^HSr, Amer- 
ican Museum of Natural History.) 

Four flat wooden disks (figure 48), 1 inch in diameter, carved with a 
cross painted red on one side, and opposite side j^ainted red. 
Accompanied by a rough willow basket tray, 11 inches in diame- 
ter. Collected by Dr AVilliam Jones in 1903. 

Fig. 48. Wooden dice and tray: diameter of dice, 1 inch; of tray, 11 inches; Chippewa Indians, 
Turtle mountain. North Dalcota: cat. no. j?!;^, American Museum of Natural History. 

Cree. Muskowpetung reserve, Qu'appelle, Assiniboia. (Cat. no. 

61988, Field Columbian Museum.) 
Four wooden staves, 13| inches in length, one side plain and the other 

marked with burned designs, as shown in figure 49. 
These were collected by Mr J. A. Mitchell, who describes the game 

under the name of cheekahkwanuc, dashing down the dice sticks. 

Played with four specially marked oblong sticks, each stick having a special 
counting value according to the marks and according to the number of similar 
sticks which turn face up at the same time, when thrown down. 

FiQ. 49. Stick dice; length, 135 inches; Cree Indians, Qu'appelle, Assiniboia; cat. no. 61988, Field 

Columbian Museum. 

The game is played by any number of men and women, in groups of four 
each, opposed to similar groups, and is played for stakes, as in our draw poker. 
The sticks are thrown to the ground, end down, and falling flat are counted by 
the markings of those which show the marked side uppermost. The count is as 
follows: Three plain sides down, one white band up. counts six; two plain sides 
.down, two white bands up, 24; three plain sides down, one X-marked side up. 




14 ; two plain sides down, two X-marlied sides up, 5G ; all marked sides up ex- 
cept the stave with 14 X's, 14 ; all marked sides up wins game. 

Ceee. Coxby, Saskatchewan. (Cat. no. 15400, Field Columbian 

Set of dice consisting of four small bone diamonds and four hook- 
shaped objects of bone (claws) (figure 50), and a wooden bowl 
or plate shaped like a tin pan, 8^ inches in diameter (figure 51). 
The dice are two-faced, one white and the other black, and are 
accompanied by a small beaded bag of red flannel. Collected by 

Fig. 50. Bone dice; length, } 
inch; Cree Indians, Saskatche- 
wan; cat. no. 1546(1, Field Co- 
Inmbian Museum. 

Fig. 51. Platter and bag for dice; 
diameter, 84 inches; Cree Indians, 
Saskatchewan; cat. no. 15460, 
Field Columbian Museum. 

Mr Philip Towne, who describes the game as follows, under the name 
of pahkasahkimac, striking ground with wood bowl to shake up the 
bones : 

This game is played b.v any number of persons, either singly or in partner- 
ship. The dice are placed in the bowl, which is then given a sharp downward 
movement with both hands. The count is determined by combinations of the 
upper faces of the dice and is as follows: All white sides up counts 100; all 
dark sides up, 80 ; 7 white and 1 dark side up, 30 ; white sides of all hook- 
shaped dice and of one diamond-shaped die up, 10; dark sides of all hook-shaped 
dice and of 1 diamond-shaped die up. 8; white sides of 4 diamond-shaped dice 
and of 1 hook-shaped die up, G; dark sides of 4 diamond-shaped dice and of 
1 hook-shaped die up, 4 : each hook-shaped piece on edge, 2. One hundred 
points constitute the game. 


In Father Lacombe's Cree Dictionary 
pakessewin, and Rev. E. A. Watkins, 
in his Dictionary of tlie Cree Lan- 
guage,' gives pukasawuk, they gamble 
with dice. 
Delawares. Wichita reservation. Okla. 

(Field Columbian Museum.) 
Cat. no. 59376. Four rounded twigs 

,n rr,\ r-; • 1 •! it ^ ^'^- ^'^- Stick dice and counting 

(figure 52). Of inches in length and sticks; lengths, 6} inches and 4* 

three-eighths- of an inch wide, all inches; Delaware Indians, Wichlta 
T ., - • T ,1 reservation, Oklahoma; cat. no. 

grooved on the inner side, three 59376, Field Columbian Museum 

we find jeu de hasard, 

r — 

' Rev. Albert Lacombe. Dictionnalre de la Langue des Cris, Montreal, 1874. » London, 1865. 



Fig. 5y. Stick dice; length, 6J inches; Delaware 
Indians, Oklahoma; cat. no. 59377, Field Co- 
lumbian Museum. 

having grooves iDiiinted red and one green; outer faces plain; 
accompanied by seven counting sticks, 4^ inches in length. 
Cat. no. 59377. Four rounded strijis of cane (figure 53). fif inches 
long and one-half of an inch wide, with inner sides painted like 
the f)receding. Both of the above sets were collected by Dr 
George A. Dorsey in 1901. 
Delawares. Ontario. 

Dr Daniel G. Brinton " gives the following account derived from 

conversation with Eev. Albei't 
Seqaqkind Anthony: 

A third game occasionally seen is 
uKiumun'di. Tbis is played with 
twelve flat holies, u.suall.v those of a 
deer, aud a bowl of wood constructed 
for the purpose. One side of each 
bone is white ; the other colored. They 
are placed in the bowl, thrown into 
the air. and caught as they descend. Those with the white side uppermost are the 
winning pieces. Bets usually accompany this game, and it had. in the old days, 
a place in the native religious rites, probably as a means of telling fortunes. 

■ Pennsylvania. 

In Zei.sberger's Indian Dictionary '■ we find : 

Die, to play with, maiiiaiidi'can. 
Gbosventres. Fort Belknap reservation, Montana. (Field Colum- 
bian Museum.) 
Cat. no. G03i(j. Four wooden staves (figure 54) 9] inches in length, 
plain on one side and marked on the other with burnt designs; 
two alike. 

These were collected in 190U by Dr (ieorge A. Dorse}-, who gives 
the following account of the game under the name of tagawatse 
tothetsan : 

The staves are thrown from the hand upon a stone or on the ground, the 
value of the throw depending on the nature of the combination of uppermost 
faces. When all faced lots fall uppermost the count is 6. When all unmarked 
lots fall uppermost the count is 4. When two lots fall face up and two down 
the count is 2. 

This is a woman's game, aud formerly heavy stakes were laid on the outcome 
of the game. 

Cat. no. 60295. Four wooden staves (figure 55), 10^ inches in length, 
two painted green with incised lines painted red, both alike, and 
two painted red with incised lines painted green : similar but not 
alike; one of the two red sticks tied with two thongs. The re- 
verses are plain, painted in solid color. 
Accompanied with 12 counting sticks. 10 white and 2 with bark on, 

9} inches in length. They were collected by Dr George A. Dorsey, 

" Folklore of the Modern Lenape. Essa.vs of an Americanist, p. 186. Philadelphia, 

'Cambridge, 1887. 




wlio describes the game under 
tothetsan : 

The staves are throwu from the 
hand upon the end. on stone or on 
the ground, the count or value of the 
throw being as follows : Plain side of 
banded stave and marked side of other 
staves. 6 : marked side of banded 
stave and plain side of other staves. 6 ; 
all marked or all plain sides upper- 
most. 4 : pair of two marked or plain 
uppermost. 2. The count is kept with 
twelve wooden sticks, athsan. the game 
continuing until one opponent or the 
other has won all the counters. The 
stave with the buckskin bands is known 
as " netha." 

the same name of tagawatse 

Fig. o4. Stick dice: length. 9^ inches: Gros- 
ventre Indians, Fort Belknap reservation, 
Montana; cat. no. 60328, Field Columbian 

Grosventres. Fort Belknap reservation, Montana. (American Mu- 
seum of Natural History.) 

Cat. no. xlf¥- Four wooden staves, 9 inches in length, painted red 
on one side. 

Cat. no. ylfj. Four wooden staves, 8 inches in length, painted yel- 
low, with burnt marks on one side; accompanied by \- counting 
sticks, iS;^ inches in length, painted j'ellow. 

Fig. m. stick dice and counting sticks; length of dice, I'M inches; of counters, 9i inches; Gros- 
ventre Indians, Fort Belknap reservation, Montana; cat. no. fi029.5. Field Columbian Museum. 

Cat. no. y4j^. Four wooden staves, 9^ inches in length, painted yel- 
low, and having oneside incised with red marks; accompanied by 
12 counting sticks, painted yellow, 10 inches in length. 

Cat. no. yll^. Four bone staves, 8 inches in length, one side with 
incised marks; accompanied by 12 counting sticks, eat. no. 
•rlo^f'' 9i inches in length, made of willow, pointed at end. 
Collected by Dr A. L. Kroeber. 

Fort Belknap reservation, Montana. ( Field Columbian Mu- 
Cat. no. 60332. Set of six triangular bone dice, length 1^ inches, 
three alike with spots on one face, and three alike with incised 



lines as shown in figure 56. One die in each lot has a single 
spot on the reverse, the other reverses being plain. 

Cat. no. 60331. Set of six jjeach-stone dice, length 1-i inches, three 
alike with transverse burned bands and three alike with burned 
marks, shown in figure 57. One die in each lot has two burned 
marks on the reverse, the other reverses being plain. 

Cat. no. 60358. Set of nine plum-stone dice ( figure 58) , length 1 inch, 

three alike with transverse bands, three with cross marks, and 

three with small spots, one die in each lot having a single dot on 

the reverse, the other reverses being plain. 

Collected in 1900 by Dr George A. Dorsey, who gives the following 

account of the game under the name of besnan-bethetsan. 

Six dice are used and tossed in a basket or \yooden bowl, ttie value of the 
throw being determined wben certain combinations fall as follows: All marked 
faces up or all down count <> : tbree marked faces up or down, 3 ; two marlced 
faces up and four down, 2 ; four marked faces up and two down, 2. In many 

Fig. 56. Fig. 57. Fig. 58. 

Fig. 5(j. Bone dice: length. It inches: Grosventre Indians, Montana: cat. no. 60332, Field Colum- 
bian Museum. 

Fig. oT. Peach-stone dice: length, l! inches: Grosventre Indians, Montana: cat. no. 60831, Field 
Columbian Museum. 

Fig. 5H. Plum-stone dice: length, 1 inch; Grosventre Indians, Montana: cat. no. 603,^8, Field 
Columbian Museum. 

sets of this game is found an extra group of tbree dice; tbese may be sub- 
stituted for eitber of the two other groups of three by any player whenever 
she desires to change her luck. This is a woman's game, and formerly heavy 
stakes were wagered on the outcome. 

Illinois. It would appear f»-om the manuscript Illinois dictionary 
of Rev. James Gravier," now in the John Carter Brown 
library, that this tribe was familiar with the game of plum 

KicKAPOO. Kickapoo reservation, Oklahoma. (Cat. no. 70702, 

Field Columbian Museum.) 
Set of eight dice (figure 59) , halves of peach stones, one carved to rep- 
resent a tortoise and one to represent a bird, the carved pieces 

» .Andrew McFarland Davis, in Bulletin of Essex Institute, v. 18, p. 187, Salem, 1886. 

























Fia. 59. Peach-stone dice; Kicka- 
poo Indians, Oklahoma: cat. no. 
70702, Field Columbian Museum. 

being painted red on the curved side; accompanied by a wooden 
bowl, polished by use, 8i inches in diameter. Collected by Dr 
George A. Dorsey. 
Massachuset. Massachusetts. 

William Wood, in his New England's Prospect," relates the fol- 
lowing : 

They bave two sorts of games, oue called puim, the other hubbub, not uiun-h 
unlike cards and dice. . . . Hubbub is five small bones in a small smooth tray, 
the bones be like a die. but something tiatter, 
black on the one side and white on the other, 
which they place on the ground, against which 
violently thumping the platter, the bones mount 
changing colors with the windy whisking of their 
hands to and fro: which action in that sport tliey 
much use, smiting themselves on the breast, and 
thighs, crying out. Hub, Hub, Hub ; they may be 
heard play at this game a quarter of a mile off. 
The bones being all black or white make a double 
game : if three be of a color and two of another, 
then they afford but a single game : four of a 
color and one differing is nothing; so long as 
the man wins he keeps the tray : lint if he lose, the next man takes it. 

Menojiinee. Wisconsin. 

Dr Walter J. Hotfnum '' describes the Menominee form of the game 
under tlie name akaqsiwok ( |)late hi a) : 

It was frequently played in former times, but of late is rarely seen. It is played 
for purposes of gambling, either by two individuals 
or by two sets of players. A hemispheric bowl 
[figure 60] made out of the large round nodules 
of a maple root is cut and hollowed out. The 
bowl, wagtiq' koman, is symmetric and is very nicely 
finished. It measures 13 inches in diameter at the 
rim and is G inches in depth. It measures five- 
cigliths of an inch in thickness at the rim, but grad- 
ually increases in thickness toward the bottom, 
which is about an inch thick. There are forty count- 
ers, called ma'atik, made of twigs or trimmed 
sticks of pine or other wood, each about 12 inches 
long and from one-fourth to one-third of an inch thick. Half of these are 
colored red. the other half black, or perhaps left their natural whitish color. 

The dice, or aka'sianoU. consist of eight pieces of deer horn, about three- 
fourths of an inch in diameter and one-third of an inch thick, but thinner 
toward the edges. Sometimes plum stones or even pieces of wood are taken, one 
side of them Ijeing colored red. the other side remaining white or uncoiored. 
When the players sit down to play, the bowl containing the dice is placed on the 
ground between the opponents ; bets are made ; the first player begins a song in 

" London, 1634. Reprint, Boston, r- 00, 1.S08. 

'■ The Menomini Indians. Fourteenth Annual Repoit of the Bureau of Ethnology, p. 
241, 1896. 

Fig. 60. Buwl for dice; Me- 
nominee Indians, Wisconsin; 
from HotTman. 



which the other iihiyers as well as the spectators join. At a certain propitious 
nioment the one to play first strikes the bowl a smart tap. which causes the dice 
to fly upward from the bottom of the bowl, and as they fall and settle the result 
is watched with very keen interest. The value indicated by the position of the 
dice represents the number of counters which the player is permitted to take 
from the ground. The value of the throws is as follows : First throw, 4 red dice 
and 4 white counts a draw ; second throw. 5 red dice and 3 white. 1 ; third 
throw, t; red dice and 2 white, 4: fourth throw. 7 red dice and 1 white. 20: 
fifth throw. 8 red dice and no white. 40. 

The players strike the bowl alternately until one person wins all the 
counters — both those on the ground and those which the opponent may hiive won. 

MicjiAC. Nova Scotia. (Cat. no. 18850, Free Museum of Science 

and Art, University of Pennsylvania.) 
Set of six Ijuttons of vegetable ivory (figure fil) about seven-eighths 
of an inch in diameter, rounded and unmarked on one side and 
flat with a dotted cross on tlie other, being modern substitutes 
for similar objects of caribou bone. Bowl of wood (figure li-J), 
nearly flat. Hi inches in diameter. Fifty-one round counting 
sticks (figure 63), 7f inches in length, and 4 counting sticks 
(figure 64), T^ inches in length. 
They were collected by the donor, Mr .Stansbury Hagar. The fol- 
lowing account of the game is given l)y the collector:" 

.V game much in use within the wigwams of the Micmac in former times is 

that (>alled by some writers altestakun 
iir woltestakun. By good native authdr- 
ity it is said that the proper name for it is 
woltestonikwon. It is a kind of dice .game 
of unknown antiquity, undoubtedly of 
pre-Columbian origin. It is played upon 
a circular wooden dish — properly rock 
maple — almost exactly a foot in diam- 
i ter. hollowed to a depth of about three- 
fourths of an indi at its center. This 
dish plays an important role in the older 
legends of the Micmacs. Filled with 
water and left overnight, its appear- 
ance ne.xt morning serves to reveal 
hidden knowledge of past, present, and future. It is also said to have been 
used as a vessel upon an arki'te trip. The dice of caribou bone are six in num- 
ber, having flat faces and rounded sides. One face is plain; the other bears a 
dotted cross. When all the marked or all the uinuarked faces are turneil up 
there is a count of 5 points; if five marked faces and one unmarked face or 
five uiunarked faces and one marked face are turned up. 1 point results: if a 
die falls off the dish there is no count. There are fifty-five counting sticks — 
fifty-one plain rounded ones about 7J inches long, a king pin * shaped like the 

Pig. (jl. Bone dice; diameter, seven-eighth.s 
inch; Micmac Indians, Nova Scotia: cat. 
no. I,s8.5f!), Free Museum of Science and Art. 
University of Pennsylvania. 

" Micmac Customs and Traditions. American Anthropologist, v. 8, p. 31, 1895. 

** Mr. Hagar informs me that the king pin is called kesegoo. the old man, and that the 
notched sticks are his three wives and the plain sticks his children. The Micmac 
explains these names hy saying that when a stranger calls, the children come out ot 
the wigwam first, then the women, and then the head of the family ; and this is the 
way it happens when one plays at woltestOmkwOn. "The technical name for the king 




forwanl half of an arrow, and three notched sticks, each presenting half of 
the rear end of an arrow. These last four are about 8 inches long. Three 
of the plain sticks form a count of 1 point: the notched .sticks have a value 
of 5 points; while the king pin varies in value, being used as a fifty-second 
plain stick, except when it stands alone in the general pile; then it has. like 
the notched sticks, a 
value of 5 points. Thus 
the possible points of 
the count are 17 (one- 
third of fifty-one) on 
the plain sticks, and 15 
(five times three) on the 
three notched sticks, a 
total of 32; but by a 
complex system the 
count may be extended 
indefinitely. In playing 
the game two players 
sit opposite each other, 
their legs crossed in 
a characteristic manner, 
and the dish, or woltes, 
between them usually 
placed on a thick piece 
of leather or cloth. A squaw keeps the score on the counting sticks [figures (i3, 
64], which at first lie together. The six dice are placed on a dish with their 
marked faces down ; one of the players takes the dish in both hands, and raises 
it an inch or two from the ground, and brings it down again with considerable 
force, thus turning the dice. If all but one of the upturned faces are marked or 
unmarked, he repeats the toss and continues to do so as long as one of these com- 

PiG.62, Platter for dice; diameter, 11 Mnclies: Miomac Indiaus, 
Nova Scotia; cat. no. 18850, Free Museum of Science and Art, 
University oP Pennsylvania. 

Fio. IW. Counting sticlts for dice; lengtli. "! inches; Miomac Indians, Nova Scotia; cat. no. 18850, 
Free Museum of Science and Art. University of Pennsylvania. 

binations results. When he fails to score, the amount of his winnings is with- 
drawn from the general pile and forms the nucleus of his private pile. His oppo- 
nent repeats the dice-throwing until he also fails to score. Two successive throws 
of either a single point or of .5 points count thrice the amount of one throw — 
that is, 3 points or 15 points, respectively. Three successive throws count five 

pin is nandaymelgawasch and for tlie wives tkomwoowaal, Imth of which names mean, 
they say, ' it counts five ' and " they count five.' Nan is the Micmac for ' 5.' l)ut no 
numeral of which I know appears in the second name." Mr Hagar regards the polyga- 
mous element in the game as a good indication of its antiquity, if. he adds. " sncb 
Indeed be necessary." Referring to the passes described by Mrs W. W. Brown, in her 
paper on the games of the Wabanaki Indians, he says; "These passes are made by 
the Micmac in woltestomliwon by passing the right hand rapidly to the left over the 
dish, and shutting it exactl.v as if catching a fly." . Wedding ceremonies among the 
Micmac were celebrated by the guests for four days thereafter. On the first day they 
danced the serpent dance, on the second they played football ( tooad iki. on the third 
day they played lacrosse (madijik), on the fourth. wiJltestomkwon. 


times as much as a single tbrow, etc. After tlae pile of counting sticks has been 
exhausted a new feature is introduced in the count. The player who scores 
first takes a single plain stick from his pile and places it by itself, with one of 
its sides facing him to represent 1 point, and perpendicular to this, either 
horizontally or vertically, to represent ."> points. 

He continues to add sticks thus as he continues to score. This use of sticks 
as counters to indicate unpaid winnings Is a device for deferring further set- 
tlement until the game seems near its end, and also serves to increase the count 
indefinitely to meet the indefinite duration of the game, as after one player 
secures a token, his opponent, when he scores, merely reduces the former's token 
pile by the value of his score. The reduction is effected by returning from the 
token pile to the private pile the amount of the opponent's score : hence at 
any time the token pile represents the amount of advantage which its owner 
has obtained since the last settlement. These settlements are made when- 
ever either party ma.v desire it. This, however, is supposed to be wlienever 
one player's token pile seems to represent a value approaeliing the limit of his 
opponent's ability to pay. If his opponent should permit the settlement to be 
deferred until he were no longer able to pay his debts, then he would lose the 
game to the first player ; wliereas, if one player, after the settlement, retains 
five plain sticks, but not more. 

a new feature is introduced, 
which favors him. If, while 
retaining Ills five sticks, he 
can score 5 points before his 
opponent scores at all, he wins 
the game in spite of the 
much greater amount of his 
opiionent's winnings tip to 
Fio. 64. Counting sticks fur dice; length THuches; Mic- fjjjjj- point. If his opponent 

mac Indians, Nova Scotia: <'at. no. 18.^50. Free Museum ., . . .... 

of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. **™''e« ^ P^'"* ""'J" ''''^"'"e 

he obtains his 5 points, he 

still has a chance, though a less promising one. After paying over the three 
plain sticks that represent a single point, two plain sticks still remain to him, he 
is then compelled to win 7 points before his opponent wins 1 or he forfeits the 
game ; but if he succeeds in winning his 7 points the game is still his. How- 
ever, in tliese last chances he is further handicapped by the rule that he can 
at no time score more points than are represented in his private pile, 
quently, if with only five plain sticks in his jiossession. he could score only a 
single point, even if his toss should call for 5; but with si.x plain sticks he could 
score 2 points; with nine sticks, 3, etc. The last chances are; With only five 
plain sticks, 5 points are necessary to win ; with four plain sticks, .5 points are 
necessarj' to win ; witli three sticks. 6 points ; with two sticks, 7 points ; with one 
stick, 7 points. There are two other minor rules ; One, that in counting T> points 
on the plain sticks four bundles of four each are given instead of the five bundles 
of three each, as one should expect ; total 16. The other rule is that to count <5 
points we use a notched stick plus only two plain sticks, instead of tliree. as 
might be expected. 

Mr Hagar states that the preceding game was invented and tai;ght 
by the hero Glooscap. They have also a similar game, called wobima- 
runk," which they say was invented and owned by Milcchikch — the 
turtle — one of Glooscap's companions, to whose shell the dice bear 
some resemblance. 

» The account of wobunarunk Is from a manuscript by Mr Hagar, which he courteously 
placed In my hanfls. 




noose or 

Flo. B5— Bone die; diame- 
ter li inches; Micmac In- 
dians, Nova Scotia; frt>m 
drawing by Stansbury 

The name wobunilruiik is derived from wobiin. meaning dawn ; to whioh is 

added a termination signifying anything moUled or worl^ed upon by human 

The outfit for the game consists simply of six dice, made from 

caribou bone. One Micmac, at least, is positive that 

the teeth only of these animals can properly be used. 

In playing, these dice are thrown from the right hand 

upon the ground, and the points are counted accord- 
ing to the number of marked or unmarked faces which 

fall uppermost. It is customary for a player to pass his 

hand quickly over the dice, if possible, after he has 

tossed them and before they reach the ground, in order 

to secure good luck. The shape of the dice is that of 

a decidedly flattened hemisphere, the c\u'ved portion 

being unmarked. The base or flat surface is about the 

size of a 25-cent piece and presents three figures (flg- 

t:re 65). Close to its edge there is a circle, touched at 

four points by a series of looped curves, which form a 

kind of cross. Within each of the four spaces thus separated is an equal-armed 

cross composed of nine dots, which, with the dot in the center of the die, make 

a total of 37 dots upon each piece, or of 222 dots (37 by 6) used in the game. 
Tlie count is as follows: If six marked faces fall face 
up, it counts .W points ; if five marked faces fall face up, 5 ; 
if four marked faces fall face up, 4; if three marked faces 
fall face up, 3 : if two marked faces fall face up, 2 ; if one 
marked face falls face up, 1 ; if six unmarked faces fall 
face up, 5 ; total, seven counts and 70 points. 

The marks on the Micmac dice are similar to 
those on some of the inscribed shell beads, known as 
runtees. found in the state of New York. One of 
these (figure fifi). reproduced from Prof. W. H. 
Holmes's Art in Shell of the Ancient Americans," is 
from an ancient village site at Pompey, which Rev. W. M. Beau- 
champ, of Baldwinsville, New York, attributes to the seventeenth 
century. Mr Beauchamp writes me that both sides are alike, and that 
it is pierced with two holes from edge to edge. 
Micmac. Digby, Nova Scotia. (Cat. no. 21642, Free Museum of 

Science and Art. University of Pennsylvania.) 
Set of implements for the game of altestaan, the dice game, con- 
sisting of six bone dice, marked on the flat sides as shown in 
figure 67 and contained in a small velvet bag; a flat wooden dish 
(figure 68), lOi inches in diameter, marked with incised lines on 

Fig. 66— Engraved 
shell bead (runteet; 
Pompey, New Yort; 
from Holmes. 

"Prom the fact that white shell beads (wampum) are constantly referred to as being 
used as stakes, not only among the tribes of the Atlantic coast, but in the Southwest (see 
Cushing's account of the white shell beads used in shollwe). the writer is inclined to 
believe that the name of this same wnliunni'unk is derived from the use of wampum 
(w6bun, white, so called from the white l>e:idsi as stakes for which it was played. 
Again, it may refer to the white disks; but. however this may be, a peculiar significance 
is attached to the use of shell beads as ;;ambling counters or stakes. 

" Second Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, pi. xxxvi, fig. 4, 1683. 



Fig. 67. — Bone dice; diameter, 1^ inch; Mic- 
mao Indians. Nova Scotia: cat. no. 21643. 
Free Museum of Science and Art, Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania. 

the lower side, as shown in the figure, and fifty-five counting 
^ticks (figure 69) made of bamboo, fifty-one phiin and four 
notched, as described below. 
These were collected by Dr A. S. Gatschet, who obtained them 
from James Meuse. chief of the western counties Indians of Nova 
Scotia. Meuse claimed that the dish was 300 years old, and, though 
this is an exaggeration, one can clearly see that it is of old manu- 

Doctor Gatschet furnished the following account of the game : " 

The (lice, altestfl-an — in the pluml. .altesta-ank — are disk-shaped, flat above 
and couve.x below, six in number. They always make them of white bone, and 

since the caribou furnishes the hardest 
bone, they use the bone of this animal 
only for the purpose. The caribou 
is still frequent in the woods of N'ova 
Scotia and New Brunswick, and is called 
xaliba' — in Quoddy, megali'p — from its 
habit of shoveling the snow with its 
forelegs, which is done to find the food 
covered by the snow, ^alibu" mulxadeget 
(Micmac), "the caribou is scratching or 
shoveling." The bone dice are made smooth liy rubliing them on a stone, 
subigida-an, whetstone, honing stone ; subigidegel, any obieet whetted or honed. 
The dish, or waltes. is a heav.v platter made of a piece of rock-maple wood, and 
appears to have no other ijuriiose than to jerk altestd-ank up and receive them 
when falling down. This is done either by striking the dish upon a table or 
upon a mat lying on the ground. The rock-maple tree is still found in all 
the hard-wood ridges of Nova Scotia, and where this useful tree is getting 
scarce the Nova Scotia white people begin to rear it, as the.v do also the nime- 
nohen, or yellow birch ; the axannix, or white ash ; the wlsx6k, or black ash ; the 
midi. or common poplar. When the dish is made of birch bark it is called ula'u, 
plural ulanel. The Micmac make birch-bark canoes for Annapolis basin, .iust 
as in ancient times, and the price they now get for them is .$15 to $l!.5. 

The waltes sent to you is made from a piece of rock-maple about one-half 
inch thick, diameter about 1 foot, and wholly carved with a knife, no ma- 
chinery having been used. The top side is slightly concave and the bottom 
conspicuously convex. As the biggest rock-maple trees do not exceed 20 inches 
in thickness, the wftltes was evidently made from one side of the tree and not 
from across. The wood is cross-grained and extremely smooth, the nerves 
(<VX"Xi) of the tree being just perceptible. Round and elliptic figures are 
carved on tlie top and bottom side. l)Vit have no significance for tlie game itself. 
The rubbing smooth or jiolishing of tlie wood is called sesubado^ Ii.v the Indians ; 
it has the same effect as s.-mdpaper rulibing with us. 

The altestfl-ank, or dice, are blank on the convex side and carved with A 
figures on the flat side, which converge in the center. The game itself is 
altestaf; they (two) play the dice game, altestayek; they (more than two) 
play the dice game, altestSdiyek. 

The counters of this game are of two kinds, both Ijeing sticks alumt 7 to ,S 

" Bulletin of the Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania, v, 2, p. 
191, Philadelphia, 1900. 




inches in length: etxamuawef. flat sticks, with a broadening at one end: (2) 
kidemfl-ank. thin. c.vlindiMc sticks, about double the thickness of lucifer matches. 

The etxamuawef, iilural I c Itxaniuawel, slender sticks, are also called "five 
pointers," because their broadening end shows five notches or points, showing 
their value as counters, each rep- 
resenting five kidemii-ank. The 
ones sent you are made of bamboo 
obtained from the West Indies, 
hence called kesiisk. plural 
kel. On one of the txamuawel the 
end has a double set of notches, the 
whole resembling a, diminutive ar- 
row. It is called the old man ; 
gisigu. plural gisiguk. With this 
last one txamuawel are to the 
number of four. At the final ac- 
counting each of the txamuawel 
counts 5 points, and it is the privi 
lege of the one who gets the old 
man to get T> points more than the 
others, under the condition that his 
previous gain exceetl l.j points. 

The kidema-ank. or common 
counters, are fifty-one in number, 
cylindric, and of the same length as 
the txamuawel. Some of those be- 
fore you are of snai'i, or rock-maple, 

the others of liamboo. Their number is determined by the fact that three times 
seventeen makes fifty-one. and each three of them represents 1 point i^i the game. 

Fig. 68 — Platter for dice i obverse t; diameter. lOJ 
inches; Micmac Indians, Nova Scotia: cat. no. 
21642. Free Museum of Science and Art. University 
of Pennsylvania. 


-CountiuK sticks for dice: length. 9i inches. Micmac Indians, Nova Scotia; cat. no. 21642, 
Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

Some of the rules observed in this truly aboriginal game are as follows, accord- 
ing to James Meuse : 

Any player in the ring can have three throws of the dice. When, after shak- 
ing the waltes on a table or on the mat. all the dice, or altesta-ank, turn their 
white or black side uj). the player gets 1 etxamuawef, or 5 points, or 15 kidemi'i- 
ank. 'When, after the shake, two altesta-ank turn their marked side up, the 
player gets no counter, or kidema-an. When one ;iltesta-an turns up with the 
marked side up. the pla.ver gets 1 point, or 3 kidema-ank. 

When five dice turn their marked side up and one the blank side, the player 
makes 1 point, or .3 kidema-ank. When the player finds all six dice with the 
marked side up he wins 15 counters, or 5 points. 


When five marked sides turn up and one blank one he makes 1 [loint. or 3 
counters. But when he makes the same throw again in succession to the above, 
he wins 3 points, or 9 counters. Whenever a player has all the blanks turned 
up he has the privilege of throwing again. 

MiCMAC. New Brunswick. (Peabody Museum of American Archie- 
ology and Ethnology.) 

Cat. no. 50804. Set of six dice made of antler, three-fourths to 
seven -eighths of an inch in diameter, marked on flat side with a 
six-rayed star; bowl of birch wood, 11^ inches in diameter, and 
fifty-four counting sticks (figure 70). consisting of fifty plain 
sticks and four larger sticks. The latter comprise one stick with 
three serrations on side near one end, two each with four serra- 
tions, and one resembling the feathered shaftment of an arrow 
with three serrations on each side. 

Fig. 70. Counting sticks for dice; length, 8 to ><i inches; Micmac Indians. New Brunswick; cat. 
no. .5n.S0i, Peabody Museum of American Archfeology and Ethnology. 

Cat. no. 50792. Five dice of antler, three-fourths to seven-eighths 
of an inch in diameter, marked on the flat side with four-rayed 
star; l^owl of birch wood. DJ inches in diameter; 52 counting 
sticks, con.sisting of 48 jilain sticks and 4 larger sticks. 
The latter comprise one stick with five serrations on one side near 
one end, two with four serrations each, and one resembling a feath- 
ered arrow shaftment with serrations on each side. The counting 
sticks in this and the preceding game are in part of bamboo. 

Both were collected by Mr G. M. AVest. 
MissiSAUGA. New Credit, Ontario. 
Rev. Peter Jones " says : 

In their bowl plays they use plum stones. One side is burnt black, and the 
other is left of its natural color. Seven of these plums are placed in a wooden 
bowl, and are then tossed up and caught. If they hai)pen to turn up all white 
or all black they count so many. This is altogether a chance game. 

Narraganset. Rhode Island. 

Roger Williams, in his Kej' into the Language of America,* 

" History of the Ojehway Indians, p. 135, London, 1861. 

^ London, 1643. (Collections of the Rhode Island Historical Society, v. 1, p. 145, 
I'rovldence, 1827; also. Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, for the year 
1734, V. 3, p. 324.) Cited by Andrew Mcl'arland Davis, in Bulletin of the Essex Insti- 
tute, V. 18, p. 173, Salem, 1886, to whom I am Indebted for the reference. 

cL-LiN] DICE games: noreidgewock 81 

describes the games of the Narraganset as of two sorts — private and 
public. " They have a kind of dice which are plum stones painted, 
which they cast in a tray with a mighty noise and sweating." He 
gives the following words referring to this game : wunnaugonhom- 
min, to play at dice in their tray; asauanash, the painted plum 
stones which they throw, and puttuckquapuonck. a playing arbor. 
He describes the latter as made of long poles set in the earth, four 
square, 16 or 20 feet high, on which they hang great store of their 
stringed monej', having great staking, town against town, and two 
chosen out of the rest by course to play the game at this kind of 
dice in the midst of all their abettors, with great shouting and 
solemnity. He also saj's : 

The chief gamesters amoug them much desire to make their gods side with 
them in their games . . . tlaerefore I have seen tliem lieep as a precious 
stone a piece of thunderbolt, which is lilie unto a crystal, which they dig out of 
the ground under some tree, thunder-smitten, and from this stone they have an 
opinion of success. 

NiPissiNG. Forty miles above Montreal, Quebec. 

Eev. J. A. Cuoq " describes the plum-stone game among this tribe 
under the name of pakesanak. which he says is the usual name given 
to five plum stones, each marked with several dots on one side only. 
Four or five women, squatting around on a blanket, make the stones 
jump about the height of their foreheads, and according to the stones 
falling on one or the other side the fate of the player is decided. Of 
late the game has been improved by using a platter instead of a cover 
(blanket) , which caused the name of the game of platter to be given it 
by the whites. 

The name pakesanak is the plural of pakesan, defined as noyau, 
jeu. Dr A. S. Gatschet has kindly given me the following analysis 
of this word: Pake, to fall, to let fall; s. diminutive: an, suffix of 
inanimate nouns. 
NoRRiDGEWocK. Norridgcwock, Maine. 

In the dictionary of Father Sebastian Rasles,* a number of words "^ 
referring to games are defined,"* from which it appears that the 
Norridgewock Indians played a game with a bowl and eight disks 
(ronds), counting with grains. The disks were black on one side 

" Lexique de la Langue Algonqulne, Montreal, 1886. 

" .Memoirs .American Academ.v of .\rts and Science, n. s., v. 1. Cambridge, 18:1,^. 

^' Je joue avec des ronds blancs d'un cot^' et noirs de Tautre, nederakki^, v. nedanmke, v. nedaSe 
annar. Les ronds, tss^ 84nar; les grains, tagSssak. Les grains du jeu du plat, dicuntur etiam, 
6ss68anar. Lors qu'ils s'en trouve du nombre de 8, 5 blancs et 3 noirs, v. 5 noirs et A blancs, 
nebarnam, keb, etc. (on ne tire rieu i; idem fit de 4 blancs et 4 noirs. Lors qu'il y en a d'une 
couleur, et 2 de Tantre, nemesSdam (on tire 4 grains). Lors qu'il y en a 7 d'une meme couleur, 
et qu'un de Tautre, nedenehi (on en tire 10). Lors qu'ils sont tous 8 de meme couleur, nSrihara 
(on en tire 20) Nesakasi, je plante un bois dans terre p'r marquer les parties. Je lul gagne une mets un bois p'r, etc., negSdagSharan. NedasabamankS, il me dt'marque une partie, 
■ il ote un bois, etc. Je joue au plat, nSanrad^h&ma 3. San m6. Mets les petlts ronds, etc., p8n4 
€ss^8anar. Nederakebena, je les mets. 

" Bulletin of the Essex Institute, v. 18, p. 187, Salem, 1886. 

24 ETH — 05 M 6 


and white on the other. If black and white turned up four and four, 
or five and three, there was no count ; six and two counted -t : seven 
and one, 10; and all eight of the same color, 20. Davis remarks 
that, " according to Rasles, the count was sometimes kept by thrust- 
ing sticks into the ground. This is shown by Indian words used in 
the games, which Rasles interisrets, respectively: 'I thrust a stick in 
the ground to mark the games; ' ' I win a game from him; I place a 
stick,' etc. ; ' He takes the mark for a game away from me ; he re- 
moves a stick,' etc. ; ' He takes away all my marks ; he removes them 

Ottawa. Manitoba. 

Tanner" describes the game as follows, under the name of bugga- 
sank or beggasah : 

The beg-ga-sah-nuk are small pieces of wood, bone, or sometimes of brass 
made by cutting up an old kettle. One side they stain or color black, the other 
they aim to have bright. These may vary in number. l)Ut can -never be fewer 
than nine. They are put together in a large wooden bowl or tray kept for the 
purpose. The two parties, sometimes twenty or thirty, sit down opposite to 
each other or in a circle. The play consists in striking tlie edge of the bowl in 
such a manner as to throw all the beg-ga-sah-nuk into the air, and on the 
manner in which they fall into the tray depends his gain or loss. If his stroke 
has been to a certain e.xtent fortunate, the player strikes again and again, as 
in the game of liilliards. until he misses, when it passes to the next. 

Passamaquoddy. Maine. 

The bowl game among these Indians is described by Mrs W. W. 
Brown,' of Calais, Maine, under the name of alltestegenuk : 

Played by two persons kneeling — a folded blanket between tbem serving as 

a cushion on which to strike the sli.Ulow 
wooden dish, named wal-tah-ha-mo'g'n. 
This dish [figure 71] contains six thin 
bone disks [figure 72] about three- 
fourths of an inch in diameter, carved 
and colored on one side and plain on the 
other. These are tossed or turned over 
by holding the dish firmly in the hands 
Fig. 71-Manner of holding dish in dice game; and striking down hard on the cushion. 
Passamaquoddy Indians, Maine; from Mrs -^ a- . j,, • ^i, 

W.W.Brown. ^°^ counting in this game there are 

48 small sticks, about 5 inches in 
length, named ha-ga-ta-ma-g'n'al ; 4 somewhat larger, named t'k'm-way-wal and 
1 notched, called non-a-da-ma-wuch [figure 7.3]. 

All the sticks are placed in a pile. The disks are put in the disli witliout 
order ; each contestant can play while he wins, but on his missing the other 
takes the dish. Turning all the disks but one. the player takes .3 small sticks, 
twice in succession, 9 sticks, three times in succession, 1 big stick or 12 small 
ones. Turning all alike once, he takes a big stick, twice in succession. .3 
big ones, or 2, and lays a small one out to show what is done, three times 

" A Narrative of the Captivity and Adventures of .Tohn Tanner, p. 114, New York. 1S30. 
' Some Indoor and outdoor Games of the Wabanaki Indians. Transactions of the Uoyal 
Society of Canada, v. (i, sec. 2, p. 41, Montreal, 1889. 


DICE games: passamaquoddy 


Fig. 72— Bone die, 
Indians, Maine; 
from Mrs W. W. 

ill suwession lie stands a big stick up — equal to l(j small ones from the oppo- 
nent — tlie notched one to be the last taken of the small ones it being equal to 3. 

When all the small sticks are drawn and there are large ones left in the pile — 
instead of taking '.i from the opponent, the players lay one out to show that the 
other owes 3 sticks, and so on until the large ones are won. Then, unless the 
game is a draw, the second and more interesting stage begins, and the sticks 
have different value. Turning all the disks but one. the player lays 1 out — equal 
to 4 from an opponent. Turning all the disks hut one twice 
in succession, he lays 3 out — e<iual to 12 from the other — three 
times in succession — stands 1 up, equal to 1 large or 1(5 .small 
ones. Turning all alike, he .sets up 1 large one twice in suc- 
cession : then 3 large ones, or lacking these. 3 small ones for 
each large one. This would end the game if the opponent had 
none standing, as there would be no sticks to pay the points. 
But a run of three times of one kind in succession is unusual. 
When one has not enough sticks to pay points won by the 
other comes the real test of skill, although the former has 
still several superior chances to win the game. If he has .5 
sticks, hg has 3 chances ; if 7 or 9 sticks he has .5 chances ; that is. he places the 
disks in position, all one side up. for each of the tosses: the other contestant 
takes his turn at playing, but he can not place the disks. Then, giving the dish a 
peculiar slide, which they call la Ink, or running downhill like water, and at the 
same time striking it down on the cushion, he may, unless the luck is sadl.v 
against him. win twice out of three times trying. 

To this day it is played with great animation, with incantations for good luck 
and exorcising of evil spirits, by waving of hands and cr.ving .von-tel-eg-wa- 

wiich. At a ruu of ill luck there are 


peculiar passes made over the dish 
and a muttering of Mic-msic-squs 
fik n'me ha-ook (" I know there 
is a Micmac squaw around"). 
One of their legends tells of a 
game played by Youth against 
Old Age. The old man had much 
m'ta-ou-lin (magic power). He 
had regained his youth several 
times b.v inhaling the breath of 
youthful opponents. He had again grown old and sought another victim. 

Fig. 7.3— Counting sticks for dice game: length, 6} to 
6i inches: Passamaquoddy Indians, Maine: from 
Mrs W. W". Brown. 

When he found one whom he thought suited to his imrpose be invited 
him to a game of all-tes-teg-enuk. The young man was also m'ta-ou-Iin, 
and for a po-he-gan had K'che-bal-lock (spirit of the air), and consequently 
knew the old man's intention, yet he consented to a game. The old man's 
wal-tah-ha-nio"g'n was a skull, and the all-tes-teg-enuk were the eyes of former 
victims. The game was a long and exciting one. but at each toss off by the 
young man the disks were carried a little higher by his po-he-gan until they 
disappeared altogether. This broke up a game that has never been com- 
pleted. The legend says that the old man still waits and the .young mau still 
outwits him. 

Another Passamaqiioddy game is described by Mrs Brown under 
the name of wypenogeniik : 

This game, like all-tes-teg-enfik. has long been a gamliling game. The disks 
are very similar, but larger, and eight in numlier. The players stand opposite 
each other with a blanket spread on the ground between them. The disks are 
held in the palm of the hand, and chucked on the blanket. This game is counted 



with sticks, the contestants detenuiuiug the number of points necessary to win 
before commencing to play. 

Penobscot. Maine. (Cat. no. lfio51. Free Museum of Science and 
Art, University of Pennsylvania.) 

Set of counting sticks of unpainted white wood (figure 74), copied at 

the Chicago Exposition by a Penob- 
scot Indian from those in a set of 
gaming implements, consisting of dice, 
counters, and bowl, there exhibited by 
the late Chief Joseph Nicolar. of Old- 
town. The latter kindly furnished the 





Fig. 74. Counting sticks for dice 
game; Penobscot Indians, Maine; 
cat. no. 16551, Free Mnseiim of 
Science and Art, University of 

Fig. 75. Limestone disks, possibly used in game; 
a 1 inch in diameter, fc s inch in diameter: Nottawa- 
saga, Ontario. Archgeological Museum, Toronto. 

writer the following account of the game under the name of werlarda- 
harmungun : 

The buttons used as dice in this game are made from the shoulder blade of 
a moose, the counters of cedar wood. The latter are fifty-five in number, fifty- 
one being rounded splints about 6 inches in length, three fiat splints of the same 
length, and one made in a zigzag shape. A soft bed is made in the ground or on 
the floor for the dish to strike on. Two persons having been selected to play 
the game, they seat themselves opposite to each other. The buttons are placed in 
the dish, and it is tossed up and brought down hard upon its soft bed. If five of 
the six buttons have the same side up, the player takes three round splints; but 
if the entire six turn the same side up, it is called a double, and the player takes 
one of the flat ones. Tlie game is continued until all the coiniters are drawn. 

It might naturally be inferred that remains of the bone disks u.sed 

in the bowl game would be found 
in our archeological museums, but 
as yet I have not met with any. 
On the other hand, small disks of 
pottery and of stone, frequently 
marked on one face, are not un- 
common, and are usually classified 
as gaming implements. I am in- 
debted to Mr David Boyle, cura- 
tor of the Archa?ological Museum. Toronto, for the sketch (figure T.'S) 
representing a sjnall disk of soft white limestone from Nottawasaga, 
Ontario, in his collection, engraved with a cross on one side and a 
similar disk with a cross on both sides. 

PiEGAN. Alberta. (Cat. no. 69356, Field Columbian Museum.) 
Set of four bone staves, 8 inches in length, marked with incised lines, 
in two pairs, one with chevrons in red and the other with crosses 

FujTtj. Boue stick dice; length, 8 inches; Pie- 
gan Indians, Alberta; cat. no. 69356, Field 
Columbian Museum. 




Pig. 77. Bone dice: diameter. J inch; Potawatomi Indians, 
Oklahoma; cat. no. 707111, Field Columbian Museum. 

between transverse lines, one of the latter tied with a leather 
band (figure 76). Collected by Mr R. N. Wilson. 
Potawatomi. Potawatomi reservation. Oklahoma. (Cat. no. 70701, 

Field Columbian ^Museum.) 
Set of 8 bone dice (figure 77) : six disks, three-fourths of an inch 
in diameter, one tor- 
toise, and one horse 
head, with one side 
rounded and plain and 
reverse flat and stained 
red; accompanied by a 
flat wooden bowl, 11 
inches in diameter, and 
25 seeds used in count- 
ing. Collected by Dr 
George A. Dorsey. 
Sauk and Foxes. Tama, Iowa. (Cat. no. .36751, Free Museum of 

Science and Art. University of Pennsylvania.) 
Eight disks of bone (figure 78). gusigonuk, three-fourths of an inch 
in diameter. Six are marked with two incised circles on one side, 
and two with a five-pointed star inclosed in a circle, with a brass 
boss in the center which penetrates to the other side. Except 
for this the reverses are plain. Accompanied by a wooden bowl, 

anagai (cat. no. 36752), 

made of a maple knot, 

grease-soaked and highly 

polished; diameter, 11^ 

inches. Collected by the 

writer in 1900. 

Both men and women i)la.v. but 

I his is especially a woman'.s game. 

The dice are tossed in the bowl, and 

ihe count is kept with ten sticks, 10 

lieing the game. The counts' are as 

follows : Eight marked sides up 

Flo. 78. Bunedice; diameter. } inch; Sauk and Fox 
Indians, Tama, Kwa; cat. no. 36751, Free Museum 
of Science and Art, Univei*sity of Pennsylvania- 

Fig. 79. Message sticks for woman's 
dice game; length, 55 inches; Sauk 
and Fox Indians, Tama, Iowa; cat. 
no. af 33. American Museum of Natural 

counts 4 : eight plain sides up, 4 ; seven marked sides and one white side up, 
six marked sides and two white sides up, 1 ; seven white sides and one marked 
up, 2 ; six white sides and two marked up, 1 ; seven white sides and one star up, .5 
seven marked sides and one brass stud uii. .5; six white sides and two stars up 
10 ; six marked sides and two brass studs up, 10. The game is called gusigonogi 



A set of message sticks (figure 79) for the women's dice game, in the 
American Museum of Natural History (cat. no. yffj). consists of 
a bundle of eight pieces of reed, oh inches in length. Collected 
by Dr William Jones. 


San Carlos Apache. San Carlos. Gila county. Arizona. (Field 

Columbian Musemn.) 
Cat. no. 63556. Three wooden staves (figure 80), 9 inches in length, 

Fig. so. Stick dice; length, 9 inches; San Carlos Fio. 81. Stick dice; length, 8 inches; San 
Apache Indians, Arizona; cat. no. 63556, Field Carlos Apache Indians, Arizona; cat. no. 
Columbian Museum. 63557, Field Columbian Museum. 

flat faces painted red. with incised cross lines painted black in 
middle and end edges notched, round sides painted yellow. 

Fig. 83. San Carlos Apache Indians playing stick dice; (Jila county. Arizona: from photograph 

Vjy Mr S. C. Simms. 

Cat. no. 63557. Three wooden staves (figure 81). 8 inches in length, 
identical with preceding, except that flat faces have alternate 
painted bands, black and red. They were collected by Mr S. C 
Siinms, who gives the name of the game as settil. 


AVhite MorNTAiN Apache. Arizona. (Field Columbian Museum.) 
Cat. no. 61247. Three wooden staves (figure 83). lOJ inches in 

length, flat on one side, ])ainted yellow, with green band on flat 

These specimens were collected by Rev. Paul S. Mayerhotf, who 
gives the following account of the game under the name of tsaydithl, 
or throw-sticks : 

This is a woman's game and is playetl witli great ardor. The stave.s are 
three in number, from 8 to 10 inches long and flat on one side. 

The playground is a circle [figure Si] about .5 feet in diameter. The center 
of this circle is formed by a flat rocU of any convenient size, generally from 
8 to 10 inches in diameter. On the circumference forty stones are arranged 
in sets of ten. to be used as counters. Not less than two or more than four 
persons can iiarticipate in the game at one time. 

In playing, the sticks are grasjied in the hand and thrown on end upon the 
rocU in the center with force enough to make them rebound. As they fall, 
flat or round face upward, the throw counts from 1 to 10. as follows: Three 
round sides up counts 10 points, called yiih : two round sides up. one flat, 1 or 
2 points, called tlay ; one round side up. two flat. 3 points, called tah gee ; 













. S4. 

Fig. 83. 
Fio. 83. Stick dice for tsaydithl; length. Hi! iuche.s; White Mountain Apache Indians, Arizona; 

cat, no, 61247, Field Columbian Museum. 
Fio. 84. Circuit fur stick dice; White Mountain Apache Indians, Arizona. 

three flat sides up. .-. points, called dagay. Should one of the players, in mak- 
ing her count, continue from her set of counters to the adjoining set of her 
opponent's and strike the place marked by the opponent's tally marker, it 
throws the opponent's count out of the game. ;lnd she must start anew. Who- 
ever first marks 40 points wins. 

Cat, no. 61248. Four sticks (figure 85). 23 inches in length, the 

round sides painted, two alike, with four diagonal black stripes, 

and one with a Inroad red hand in the middle and red ends. The 

first three have flat reverses, painted red, and the fourth, with 

the red l)and. a black reverse. 

Another set. cat. no. 61249. has three with round sides decorated 

alike with alternate red and black lines, and one with diagonal black 

lines. The first three have red reverses, the fourth a black reverse. 

These specimens were collected by Rev. Paul 8. Mayerholf. who 
gives the following account of the game under the name of haeegohay, 
drop sticks : 

This game is played by both sexes together. For it there is no preparation 
of a playground. The staves are four sticks 18 to 24 inches in length, round on 




Piii. 85. Stick dice for ha-ee-go-hay; length, 23 inches; 
White Mountain Apache Indians, Arizona; cat. no. 
61348, Field Columbian Museum. 

the back, flat <m the face. One of the set of four sticks is distinguished from 
the remaining three and represents a man, the other three being women. The 
sticks are dropped and the points counted as follows : Four faces down, sticks 
lying parallel, counts 10 ; four faces down, pair of crosses, 10 ; four faces down, 

odd stick crossing the others. 10 ; 

^ ^ fimr faces up, pair of crosses, 20 ; 

four faces up, odd stick crossing 

others, 20 ; three faces down, 

one crossed by the odd stick, face 
upward, 26 ; three faces up, one 
crossed by the odd stick, face 
down, 26 : three faces up, crossed 
by the odd stick, face down, 39 ; 
three faces up, two crossed by the odd stick, face up or down, 39 ; four faces up, 
sticks lying parallel, 40 ; three faces up, one face down, lying parallel, 52 : three 
faces down, one face up. lying parallel, 52 ; three faces up. one down, crossing 
one another six times, 62. 

White Mountain Apache. White river, Arizona. 

Mr Albert B. Reagan furnished the following account of the 
Apa«he stick dice game in a communication to the Bureau of Amer- 
ican Ethnology in 1901 : 

This game is usually played by women only, occupying with it their leisure 
hours. They bet on it such things as beads, dress materials, and other ol)jects 
of small value, sometimes 

even money. When money puvtH 

is bet it is put under the 
stone on which the sticks 
are cast. In preparing the 
field a spot of ground is lev- 
eled and a small flat stone 
placed in the center. Other 
stones are then piled around 
this stone to form a circle 
[figure 86] 34 feet In diam- 
eter, with four openings, 10 
stones being placed in each 
quarter of the circle, the 
oi)enings corresponding with 
the northeast, southeast, 
southwest, and northwest. 
The stones, which are 
picked up in the immediate 
vicinity of the playground, 
are of various shapes and sizes. The stones being laid, a stick is placed in the 
opening at the northeast to indicate that this is the starting point. In counting, 
a player moves his counting-stick as man.v stones from the starting point as he 
has points to count, putting his marker in the space just beyond the last stone 
counted, unless that count should end in one of the four openings, in which case 
he puts it in the next preceding space. The stones in each section are num- 
bered or named. Those in the two sections on the right of the starting point 
are numbei-ed from 1 on to the right, and those on the left of the starting 
point iu the same way toward the left. 














Fig. 86. Circuit for stick dice; White Mountain Apache 
Indians, Arizona: from drawing by Albert B. Reagan. 




The playiug .sticks are about a foot in Iciigtb. and are the halves of green sticks 
about 1 inch in diameter, the bark being left on the rounded side and the split 
surface marked across its face with charcoal bands about 1 inch wide. In 
throwing, the sticks are cai-efuUy held together in the hand, with the marked 
faces either in or out. They are hurled, ends down, the hand being released 
just before they strike, so that they are free to fall or bounce in any direction. 

The counts are as follows : One marked face up counts 2 ; two marked faces 
up, 3; three marked faces uji. Ti ; tliree marked faces down, 10. 

If the player scores 10, she throws again ; otherwise she passes the sticks to 
the next player. When a player makes 10, she always says yak! and strikes the 
center stone with the liunch of three play sticks sidewise before throwing them 
again. The number of players may be two. three, or four, the last-named num- 

Plo. 87. White Mountain Apache women playinj^ stick dice (the sticks in midair i: White river, 
Arizona: from photogi-aph by Mr Albert B. Reagan. 

ber being usual. When four [ilay, one sits behind each section of stones, facing 
the center. When more than two play, the two that face each other play as 
partners. In moving their counting-sticks, jiartners always move them in the 
same direction. The player of the east section and her partner, if she has one. 
move around the circle toward the south, and the player of the north section 
moves around toward the west. 

If a player's count terminates at, or moves past, a place occupied by an 
antagonist, she takes her opponent's counting-stick and throws it back, and the 
latter must start again, losing all her .counts. 

A game consists of three circuits, or ]2(l points. Each time a player makes a 
circuit she scores by placing a charcoal mark on a stone in ber section. 

Vocabulary: Set diltb'. the stick game: set dilth'bed'-den-kak, let us play the 
stick game: dak. tlie sticks used in the stick game; gun-alsh'na, the game is 
finished, won ; gfiu-alsh-na She, I have the game. 



White Mountain Apache. East fork of AVhite river, Arizona. 

(Field Columbian Museum.) 
Cat. no. (18819. Three wooden staves, li inches in length, painted 

alike, blue on the flat face and rounded backs yellow. 
Cat. no. 68822. Three wooden staves, 114 inches in length, with 

incised cross lines, blue and red in the middle of the flat face, the 

rounded backs plain. 
Cat. no. 68821. Three wooden staves, 12^ inches in length, witli 

diagonal incised black line across the middle of the flat face, the 

rounded backs plain. 
Cat. no. 68824. Three wooden staves, 9 inches in lengtli. with the 

middle of the flat sides l)lackened, and one stave witli incised 

diagonal line in the middle, the rounded backs plain. 
These specimens were collected by Mr Charles L. Owen, who 
describes them as used in the game of tsa-st(|;l. 

— Arizona. (Cat. no. 152696, United States National Museum.) 

Set of three sticks of hazel wood, 8 inches in length, three-fourths 

of an inch wide, and about three-eighths of an inch in thickness, 

flat on one side, with a diagonal black band across the middle, the 

other rounded and unpainted. They show marks of use. 
These were collected by Dr Edward Palmer." and were described by 

Eig. 88. 

Fig. SH. 

Fig. 88. Stick dire: length, 9i inches; White Mouutain Apache Indians. Fort Apaihe. Arizona; 
cat. no. 18619, Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

Fig. 89. Manner of holding stic'k dice; White Mountain Apache Indians, Arizona; from draw- 
ing by the lati> Capt. C. N. B. Macauley, U. S. Army. 

Captain C. N. B. Macauley, U. S. Army, as used in a game played l)y 
women in a circle '' of forty stones divided in four tens with a division 
to each ten, and having a large flat rock placed in the middle. 

Four or six can play. Two sides are formed of equal nuniliei-s. and two .sets of 
sticks are used. Tlie pla.vers kneel lieliind tlie nick circle. The first player takes 
ttie sticks in one liand. rounded sides out [ liKUie .S!)].and slams them end first on the 
rock. From this is derived the name of the game, s#-tich-ch, hoiuice-on-the-roek.* 

"A set of sticks (fig. 88) made of a variety of the prickly ash. 9* inches in length, 
but otherwise identical with the above, is contained in the Free Museiun of Science and 
Art of the I'niversity of I'ennsyhania (cat. no. 1SG19), and was collected l\v Capt. 
C. N. B. Macauley, T^. S. Army. 

"Doctor Palmer says a square; Captain Macauley. a circle. 

'"Capt. .Tohn O. Bourke gave the .Apache name of this game to (lie wi'iter as tze-chis, 
stone, or zse-tilth, wood, the words referi-ing to the central stone and (he staves. The 
circle of stones is called, he stated, tze-nasti, stcuu' circle. Dr Edward Palmer givea 
the name of the game as satill. 




Tlic counts are iis follows: Tlu'ee rouiul sides up counts 10; three Hat sides 
up, 5; two round sides up and one flat, ti ; one round side up and two flat. 3. 

A throw of 10 gives auother throw. Each side has two sticks which are used 
to mark the count. The two sides count from opjiosite directions. 

White Mountain Apache. Fort Apache, Arizona. (Cat. no. 844G5, 

Field Columbian Museum.) 
Thirteen wooden dice (figure 90), Ig inches in length, flat on one side 
and rounded on the other, all painted black on the flat side, while 
three have reddish brown and ten white backs. 
Collected in IDO:] bv Mr Charles L. Owen, who gives the following 
account of the game, which is played only by warriors: 

It is called da'ka-nadagiza, or da'ka gijstse'gi. Thirteen, or, according to 

another informant, fourteen dice are 
used. Two or four players partiel- 
/v '^Z^ J^^\ .^^ \ pate. The highest possible throw is 

^^ ^^. 'V^v\ ^y '\^ ""^ points. The dice are shaken in a 
^ ^^^ ^ \^^^ ^'"* basket, or tsa. The ground, hav- 

ing been hollowed out. is lined with 
bear grass co\ered over with a buck- 
skin or l)lanket. This is to give elas- 
ticity and recoil to dice when the 
basket is struck sharply. The mode 
of shaking dice is to strike thfe ba.sket, 
which is firndy grasped at two o|)p(i- 
site sides, down upou the elastic play- 
ground, the dice thereby being tossed upward and shaken over well. 

The covmts are as follows: Ta-llqgai. three white backs, ten black faces, counts 
12; itcldenkaga, three red backs, ten black faces, — : nfltoha, one red back: 
twelve black faces. 10; ectlai -ilqgai, five wliite backs, eight black faces. — : 
gustsed-ilqgai or dsilqgai. seven white backs, six black faces. — ; ba -iscinii. three 
red backs, ten white backs, 20: beitcihii, — red backs. — white backs. 16: cudai. 
three black faces, ten white backs, — : doca, three red backs, three white backs, 
seven black faces, — ; naki-nadiiyila, two red backs, ten white backs, one black 
face, .1. 

HuPA. Hupa valley, 
Ca 1 i f ornia. 
(Free Museum 
of Science and 
Art, Univer- 
sity of Penn- 
sylvania. ) 
Cat. no. 37199. Four 
disks of mussel 
shell (figure 91«). 
two alike, three-fourths of an inch, and two alike, seven-eighths 
of an inch in diameter. One side is dull and slightly concave, 
and the other bright and convex. 
Cat. no. 37200. P'our disks of abalone shell (figure 916), similar to 

Fio. SKI. Wooden dice: length, 1; inches: White 
Mountain .\pache Indians, Arizona: cat. no. 
8446.5, Field Columbian Museum. 

Fig. !)1 shell dice: diameters, \ to li inches: Hupa Indians, 
California: cat. no. I^TISW, STaB, Free Museum of Science 
and Art. University of Pennsylvania. 



[ETH. ANN. 24 

the preceding, 1 and li inches in diameter. Collected by the 

writer in 1900. 
They are used by women in a game called by the same name as the 
dice, yeoul mat. 

Two women play. The four dice are shaken together in the hands, the palms 
clasped together, and the dice let fall upon a blanket. The larger dice are 
called mi-ni-kiau. and the smaller, mi-ni-skek : the concave sides, tak-ai-tim-it, 
and the convex, you-tim-it. Two heads and two tails count : four heads count 
1 : four tails count 1. Other plays do not count. The count is kept with ten 
sticks, which are put in the center between the two women and drawn out as 
they win. When the center pile is exhausted they draw from each other until 
one woman wins the ten sticks. The game is played at any time." 

A Crescent City Indian, whom tlie writer met at Areata, California, 
gave the name of the dice described above as tchuthut; large dice, 
tchaka : small dice, mushnai ; concave sides, gaemun ; convex sides, 
youtowitmun ; let us play dice, chitat. 
Kawchodinne. Mackenzie. (Cat. no. 7404, United States National 

Museum. ) 
Four wooden blocks (figure 92), IJ inches in length, said to be for a 

Fio. 92. Wooden dice; length, U inches: Kawchodinne Indians, Mackenzie; cat. no. 7404, United 

States National Museum. 

game. They have a rounded base, with two transverse cuts, and 
are perforated, as if for stringing. Collected by Maj. R. Kenni- 
cott on the Arctic coast. 
Navaho. St Michael, Arizona. 

Rev. Berard Haile * describes the following game : 

Ashbf'i. the crossed-stick game. Two sticks are used, about 4 or 5 Inches 
long. One side of the sticks is colored red. the other black. Each stick has 
on each side four marks, cuts, in the center. .V blanket is placed on the ground 
and another attached above it to the ceiling. The sticks are crossed so that 

" The following vocabulary for the game was collected for the writer by Dr Pliny E. 
Goddard : Dice, ki wil-mfit ; large dice, mini ki-a-o : small dice, mi-skl-atz ; convex sides, 
tla-kus : concave sides, muk-kiis. 

'Under date of .Tune .5. 1902. The Information was obtained from a medicine man 
named Qatqall nadlol, Laughing Doctor. 




the marks touch each other, and are held in this position with the index finger 
and thumb of both hands. The player states how many points he will score 
and his opponent takes up the challenge by stating his own points. The sticks, 
held in position with both hands, are thrown up against the blanket above, and 
according as they fall — that is — as the marks touch each other or are close to 
one another, a point, great or small, is scored. The highest point is scored if 
the sticks fall as held when thrown up, otherwise the points count according 
to the proximity of the mark on the two sticks. The player continues, if he 
scores a point ; contrariwise, his opponent tries. 

This was an indoor game and not limited to a particular season. At present 
it is scarcely known, but our informant remembers it was played quite fre- 
quently in his childhood. Fie remembers, too. that the sticks were not rounded 
or hollow. l)ut ordinarily round. 

In a subsequent letter, from information obtained from Tlissi 
tso. " Big Goat," whose father was a professional gambler. Father 
Berard writes : 

There are four sticks of different colors, yellow, white, black, and blue. Yel 
low is called tsl, white whfishi, black ashbli, and blue nezhi. These names are 
not those of the colors but of the sticks. White and yellow, black and blue, are 
partners, respectively. These sticks are placed in a basket and thrown up to 
the blanket in order to rebound. According as they fall, or not. in proximity to 
partners selected, points are scored and stakes won. 

Navaho. Chin Lee. Arizona. (Cat. no. 3(521. Brooklyn Institute 

Museum. ) 
Three sticks, 3 inches in length, flat on one side and rounded on the 
One stick (figure i)3«). painted half black and half white on the 


Pig. 93 a, /*, c. Stick dice (for asbbii); 
length, 3 inches: Navaho Indians. Ari- 
zona; cat. no. 3621, Brooklyn Institute 

rounded side, the flat side black, 
is called tsi'i, head. Another ( fig- 
ure 93&), painted half red and 
half white, the flat side half black 
and half white, is called nezhi, and 
the third (figure 93<"), painted en- 
tirely red on the rounded side and 
black on the flat side is called 
tqelli. Three dice are employed in the game of ashbii. The 
are held together and tossed, ends upward, against the blanket 
the players. A basket is placed below and they do not count 

Fio. 94. 

Order of counts in game of ashbii: 
Navaho Indians, Arizona. 




Fi(i. 95. Stick dice: length. 8 inches: Navaho Indiana. New 
Mexico: cat. no. 1*5.57. United States National Museum. 

they fall into it. The counts are agreed upon in advance, and follow 

the order displayed in figure !)4. 

XavAho. Xew Mexico. ( Cat. no. 9557, United States National Mu- 

Set of three sticks of root of cottonwood, 8 inches in length, about IJ 

inches in breadth, 
and one-half inch 
in thickness, one 
side flat and black- 
ened, the other 
rounded and un- 
I^ainted (figure 
95 ) ; one stick tied 
near the end to 
prevent splitting. 
They show marks 
of continued use. Collected by Ur P^dward Palmer. 
As observed by the writer at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, 

the Navaho play on a circle of forty stones, throwing the staves ends 

down upon a flat stone j^laced in the center. Each player has a 

splint or twig to rejDresent him upon the board, and these are all 

placeil together at one 

of the four openings 

in the circle at the 

commencement of the 

game. The throws 

count as follows: 

Three round side up 

counts 10; three flat, 

5; two rounds and 

one flat. 0: one round 

and two flat, 0. The 

following vocabulary 

of the game was fur 

nished me by a Nav- 
aho at Chicago: The 

game, set-tilth; the 

staves, .set-tilth ; the 

circle of stones, sen-asti ; the stone in the center, a-cle-sane. 

Dr Washington Matthews" describes a game played by Navaho 

women under the name of tsidil or tsindil : 

The principal implements are three sticlis, which are thrown violoiitl.v. ends 

down, on a flat stone around which the gamblers sit. The sticks rebound so 

Fig. 9B. Navaho Indian women playing stick dice, St Michael. 
Arizona; from photograph by Rev. Berard Haile. 

' Navajo Legends, note i~, p. i!19, noston, 1.S97. 


DICE games: navaho 95 

well that they would fly far away were not a blanket stretched overhead to 
throw them back to the players. A number of small stones placed in the form 
of a square are used as counters. These are not moved, but sticks, whose posi- 
tions are changed according to the fortunes of the game, are placed between 
them. The rules of the game have not been recorded. 

Doctor Matthews tells," among the early events of the fifth or 
present world, that while they were waiting for the ground to dry 
the women erected four poles on which they stretched a deerskin, 
and under the shelter of this they played the game of three sticks, 
tsindi, one of the four games which they brought from the lower 

Navaiio. Arizona. (Cat. no. 62540, Field Columbian Museum.) 
Three flat blocks, 6 inches in length, one face painted with equal 
bands of green, blue, and red, and tlie other face half blue and 
half red. 

They were collected by Dr George A. Dorsey, who describes the 
game imder the name of sitih. 

The circle is senesti. The game is -10 and the counts are as follows; All with 
three bauds up count 5 ; all with two bands up, 10 ; one with three bands and 
two witli two bands, 2; two with three bands and one with two bands, 3: one 
with two bands and two with three bands. :!. 

Arizona. (Cat. no. 74735, United States National Museum.) 

Set of seven blocks of cedar wood, three-fourths of an inch in length, 
seven-sixteenths of an inch wide, and one-fourth of an inch 
thick (figure !)7) ; section hcniispherical. Six have flat sides 
blackened and one painted red; opposite unpainted. 
These were collected by Dr Washington Matthews, U. S. Army. 
The game was " j)layed with count- 
ers by women." 

Doctor Matthews ' describes an- 
other game similar to the above 
under the name of taka-thad-sata "^ 

or the thirteen chips: Fic. «7. Wooden dice; length, } inch; 

Tj. • T , -^i .. - . . . , Navaho Indians, Arizona; cat. no. 747;^, 

It IS played with tllirteen thin fl:,t United States National Museum. 
pieces of wood which are colored red on 

one side and left white or nncolored on the other. Success depends on the num- 
ber of chips which, being thrown upward, fall with their white sides up. 

In the gambling contest between Hastsehogan and Nohoilpi the 
animals came to the relief of the former, and in the game of taka- 

' " Navajo Legends, p. 77, Boston, 1897. 

■■ Ibid. The other games were dilkftn, played with two sticlis, each the length of an 
arm ; atsa. played with forked sticks and a ring ; and aspl'n. 

' Ibid. p. SX 

' Takathad-sfita was the first of four games played by the young Hastsehogan with 
the gambling god Nohoflpi. These four games are not the same as the four described 
as brought from the under world. They comprise, in addition, ninzoz, hoop and pole ; 
tsi'nbetsil, push on the wood, in which the contestants push on a tree until it is torn 
from its roots and falls, and tsol, ball, the object in which was to hit the ball so that 
it would fall beyond a certain line. 


thad-sata the Bat said: "Leave the game to me. I have made 
thirteen chips that are white on both sides. I will hide myself in the 
ceiling and when our champion throws up his chips I will grasp them 
and throw down my chips instead." The Bat assisted as he had 
promised the son of Hastsehogan. and the latter soon won the game. 
Xavaho. Keams Canyon, Arizona. 

Mr A. M. Stephen describes the following game in his unpub- 
lished manuscrijit ; 

Ta-ka sost-siti. seven cards, played with seven small chips about 1 inch in 
diameter, one red, bi-tu, on one side and marked with a cross, the other side 
blackened; six black on one side, hot-djilc, and uncolored on the other side. 
Thrown up from the hands, when one white side comes up, the one who has been 
shaking the dice wins, called iin-iiai ; when only one black disk is exposed, 
tai-klign; when the red one and all the rest white, ho-ka, a winning card for 
several amounts, it may be seven times the stal;es doubled ; when all are black 
except the red, it is called hot-dje-bi-tci. An even number of players are sought. 
It is a man's game: but women are also foiuid to play it, though only under 
protest from the men. 

Chin Lee. Arizona. (Brooklyn Institute Museum.) 

Cat. no. 3622. Seven wooden dice (figure '.>8a). flat on one side and 

rounded on the 
other, ends square: 
length, three-fourths 
of an inch. 
Cat. no. 3623. Seven 

Or^ m r~\ r^ r~\ Mh wooden dice (figure 

I 1 I J |c 98&), similar to the 

kj O' ^wJ l^ U^' 4!liy .,,^^^.^^ ,,,,^ circular: 

FiG.98n, 6, c. Three setsof wooden dice; lengths, J, liinches; -,• f . i ' 1 

Navaho Indians. Arizona; cat. n.i. 3622, 3623, and 3624, aiaineter, I lIlCll. 

Brooklyn Institute Museum. Cat. UO. 3624. Seveil 

wooden dice (figure !>8c). similar to the above, but oval: diame- 
ter, Ij inches. 
These dice are all painted black on the flat side, with six unpainted 
and one painted red on the convex side; made by a medicine man 
named Little Singer, who gave the name as dakha tsostsedi, seven 

Rev. Berard Haile describes the preceding game in a personal 
letter : - 

Da'ka tsostse'di. cards seven times or seventh card. There are four sets of 
chips of seven each. One set is flat on both sides, and square : another has round 
corners: another is flat below and round aljiive: and the other set ta|»ers to a 
point on both sides, with rounded back and a ridge in the center. Each of these 
sets has six chips, colored white or natural on one side, the other side being 
black. The seventh one is red and white and is called bichi', red, and c<mnts 
more than all the rest. These chips were made of oak or of a certain .species 
of wood easily polished after removing the bark, perhaps mahogany. The 
players usually carried four sets with them, together with a basket, in a pouch, 




from which I conclude it was small^ and threw them up. However, they played 
with only one set at a time, viz., seven chips, either round or flat ones. Accord- 
ingly as the color of the chips faced the ground, points were scored. Six white 
and the seventh red won the game, while all blacks did not score as much. 

Frank Walker, one of F'ather Berard's interpreters, recognized the 
name taka-thad-sata, or thirteen cards, given by Doctor Matthews as 
that of a similar game which is so called in legends, but said that 
daka tsostsedi is more generally known and spoken of. 

Sekaxi. British Columbia. 

Sir Alexander Mackenzie" gives the following description of the 
game of the platter. 

The instruments of it consist of a platter or dish made of wood or bark and six 
round or square but flat pieces of metal, wood, or stone, whose sides or surfaces 
are of different colors. These are put into the dish, and after lieing for some 
time shaken together are thrown into the air and received again in the dish with 
considerable dexterity, when by the number that are turned up of the same 
mark or color the game is regulated. If there should be equal numbers the 
throw is not reckoned: if two or four, tlie platter changes hands, 

Takilli. Stuart lake, Britisli Columbia. 
The Reverend Father A, G. Moi-ice '' wrote: 

A third chance game was proper to the women and was jilayed witli l)Utton- 
like pieces of bone. 

It was based on the same primiple as dice. and. in common with atlih. it has 
long fallen into disuse. Its name is atiyi'b. 


Beothuk. Newfoundland, 

From colored drawings of ancient bone disks attributed to the 
Beothuk, and presented to the United States National Museum by 
Lady Edith Blake, of Kingston, Jamaica, it would appear that this 
tribe may have used gaming disks resembling those of the Micmac. 


Arikara, North Dakota, (Cat, no, G342, ()3.55, United States Na- 
tional Museum,) 

Set of eight plum stones!, jilain on one side, with marks burned on the 
other, as shown in figure 99. Four have stars on a burnt 
ground; two, circular marks; two are entirely burned over. 
Basket of woven grass. 7 inches in diameter at the top and 2 
inches deep (catalogued as from the Grosventres) . Collected 
by Dr C. C. Gray and Mr Matthew F. Stevenson. 

" Voyages from Montreal, p. 142, London, ISOl. 

" Xotes on Western r>enes. Transactions of tbe Canadian Institute, v. 4, p. SI, Toronto, 

24 ETH — 05 M 7 



H. M. Brackenridge," referring to the Arikara, states: 

In the evening, about sundown, the women cease from their labors and collect 
in little knots, and amuse themselves with a game something like jackstones : 

Ave pebbles are tossed up in a small bas- 
ket, with which they endeavor to catch them 
again as the.v fall. 

It seems hardly necessary to point out 
that he failed to comprehend the object 

Pig. H9. Plum-stone dice: diameter, H 
inch; Arikara Indians. North Da- 
kota; cat. no. 635.5, United States 
National Museum. 

of the game. 

(Field Colum- 

C-\DDO. Oklahoma. 

bian Museum.) 
Cat. no. 5936fi. Four slips of cane 
(figure 100), f>i inches in length, three painted red on the inside 
and one black. 
Cat. no. .5937-2. Four slips of cane (figure 101). Hi inches in length, 
painted black on the inner side. 

Fig. KIO. 

Pig. 102. 

Fig. 101. 

Fig. 100. Cane dice; length, 6i inches; Caddo Indians, Oklahoma; cat. no. .')93»j, Field Columbian 

Fk;. 101. Cane dice: length. Hi inches; Caddo Indians, Oklahoma; cat, no. 59372, Field Colum- 
bian Museum. 

Flu. 102. Cane dice board and counting sticks; length of canes, "i inches; length of board, 11 
inches: length of counters. 8J inches: Caddo Indians, Oklahoma; cat. no. 59370, Field Colum- 
bian Museum. 

Cat. no. 59370. Four slips of cane. 7| inches in length, painted on 
the inside; one yellow, one red, one blue, one green; with a flat 
rectangular board, 3J by 11 inches, with incised and painted 

•■ Views of Louisiana, together with a Journal of a Vojage up the Mis.souri River, In 
1811, p. 251, Pittsburg, 1814. 


designs, on which the canes are thrown, and eight counting sticks, 
8| inches in length (figure 102). Collected by Dr George A. 
Pawnee. Nebraska. 

Mr John B. Dunbar says : " 

The women also were addicted to games of chance, though with them the 
stakes were usually trifliug. The familiar game with plum stones, suk'-u, and 
another, luk'-ta-kit-au'-i-cuk-u, played with a bundle of parti-colored rods about 
a foot in length, were much in vogue among them. 

Oklahoma. (Field Columbian Museum.) 

Cat. no. 59522. Set of four stick dice, made of slips of cane, 8 inches 
in length, entirely plain. 

Cat. no. 59413. Set of four stick dice, made of slips of cane, 12^ 
inches in length, curved sides plain, concave sides painted, two 
red and two green. 

Cat. no. 59519. Set of dice, similar to the above, 13^ inches in length, 
one with concave side painted red and having an incised line 
painted red on the conve.x side; one with concave side blue and 
a line with feather-like marks on the reverse; one with concave 
side yellow, and an incised line painted yellow on the reverse,, 
and one with the concave side painted white, with a long un- 
painted line with a cross mark on the reverse. 

Fig. Va. Vhuu dice; length, 16J inches; Pawuee Indians, Oklahoma; cat. no. 5ft523, Field Colum- 

hian Museum. 

Cat. no. 59523. Set of dice, similar to the jDreceding, 16^ inches in 
length (figure 103). Insides painted yellow, red, green, and 
plain, and three crosses incised on reverse. Each has a feather 
attached by a thong at one end. 

Cat. no. 59415. Four sticks (figure 104), 8 J inches in length, one 
side rounded and burned with marks, as shown in the figure, 
the other flat with a groove jjainted red. Accompanied with a 
square of buffalo hide, 27 by 32 inches, marked in black with two 
rows of eight lines, a row on each side, each with seven divisions, 
on which the bets are laid. 

» The Pawnee Indians. Magazine of American History, v. 8, p. 751, New York, 1882. 


Cat. no. 59412. Set of four wooden dice (figure 105). 9 Indies in 
lengtli. one side convex and marked with incised black lines, as 
shown in figure. The reverse grooved, three painted red and 
plain, and one black and mai-ked with cross lines at the end and 
middle. Accompanied by a tablet of sandstone (figure 106), 4 
inches square, marked with incised lines, and four counting 
sticks, 7 inches in length, painted red, and twelve, 9 inches in 
length, painted yellow (figure 107). 

Fig. 105. 

Fig. 107. - 

Fig. 1M. Stick-dice game; length of dice, Si inches; length of hide, 32 inches; Pawnee Indians, 
Oklahoma; cat. no. 59415, Field Columbian Museum. 

Fig. 105. Stick dice; length, 9 inches; Pawnee Indians, Oklahoma; cat. no. .511412, Field Colum- 
bian Museum. 

Fig. 106. Stone tablet for stick dice; 4 inches square; Pawnee Indians, Oklahoma; cat. no. 59412, 
Field Columbian Museum. 

Fig. 107. Counting sticks for stick dice; length, 9 and 7 inches: Pawnee Indians, Oklahoma: 
cat. no. 59412, Field Columbian Museum. 

Cat. no. 59419. Rattan basket (figure lOS), ^ inches in diameter: 
six peach-stone dice, three burned entirely black on one side, 
three with crosses on one side, the reverse plain, and four red, 
four green, and four yellow counting sticks, all 1'2 inches in 
A number of other peach and plum-stone dice in the same collec- 
tion are in sets of six, two kinds in each set, all plain on one face 
and marked, three alike, on the other, chiefly with stars. 

All of the above were collected in 1901 by Dr George A. Dorsey. 
Pawnee. Pawnee reservation. Oklahoma. (Cat. no. 707-21. Field 
Columbian Museum.) 


DICE games: pawnee 


Set of six plum-stone dice (figure- 109), tiiree small, burned black on 
one side, and three large, with a light longitudinal curved band 
with seven dots on one side, reverses plain; accompanied by a 
flat basket of twined rattan, 9 inches in diameter. Collected bj^ 
Dr George A. Dorsey. 
In the tale of Scabby Bull, Doctor Dor- 
sey describes the marking of a set of 
six magic plum stones for the woman's 
game : 

One of the stones had a new moon pictured 
on it, and a little black star on the decorated ^ d ^ t^ i) i) 

side. The next stone bore a half moon in black. 
The next stone was decorated with a full 
moon ; the next one had upon it one great star, 
which I'eached from one point of the stone to 
the other. The next stone had two stars 
painted upon it, wliiie the last one had seven 
stars painted upon it. .\ccording to the people, 
the man took the stones outside, held them up, 
and through the power of the moon and stars p,„ j,^ Peach-stone dice, basket, and 
the stones were painted black." counters; diameter of basket, 8}. 

inches; length of counters. 13 inches; 

In reply to a letter addressed by the Pawnee Indians, Oklahoma; cat. no. 

writer to"Dr George Bird Grinnell, of 59419, Field Columbian Museum. 
New York City, he kindly wrote the following account of what the 
Pawnee call the seed game : 

I have seen this game played among the Pawnee, Arikara. and Che.venne, and 
substantially the same way everywhere. The Pawnee do not use a bowl to 

throw the seeds, but hold them in a flat 
wicker basket alwnit the size and shape 
of an ordinary tea plate. The woman 
who makes the throw holds the basket 
in front of her, close to the ground, 
gives the stones a sudden toss into the 
air, and then moves the basket smartly 
down against the ground, and the stones 
fall into it. They are not thrown high, 
but the movement of the basket is 
quick, and it is brou.ght down hard on 
the ground, so that the sound of the 
slapping is easily heard. The plum stones are always five in number, blackened 
and variously marked on one side. The women who are gambling sit in a line 
opposite to one another, and usually each woman bets with the one sitting 
opposite her, and the |)oints are counted liy sticks placed on the ground between 
them, the wager always being on the game and not on the different throws. 
It is exclusively, so far as I know, a woman's game, 

Z. M, Pike " says : 

The third game alluded to, is that of la platte, described by various travelers, 

» Traditions of the Skidi Pawnee, p, 235, New York, 1904. 

"An account of an Expedition to the Sources of the Mississippi, .Appendix to part 2, 
p. 16, Philadelphia, 1810. 

Fig. 109. Plum-stone dice; Pawnee Indians, 
Oklahoma: cat. no. 7aT:Jl, Field Columbian 





and is played by the women, children, and old men, who, like grasshoppers, crawl 
out to the circus to bask in the sun, probably covered only with an old buffalo 

Wichita. Wichita reservation, 
Oklahoma. (Cat. no. 59350, 
Field Columbian Museum.) 
Four split canes (figure 110), 6 
inches in length, the outer faces 
plain, the inner sides colored; 
Pig. 110. stickdice;iengtii,6inches;Wich- three red, one green. Collected 

ita Indians, Wichita reservation, Okla- i t-v /^ * -r\ 

homa; cat. no. 59.350, Field Columbian by Dr Gcorge A. DorsCJ. 



Eskimo (Central, Aivilirmiut, and Kinipetu). Keewatin. 

Dr Franz Boas describes the following game played with bones 
from seal flippers : " 

Each bone represents a certain animal or an old or young person. They are 
divided into two equal parts. One bone is picked up from each pile, held up a 
few inches, and then let drop. Should one land right side up, it is looked upon 
as though it had thrown the other down in a fight. The one which fell wrong 
side up is then set aside, and another from the same pile is tried with the suc- 
cessful one in this way. This is carried on until one side wins. Then the last 
bone to win is called the bear, being strongest of all. The player who has lost 
the game so far takes the bone, holds it up to his forehead, and lets it drop. 
If it should land right side up, it is looked upon as though the bear has thrown 
him. Otherwise be is stronger 
than the bear. Children also use 
these bones for playing house. 

Eskimo (Central). Fro- 
bisher bay, Franklin. 

Captain Charles Franklin 
Hall " says : 

They have a variety of games of 
their own. In one of these they 
use a number of bits of ivory 
made in the form of ducks, etc. 

■ Cumberland sound, Franklin. (Cat. no. ^ff^, ^xH, Amer- 
ican Museum of Natural History.) 

Doctor Boas figures three ivory dice (figure 111) in the form of 
women, and one representing a bird.'' Collected by Capt. James S. 

Elsewhere ^ Doctor Boas says : 

A game similar to dice, called tingmiu.iang — i. e., images of birds — is fre- 

» Esljimo of Baffin Land and Hudson Bay. Bulletin of American Museum of Natural 
Hlstoiw. V. l.'i. p. 112, New York. 1901. 

'' Arctic Researches, p. .570. New York, isfio. 

" Eskimo of Baffin Land and Hudson Bay. Bulletin of American Museum of Natural 
History, v. 10, p. 54, New York, 1001. 

' The Central Eskimo. Sixth .\nniml Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, p. 567, 1888. 

Fig. 111. Ivory dice in form of women and bird; 
Central Eskimo, Cumberland sound, Franklin; 
cat. no. jj},, 3J55, American Museum of Natural 
History; from Boas. 




quently played. A set of about fifteen figures, like those represented in figure 
522, belong to this game ; some representing birds, others men and women. The 
players sit around a board or piece of leather and the figures are shaken in the 
hand and thrown upward. On falling, some stand upright, others lie flat on 
the back or on the side. Those standing upright belong to that player whom 

Fig. 112. Game of *' fox and geese." Yuit Eskiiiii). Plover bay. Siberia; from Slurd 


they face: sometimes they are so thrown that they all lielong to the one that 
tossed them up. The players throw by turns until the last figure is taken up, 
the one getting the greatest number of figures being the winner. 

Mr John Murdoch " describes similar objects which he purchased 
at Plover bay, eastern Siberia, in 1881 (figure 112). They were sup- 
posed to be merely works of art. Referring to the account given by 
Doctor Boas of their use as a game, he says : 

It is therefore quite likely they were used for a similar purpose at Plover 
bay. If this be so, it is a remark- 
able iiointof similarity between these 
widely separated Eskimos, for I can 
learn nothing of a similar custom at 
any intermediate point. 

Fig. U.S. Ivory water birds and seal; Western 
Eskimo, St Lawrence island, Alaska; cat. no. 
634,57, United States National Museum. 

In the United States National 
Museum (cat. no. 63457) there 
is a set of carved water birds 
and a seal (figure 113) collected 
from the Eskimo at St Law- 
rence island, Alaska, by Mr E. W. Nelson, in 1882. He informs me, 
through Prof. Otis T. Mason, that he never saw the flat-bottomed 
geese and other creatures used in a game, and all of his specimens 
are perforated and used as pendants on the bottom of personal orna- 
ments and parts of clothing. 

Prof. Benjamin Sharp, of the Academy of Natural Sciences of 
Philadelphia, tells me that he saw the carved water birds used as a 
game, being tossed and allowed to fall by Eskimo at St Lawrence 
bay, Siberia. 

» Ethnological Results of the Point Barrow Expedition. 
Bureau of Ethnology, p. .364. 1892. 

Ninth Annual Report of the 



Flo. 114. Phalanges of seal used in game: 
length, IJ to '3 inches; Western Eskimo, Point 
Barrow, Alaska; cat. no. 41M41, Free Museum 
of Science and Art. University <-if Pennsyl 

In reply to my inquiry in reference to the use of such objects in 
games bj' the Arctic Highlanders of Greenland, Mr Henry G. Bryant 
writes me that small images of birds are rare among them, although 
representations of men, women, walrus, seal, bears, and dogs are part 
of the domestic outfit of every well-regulated family." 

I understand that the leg bones of the arctic fox are sometimes tied together 
on a string, and at times tliese are thrown up and their position noted when 
striliing the ground. Perhaps they attach a significance to tlie position (if the 

fo.\ liones, which may be analogous to 
the practice of using wooden <ir bone 
dice by other tribes. 

Eskimo (Western). Point 

Barrow, Alaska. ( Cat. 

no. 41840, 41841, Free 

Museum of Science and 

Art, University of 


Two sets, each of twenty -five 

metatarsal bones (figure 

114) of the seal (five sets 

from as many sets of flippers), employed in a game called inugah. 

These were collected by Mr E. A. Mcllhenny. The following 

account of the game is given by the collector: 

Played by men and women during the winter months. Two persons play, 
dividing the flft.v bones lietween them, one takin.g twenty-five from a right flipper 
and the other twenty-five from a left. The first player lets 
all his bones fall, and those which fall with the condylar 
surface upward are withdrawn. The other player then lets 
his bones fall and withdraws those which fall with the con- 
dylar surface upward in the same way. Then the first drops 
his remainder, and the game proceeds until one or the other 
has withdrawn all his bones and becomes the winner. An- 
other game is pla.ved by two pla.vers, each with a single 
metatarsal bone, the one represented in the foreground of fig- 
ure 114 being selected preferably. The two players hold the 
bone aloft at the same time and let it fall on a skin on the 
floor from a distance of 2 feet. If both bones fall alike, the 
play is a draw. If one falls with the condylar surface upward, its owner wins 
and takes the other one. The game is continued in the same way until the 
bones of one or the other pla.ver are exhausted. 

Island of Kodiak, Alaska. 

Capt. Uriy Lissiansky '' says : 

There is another favorite game called stopka [figure lir>l, whicli is a small 
figure cut out of bone. It is thrown.up into the air, and if it falls on its bottom 
2 are counted ; if on its back, .3, and if on its belly, 1 only. This game consists 
in gaining 20, which are also marked with short sticks. 

" Mr Bryant states that these miniature figures, which are made of ivory, are employed 
to teach children the arts of the chase. 

'A Voyage Round the World, p. 211, London, 1814. 

Fig. 115. Bone die 
(Stopka): West- 
ern Eskimo, Ko- 
diak, Alaska; 
from Lissiansky. 



Cauohnawaga. Quebec. 

Col. James Smith " describes a game resembling dice or hustle cap: 

They put a number of plum stones in a small bowl ; one side of each stone is 
black and the other white ; then they shake or liustle the bowl, calling hits, hits, 
hits, honesy, honesy, rajjo, raRo, whi<'h signifies calling for white or black or 
what they wish to turn up; they then turn the howl and count the whites and 

Cherokee. North Carolina. 

I am informed by Mrs Starr Hayes that the Cherokee play a game 
in a flat square basket of cane, like the lid of a market basket, with 
colored beans, under the name of black eye and white eye. 

The shallow basket used is 1* feet square. The beans are colored butter 
beans, a variety of lima, and those selected are dark on one side and white on 
the other. Twelve beans are kept as counters. Six others are put in the 
basket, as they come, and the players, who are four in number, and each two 
partners, play in turn. The basket is held in both hands, slightly shaken, and 
then with a jerk the beans are tossed in the air. If all turn black. 2 are taken 
from the counters; if all turn white, 3 are taken. If but one turns up white, 1 
is taken from the twelve. When they turn five white, 1 only is taken. The 
game is played three or si.x times weekly. Whoever gets twelve beans has the 
CoNESTOGA. "Western Pennsylvania and southern New York. 

Loskiel ** gives the following account: 

The Indians are naturally given to gambling, and frequently risk their arms, 
furniture, clothes, and all they possess to gratify this passion. The chief game 
of the Iroquois and Delawares is dice, which, indeed, originated with them. The 
dice are made of oval and flattish plum stones, painted black on one and yellow 
on the other side. Two persons only can play at one time. They put the dice 
into a dish, which is raised alternately liy eai-h gambler and struck on the table 
or floor with force enough to make the dice rise and change their position, when 
he who has the greater number of winning color counts 5, and the first who has 
the good fortune to do this eight times wins the game. The spectators seem in 
great agitation during the game, and at every chance that appears decisive cry 
out with great vehemence. The gamblers distort their features, and if unsuc- 
cessful mutter their displeasure at the dice and the evil spirits who prevent their 
good fortune. Sometimes whole townships, and even whole tribes, play against 
each other. One of the missionaries happened to be present when two Iroquois 
townships, having got together a number of goods, consisting of blankets, <'loth, 
shirts, linen, etc., gambled for them. The game lasted eight day.s. They assem- 
bled every day, and every inhabitant of each township tossed the dice once. 
This being done and the chance of each person noted down, they parted for the 
day; but each township offered a sacrifice in the evening to insure success to 
their party. This was done by a man going several times around the fire, throw- 
ing toliacco into it, and singing a song. Afterward the whole company danced. 
When the appointed time for the game was at an end they compared notes, and 
the winner bore away the spoil in triumph. 

' An Account of the Remarkable Occurrences in the Life and Travels of Col. James 

Smith, p. 46. Cincinnati, 1870. 

'• Oeorge Henry Losljiel, History of the Mission of tiie United Brethren among the 
Indians in North America, pt. 1. p. 106, London, 1794. 


Huron. Detroit, Michigan. 

Charlevoix" gives the following account: 

As I returned through a quarter of the Huron village I saw a company of 
these savages, who appeared very eager at play. I drew near and saw they 
were playing at the game of the dish [jeu ilu plat]. This is the game of which 
these people are fondest. At this they sometimes lose their rest, and in some 
measure their reason. At this game they hazard all they possess, anl many 
do not leave off till they ai'e almost stripped quite naked and till they have 
lost all they have in their cahins. Some have heen known to stake their lib- 
erty for a time, which fully proves their passion for this game, for there are 
no men in the world more jealous of their lil)ert.v than the savages. 

The game of the dish, which they also call the game of the little bones [.jeu 
des osselets], is played by tsvo persons only. Each has six or eight little 
bones, which at first I took for apricot stones — the.v are that shajie and bigness. 
But upon viewing them closely I perceived they had six unequal surfaces, the 
two principal of which are painted, one black and the other white inclined to 
yellow. They make them jump up by striking the ground or the table with 
a round and hollow dish, which contains them and which they twirl round 
first. When they have no dish they throw the bones up in the air with their 
hands ; if in falling they come all of one color, he who plays wins 5. The game 
is 40 up, and they subtract the numbers gained by the adverse party. Five 
bones of the same color win only 1 for the first time, hut the second time they 
win the game. A less number wins nothing. 

He that wins the game continues playing. The lo.ser gives his |)lace to 
another, who is named by the markers of his side, for tlie.v make the parties at 
first, and often the whole village is concerned in the game. Oftentimes, also, 
one village plays against another. Each party chooses a marker, but he with- 
draws when he pleases, which never happens except when his party loses. At 
every throw, especially if it happens to be decisive, they set up great shouts. 
The players appear like people possessed, and the spectators are not more calm. 
They all make a thousand contortions, talk to tlie bones, load the spirits of the 
adverse partj' with imprecations, and the whole vill.age echoes with bowlings. 
If all this does not recover their luck, the losers may put off the party till the 
next day. It costs them only a small treat to the company. Then they pre- 
pare to return to the engagement. Each invokes his genius and throws some 
tobacco in the fire in his honor. They ask him above all things for lucky 
dreams. As soon as day appears they go again to play, but if the losers fancy 
the goods in their cabins made them unlucky, the first thing they do is to 
change them all. The great parties commonly last five or six days, and often 
continue all night. In the meantime, as all the persons present — at least, those 
who are concerned in the game — are in agitation that deprives them of reason, 
as they quarrel and fight, which never happens among savages but on these 
occasions and in drunkenness, one may judge if. when they have done playing. 
they do not want rest. 

It sometimes happens that these parties of play are made by order of the 
physician or at the request of the sick. There is needed for this purpose 
nothing more than a dream of one or the other. This dream is always taken 
for the order of some spirit, and they prepare themselves for the game with a 
great deal of care. They assemble for several nights to make trial and to see 
who has the luckiest hand. They consult their genii, they fast, the married 
persons observe continence, and all to obtain a favorable dream. Every morn- 
ing they relate what dreams they have had and all the things they have 

" Journal fl'un Voyage dans r.\m^riqup Septentrfonnalp. v. ."?, p. 260. Paris. 1744. 


dreamt of which they think lucl<y, and they mal<e a collection of all and put 
them into little bags, which thej- carry about with them, and if anyone has the 
reputation of being lucky — that is, in the opinion of these people of having a 
familiar spirit more powerful or more inclined to do good — they never fall to 
make him keep near the one who holds the dish. They even go a great way 
sometimes to fetch him, and if through age or any infirmit.v he can not walk 
the,v will carry him on their shoulders. 

They have often pressed the missionaries to be present at these games, as 
they believe their guardian genii are the most powerful. 

Nicolas Perrot " says : 

The savages have also a sort of game of dice, the box of which is a wooden 
plate, well rounded and well polished on both sides. The dice are made of six 
small flat pieces of bone, about the size of a plum stone. They are all alike, 
having one of the faces colored black, red. green, or blue, and the other gen- 
erally painted white or any difterent color from the first-mentioned face. They 
throw these dice in the plate, holding the two edges, and un lifting it they make 
them Jump and turn therein. .Vfter having struck the dish on the cloth they 
strike themselves at the same time heavy blows on the chest and shoulders 
while the dice turn about, crying " Dice, dice, dice " until the dice have stopped 
moving. When they find five or six showing the same color they take the 
gains which have been agreed upon with the opposite party. If the loser and 
his comrades have nothing more to play with, the winner takes all that is on the 
game. Entire villages have been seen gambling away their p issossions. one 
against the other, on this game, and ruining themselves thereat. They also 
challenge to a decision by one throw of the die, and when it happens that a 
party tlmiws 6 all those of the tribe that bet on hiiu get up and dance in 
cadence to the noise of gourd rattles. All passes without dispute. The women 
and girls also play this game, but they often use eight dice and do not use a 
dice box like the men. They only use a blanket, and throw them on with the 

Gabriel Sagard Theodat '' says : 

The men are addicted not only to the game of reeds, which they call aescara, 
with three or four hundred small white reeds cut equally to the length of a foot, 
but are also addicted to other kinds of games, as for instance, taking a large 
wooden platter with five or six plum stones or small balls somewhat flattened, 
about the size of the end of the little finger, and painted black on one side and 
white or yellow on the other. They squat all around In a circle and take each 
his turn in taking hold of the platter with both hands, which they keep at a little 
distance from the floor, and bring the platter down somewhat roughl.v. so as to 
make the balls move about ; they take it as in a game of dice, observing on which 
side the stones lie. whether it goes against them or for them. The one who holds 
the platter says continually while striking it. " Tet. tet. tet." thinking that this 
may excite and influence the game in his favor. 

For the ordinary game of women and girls, at times joined by men and boys, 
five or six stones are used ; for instance, those of apricots, black on one side and 
yellow on the other, which they hold in their hands as we do dice, throwing the 
stones a little upward, and after they have fallen on the skin which serves them 
as a carpet they see what the result is, and continue to play for the necklaces, 
ear ornaments, and other small articles of their companions, but never for gold 

° M^moire sur les Moeurs, Coustumes et RelUgion des Sauvages de l*Am€rique Septen- 
trlonale, p. 50, Leipzig. 1864. 

' Histoire du Canada, p. 24.3. Paris. 1866. 


or silver coin, because they do not know the use of it, since in trade the.v harter 
one thing for another. 

I must not forget to mention that in some of their villages they play what 
we call in France porter les monions, carry the challenge. They send a chal- 
lenge to other villages to come and play against them, winning their utensils. 
If they can, and meanwhile the feasting does not stop, because at the least 
inducement the kettle is on the fire, especially in winter time, at which time they 
especially feast and amuse themselves in order to pass the hard sea.son 

Father Louis Hennepin " says in describing games of the Indians: 

They have games for men, for the women, and for the children. The most 
common for men are with certain fruits, which have seeds black on one side 
and red on the other ; they put them in a wooden or bark platter on a blanket, 
a great coat, or a dressed-skin mantle. Tliere are six or eight players. But 
there are only two who touch the platter alternately with both hands ; they 
raise it, and then strike the bottom of the platter on the ground, by this shaking 
to mix up the six seeds, then if they come five red or black, turned on the same 
side, this is only one throw gained, because they usually play several throws 
to win the game, as they agree among them. All those who are in the game 
play one after another. There are some so given to this game that they will 
gamble away even their great coat. Those who conduct the game cry at the 
top of their voice when they rattle the platter, and they strike their shoulders 
so hard as to leave them all black with the blows. 

The Baron La Hontan *" says : 

Another game whicli is hazard and chance is i>erformVl with eight little 
stones, which are black on one side and white on the other. They're put on 
n plate which they lay on the ground, throwing the little stones up in the air, 
and if they fall so as to turn up the black side, 'tis good luck. The odd number 
wins, and eight whites or blacks wins double, but that happens but seldom. 

Marc Lescarbot <■ says: 

I will add here, as one of the customs of our savages, games of chance, of 
which they are so fond that sometimes the.v bet all the.y have ; and Jaques Quar- 
tier writes the same of those of Canada at the time he was there. I have seen 
one sort of game that they have, but not then thinking to write this I did not 
pa.v much attention to it. They place a certain number of beans, colored and 
painted on one side, in a platter, and having spread a skin on the ground, 
play upon it. striking the platter on the skin and by this means the before- 
mentioned beans jump into the air and do not all fall on the colored part, and 
in this is the hazard, and according to the game they have a certain number 
of stalks of rushes which they distribute to the winner in order to keep score. 

Jean de Brebeiif "^ says: 

The game of dish is also in great renown in affairs of medicine, especially 
if the sick man has dreamed of it. The game is jmrely one of chance. They 
jilay it with six plum stones, white on one side and black on the other, in a 
dish that they strike very roughly against the ground, so that the plum stones 
leap up and fall, sometimes on one side and sometimes on the other. The game 

" A Description of Louisiana, p. 300, New York, 1880. 
* New Voyages to North-America, v. 2. p. 18. London. 1703. 
<* Histoire de la Noiivelle France, p. 788, Paris, 1609. 

' Relation of 1036. The .Tesuit Relations and .Vllied Documents, v. 10, p. 187, (Meve- 
lantl, 1807. 


consists in tlirowing all white or all black : they usuallir l''!>y village against 
village. All the i)eopIe gather in a cabin, and tliey (iis[)Ose themselves on poles, 
arranged as high as the roof, along both sides. The sicli man is brought in a 
blanket, and that man of the village who is to shake the dish (for there is only 
one mat! on each side set apart for the pur(), he, I sa.v, walks behind, his 
head and face wrapped in his garment. They bet heavily on both sides. When 
the man of the opposite party takes the dish, they cry at the top of their voice 
achiuc. achinc, achinc, three, three, three, or, perhaps, ioio, ioio, ioio, wishing him 
to throw onl.v three white or three black. You might have seen this winter a 
great crowd returning from here to their villages, having lost their moccasins at 
a time when there was nearly three feet of snow, apparentl.v as cheerful, never- 
theless, as if the.v had won. The most remarkable thing I notice in regard to 
this matter is the disposition they bring to It. There are some who fast several 
days before playing. The evening before they all meet together in a cabin, 
and make a feast to find out what will be the result of the game. The one 
chosen to hold the dish takes the stones, and puts them promiscuously into a 
dish, and covers it so as to prevent an.vone from putting his hand into it. That 
done, they sing; the song over, the dish is uncovered, and the plum stones are 
found all white or all black. .\t this point I asked a savage if those against 
whom they were to play did not do the same on their side, and if they might 
not find the plum stones in the same condition. He said the.v did. "And yet," 
said I to him. " all can not win ; " to that he knew not how to answer. He 
informed me besides of two remarkable things: lu the first place, that they 
choose to handle the dish some one who has dreamed that he could win, or 
who had a charm ; moreover, those who have a charm do not conceal it. and 
carry it everywhere with them ; we have, they tell me. one of these in our 
village, who rubs the plum stones with a certain ointment and hardly ever 
fails to win ; secondly, that in making the attempt, some of the plum stones 
disajjpear, and are found some time after in the dish with the others. 

Bacqueville de la Potherie " says : 

The women sometimes play at platter, but their ordinar.v game is to throw 
fruit stones with the hands, as one plays with dice. When they have thrown 
their stones in the air. they move their arms as if making gestures of admira- 
tion, or driving away Hies. They say nothing, one hears almost nothing, but 
the men cry like people who fight. They speak only in saying black! black! 
white! white! and from time to time they make great clamorings. The women 
have onl.v this kind of game. Children play at cross, never or rarel.y at platter. 

Teaiiaustayae, Ontario. 

Father Lalemant '' says: 

One of the latest fooleries that has occurred in this village was in behalf of a 
sick man of a neighboring village, who, for his health, dreamed, or received 
the order from the physician of the country, that a game of dish should be played 
for him. He tells it to the captains, who immediately assemble the council, 
fix the time, and choose the village that they must invite for this purpose — and 
that village is ours. An envo.v from that place is sent hither to make the propo- 
sition ; it is accepted, and then preparations are made on lioth sides. 

This game of dish consists in tossing some stones of the wild plum in a wooden 
dish — each being white on one side and black on the other — whence there ensues 
loss or gain, according to the laws of the game. 

" HIstorie de I'Am^rique Septentrionale, v. 3, p. 23, Paris, 1722. 

" Relation of 1639. The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents, v. 17. p. 201, Cleve- 
land, 1898. 


It is beyond my power to picture the diligence and activity of our barbarians 
in preparing themselves and in seeking all the means and omens for good luck 
and success in their game. They assemble at night and spend the time partly in 
shaking the dish and ascertaining who has the best hand, partly in displaying 
their charms and exhorting them. Toward the end they lie down to sleep in the 
same cabin, having previously fasted, and for some time abstained from their 
wives, and all this to have some favorable dream ; in the morning, they have to 
relate \Ahat happened during the night. 

Finally, they collect all the things which they have dreamed can bring good 
luck, and fill pouches with them in order to carr.v them. They search every- 
where, besides, for those who have charms suitable to the game, or ascwandies or 
familiar demons, that these may assist the one who holds the dish, and be 
nearest to him when he shakes it. If there be some old men whose presence is 
regarded as elHcacious in augmenting the strength and virtue of their charms, 
they are not satisfied to take the charms to them, but sometimes even to load 
these men themselves upon the shoulders of the young men, to be carried to the 
place of assembly, and inasmuch as we pass in the country for master sorcerers, 
they do not fail to admonish us to begin our i>rayers and to jierform many cere- 
monies, in order to make them win. They have no sooner arrived at the appointed 
place than the two parties take their places on opposite sides of the cabin and 
fill it from top to bottom, above and below the andichons, which are sheets of 
bark making a sort of canopy for a bed, or shelter, which corresponds to that 
below, which rests upon the ground, upon which they sleep at night. It is placed 
upon poles laid and suspended the whole length of the cabin. The two players 
are in the middle, with their assistants, who hold the charms : each of those in 
the assembly bets against whatever other person he chooses, and the game 

It is then every one begins to pray or mutter. I know not what words, with 
gestures and eager motions of the hands, eyes, and the whole face, all to attract 
to himself good luck and to exhort their demons to take courage and not let 
themselves be tormented. 

Some are deputed to utter execrations and to make precisely contrary 
gestures, with the purpose of driving ill luck back to the other side and of 
imjiarting fear to the demon of the opponents. 

This game was played several times this winter, all over the country ; but I 
do not know how it has happened that the people of the villages where we have 
residences have always been unlucky to the last degree, and a certain village 
lost 30 porcelain collars, each of a thousand beads, which are in this country 
equal to what you would call in France 50,000 pearls, or pistoles. But this is not 
all : for. hoping alwaj's to regain what the.y have once lost, they stake tobacco 
jiouches. robes, shoes, and leggins, in a word, all they have. So that if ill luck 
attack them, as happened to these, they return home naked as the hand, having 
sometimes lost even their clouts. 

They do not go away, however, until the ii.-itient lias thanked them for the 
health he has recovered through their help, always professing himself <-ured 
at the end of all these fine ceremonies, although frequently he does not do this 
long afterward in this world. 

Mohawk. New York. 

Bruyas " in his radical words of the Mohawk language, written in 
the latter part of the seventeenth century, gives under atnenha^ 

» Rev. Jacques Bruyas, Radices Verborum Iroquseorum, p. 37, New York, 1862. 


noyau, stone of a fruit, the compounds " tSatnenhaSinneton. jouer 
avec des noyaux comme sont les femmes. en les jettant avec la main, 
and tSatennaSeron. y jouer au plat." 
Onondaga. New York. 

Rev. W. M. Beauchamp " states : 

Among the Onondaga now eight bones or stones are used, black on one side 
and white on the other. They term the game ta-you-nyun-wSt-hah. or finger 
shaker, and from 100 to 300 beans form the pool, as may be agreed. With 
them it is also a household game. In playing this the pieces are raised in the 
hand and scattered, the desired result being indifferently white or black. 
Essentially, the counting does not differ from that given by Morgan. Two 
white or two black will have si.\ of one color, and these count 2 beans, called 
o-yfi-ah. or the bird. The player proceeds until he loses, when his opponent 
takes his turn. Seven white or black gain 4 beans, called o-neo-sah, or pump- 
kin. All white or all black gain 20. called o-hen-tah. or a field. These are all 
that draw anything, and we may indifferently say with the Onondaga two 
white or black for the first, or six with the Seneca. The game is played singly 
or by partners, and there is no limit to the number. Usually there are three 
or four players. 

In counting the gains there is a kind of ascending reduction; for as two 
birds make one pumpliin. only one bird can appear in the result. First come 
the twenties, then the fours, then the twos, which can occur but once. Thus 
we may say for twenty. jo-han-t6-tah, you have one field or more, as the case 
may be. In the fours we can only say ki-yae-ne-you-s&h-ka, you have four 
pumpkins, for five would make a field. For two beans there Is the simple 
announcement of o-yii-ah, bird. . . . 

The game of peach stones, miich more commonly used and important, has a 
more public character, although I have played it in an Indian parlor. In early 
days the stones of the wild plum were used, but now six peach stones are ground 
down to an elliptic flattened form, the oiiposite sides being black or white. 
This is the great game known as that of the dish nearly three centuries ago. 
The wooden Viowl which I used was 11 inches across the top and .3 inches deep, 
handsomely carved out of a hard knot. A beautiful small bowl, which I saw 
elsewhere, may have been used by children. The six stones are placed in the 
kah-oOn-wah, the bowl, and thence the Onondaga term the game ta-yune-oo 
wSh-es. throwing the bowl to each other as they take it in turn. In public 
playing two iilayers are on their knees at a time, holding the bowl between 
them. . . . Beans are commonly used for counters. JIany rules are settled 
according to agreement, but the pumpkin is left out, and the stones usually 
count 5 for a bird and 6 for a field. All white or all black is the highest throw, 
and .") or 6 are the only winning jioints. In early days it would seem that all 
white or all black alone counted. The liowl is simply struck on the floor. . . . 
This ancient game is used at the New Year's, or White Dog, feast among the 
Ouandaga yet. Clan plays against clan, the Long House against the Short 
House, and. to foretell the harvest, the women play against the men. If the 
men win. the ears of corn will be long, like them ; but if the women gain the 
game, they will be short, basing the results on the common proportion of the 
sexes. As of old. almost all games are yet played for the sick, but they are 
regarded now more as a diversion of the patient's mind than a means of heal- 
ing. The game of the dish was once much used in divination, each piece having 
its own familiar sjiirit. but it is more commonly a social game now. 

" Iroquois Games. .Tournal of .American Folk-lore. v. 0, p. 269, Boston, 1896. 


Onondaga. Grand River reserve. Ontario. (Field Coliuiibian 
MiLseum. ) 

Cat. no. 55785. Set of ('i<rlit Ixnie disks, burned on one side. 1 inch in 

Cat. no. 55786. Set of eight bone disks, similar to i)rc(V(lino;. three- 
fourths of an inch in diameter. 

Cat. no. 55787. Set of eight bone disks, similar to preceding, 1 inch 
in diameter. 

Cat. no. 55788. Wooden bowl, 9f inches in diameter. 

Cat. no. 55790. Wooden bowl, hemispheric, 1:2^ inches in diameter, 
Ijainted red, with green rim, and yellow dots at the edge. 

Cat. no. 55791. Wooden Ijowl. heniis])heric, lO'J iurhcs in diameter, 
machine made. 

Cat. no. 55789. Set of six worked peach stones, burned on one side, 
five-eighths of an inch in diameter. 

Cat. no. 55807, 55807(7. Two sets of peach stones like the preceding, 
one five-eighths and the other three-foiirtlis of an inch in diame- 
These specimens were collected by Mr S. C. Simms, who informed 

me that the Onondaga call the bone dice game daundahskaesadaqnah, 

and the Cayuga the peach-stone game daundahqua. and gave the 

following account of the games: 

Game of da-uii-dah-skii-e-sa-(la-(|UMli (Onondaga), consisting of a set of eight 
dislis, each of a diameter of an inch, made from si)lit l)eef rilis and blackened liy 
heat upon one side. They are tin-own with the hand, the count dejiending upo:! 
the uuniher of faces which turn up of one color. If all are black, fur instance, 
the count is 2(1; if all turn up but one. 4 is counted; if two, 2. After each 
successful throw the thrower Is given the nuinl>er of beans called foi- by his 
throw, from the bank, which usually begins with 50 beans, and the game contin- 
ues until one party has won them. This is purely a home game. During the 
game the tmttons are constantly addressed with such remarks as o-liaii-da. 
meaning the thrower hopes the buttons will turn up one color; if there should 
be seven buttons that show the black sides and the remaining one has not 
yet settled sufficiently to determine the uppermost side, entreaties of 
meaning all black, are directed to this one l)Utton by the thrower; if. on the 
other hand, the white sides .appear, gan-ja. meaning all wliite, is sung out, 
accompanied by derisive shouts of tek-a-ne-ta-wo, njeaning two, or sciiort, mean- 
ing one. 

Peacll-stone game. da-un-dah-(|na (Cayuga). This game is iilaycil with a 
wooden bowl and si.\ peach stones rublied down and burned slightly on one side 
to blacken them. In the middl(> of the one large room of the long bouse where 
the game is [)la,ved a blanket or a (piilt is folded double and sjjread njion the floor. 
At the south edge of the blanket stands a vessel containing one hundred lieans. 
The bowl is taken l>y the edge with both hands and is given a sharp rap upon 
the blanket, causing the peach stones to rebound and fall back within the bowl. 

There are four winning counts, viz; All white, counting 5; all black. .'5; one 
white. 1. and one black. 1. For each successful throw the representative of the 
player is handed, from the stock of beans, as man.v as the throw calls for. A 
player keeps his place as long as hi> makes winning throws, but it is taken by 
another man or woman as soon as he makes an unsuccessful one. 




The day before the game is played six men are sent around to collect from 
the peojile such things as they care to staice in the peach-stone game. The goods 
collected — usually wearing apparel — are placed in two piles, the articles being 
fastened together in pairs with regard to the four brothers' end and the two 
brothers' end. Two men are selected to call out the male players, and, simi- 
larly, two women to call out the female players. 

During the game the players are greeted with loud and enthusiastic shouts 
or with yells of derision, while the opposing player makes comments and grim- 
aces, hoping thus to distract the attention of his or her rival. 

Public gambling is permitted by the Iroquois only at the midwinter and fall 

Seneca. New York. 

Morgan " describeK the Iroquois game, under the name of gusga- 
esatii, or deer buttons : 

This was strictly a fireside game, although it was sometimes introduced as an 
amusement at the season of religious councils, the people dividing into tribes as 
usual and betting upon the result. Eight l)uttons, about an inch in diameter, 
were made of elk horn, and, having lieen rounded and polished, were slightly 

Fio. 116. Bone dice: Seneca Indians, New York; from Morgan. 

burned upon one side to blacken them [figure 110]. When it was made a public 
game it was played by two at a time, with a change of players as elsewhere de- 
scribed in the peach-stone game. At the fireside it was played by two or more, 
and all the pla.vers continued in their seats until it was determined. A certain 
number of beans, fifty, perhaps, were made the capital, and the game continued 
until one of the players had won them all. Two persons spread a blanket and 
seated themselves upon it. One of them shook the deer buttons in his hands and 
then threw them down. If six turned up of the same color, it counted 2; if 
seven, it counted 4 ; and if all, it counted 20, the winner taking as many beans 
from the general stock as he made points by the throw. He also continued to 
throw as long as he continued to win. When less than six came up, either black 
or white, it counted nothing, and the throw was passed to the other player. In 
this manner the game was continued until the lieans were taken up between the 
two players. After that the one paid to the other out of his own winnings, the 
game ending as soon as the capital in the hands of either player was exhausted. 
If four played, each had a partner or played independently, as they were dis- 
posed ; but when more than two played, each one was to pay the winner the 

" League of the Iroquois, p. 302. Rochester, 1851. 
24 ETH — 05 M 8 



amount won. Thus, if four were playing independently and, after the beans 
were distributed among theui in the progress of the game, oue of them should 
turn the buttons up all black or all white, the other three would be obliged to 
pay him 2(J each; but if the beans were still in bank, he took up but 20. The 
deer buttons were of the same size. In the figure [IIG] they were represented 
at different angles. ... 

An ancient and favorite game " of the Iroquois, gus-kii'-eh, was played with a 
bowl and peach-stones. It was always a betting game, in which the people 

Fifi. 117. Bowl lor lint-; Suuecja Indians, New York; from Morgan. 

divided by tribes. By established custom, it was introduced as the concluding 
exercise on the last day of the Green Corn and the Harvest festivals, and also of 
the New Year's jubilee. Its introduction among them is ascribed to the first To- 
do da' ho, who flourished at the formation of the League. A popular belief pre- 
vailed that this game would be en.ioyed by them in the future life — in the realm 
of the Great Spirit — which is perhaps but an extravagant way of expressing 
their admiration for the game. A dish, about a foot in diameter at the base, was 
carved out of a knot or made of earthen. Sis peach stones were then ground or 

cut down into an oval form, re- 
ducing them in the process about 
half ill size, after which the 
heart of the pit was removed and 
the stones themselves were 
burned upon one side to blacken 
them. The above representation 
[figures 118, 117] will exhibit 
both the bowl and the peach 
stones, the latter being drawn in 
different positions to show the 
degree of their convexity. 

It was a very simple game, de- 
pending, in part, upon the dex- 


118. Peach-stone dice; Seneca Indians, New 
York; from Morgan. 

terity of the player, but more upon his good fortune. The peach stones were 
shaken in the bowl by the player, the count depending upon the number which 
came up of one color after they had ceased rolling in the dish. It was i>layed in 
the public council house by a succession of players, two at a time, under the super- 
vision of managers appointed to represent the two parties and to conduct the eon- 
test. Its length depended somewhat upon the number of beans which made the 
bank— usually 100— the victory being gained by the side which finally won them 

A platform was erected a few feet from the floor and spread with blankets. 

° League of the Iroquois, p. 307, Rochester, 1851. 


When the betting was ended, and the articles had been delivered into the cus- 
tody of the managers, they seated themselves upon the platform in the midst of 
the throng of spectators, and two persons sat down to the game between the 
two divisions into which they arranged themselves. The beans, in the first 
instance, were placed together in a bank. Five of them were given each player, 
with which they commenced. Each player, by the rules of the game, was 
allowed to keep his seat until he had lost this outfit, after which he surrendered 
it to another player on his own side .selected by the managers of his own party. 
And this was the case, notwithstanding any number he might have won of his 
adversary. Those which he won were delivered to his party managers. The 
six peach stones were placed in the bowl and shaken by the player : if five of 
them came up of one color, either white or black, it counted 1. and his adversary 
paid to him the forfeit, which was one beau, the bean simply representing a unit 
in counting the game. On the ne.Kt throw, which the player having won. re- 
tained, if less than five came up of the same color it counted nothing, and he 
passed the bowl to his adversary. The second player then shook the l>owl. upon 
which, if they all came up of one color, either white or black, it counted five. 
To pay this forfeit required the whole outfit of the first player, after which, 
having nothing to pay with, he vacated his seat and was succeeded by another of 
his own side, who received from the hank the same number of beans which the 
first had. The other player followed his throw as long as he continued to win. 
after which he repassed the bowl to his adversary. If a player chanced to win 
five and his opponent had but one left, this was all he could gain. In this manner 
the game continued with varying fortune until the beans were divided between 
the two sides in proportion to their success. After this the game continued in 
the same manner as before, the outfit of each new player Ijeing advanced by the 
managers of his own party ; but as the beans or counters were now out of sight, 
none but the managers knew the state of the game with accuracy. In playing 
it there were but two winning throws, one of which counted 1 and the other 5. 
When one of the parties had lost all their beans, the game was done. 

Morgan," referring to games generally, says : 

In their national games is to be found another fruitful source of amusement 
in Indian life. These games were not only played at their religious festivals, 
at which they often formed a conspicuous part of the entertainment, but special 
days were set frequently apart for their celebration. They entered into these 
diversions with the highest zeal and emulation, and took unwearied pains to per- 
fect themselves in the art of playing each successfully. There were but six ■ 
principal games among the Iroquois, and these were divisible into athletic games 
and games of chance. 

Challenges were often sent from one village to another, and were even 
exchanged between nations, to a contest of some of these games. In such cases 
the chosen players of each community or nation were called out to contend for 
the prize of victory. An intense degree of excitement was aroused when the 
champions were the most skillful players of rival villages or adjacent nations. 
The people enlisted upon their respective sides with a degree of enthusiasm which 
would have done credit both to the spectators and the contestants at the far- 
famed Elian games. For miles, and even hundreds of miles, they flocked 
together at the time appointed to witness the contest. 

Unlike the prizes of the Olympic games, no chaplets awaited the victors. 
They were strifes between nation and nation, village and village, or tribe and 
tribe ; in a word, parties against parties, and not champion against champion. 

" League of tbe Iroquois, p. 291, Rochester, 18.51. 


The prize contended for was tbat of viotory: and it belonged, not to the 
triumphant players, but to tbe party wbiob sent them forth to the contest. 

When these games were not pla.ved by one community against another, upon 
a formal challenge, the people arranged themselves upon two sides according to 
their tribal divisions. By an organic (irovision of the Iroquois, as elsewhere 
stated, the Wolf, Bear. Beaver, and Turtle tribes were brothers to each other as 
tribes, and cousins to the other four. In playing their games the.v always went 
together and formed one party or side. In the same manner the Deer. Snipe. 
Heron, and Hawk tribes were brothers to each other, as tribes, and cousins to 
the four first named. These formed a second or opposite party. Thus in all 
Indian games, with the excev>tions first mentioned, the people divided them- 
selves into two sections, four of the tribes always contending against the other 
four. Father and son. husband and wife, were thus arrayed in opposite ranks. 

Betting upon the result was common among the Iroquois. As this practice 
was never reprobated by their religious teachers, but on the contrar.v, rather 
encouraged, it frequently led to the most reckless indulgence. It often hap- 
pened that the Indian gambled away every valuable article which he jjossessed : 
his tomahawk, his medal, his ornaments, and even his blanket. The excitement 
and eagerness with which he watched the shifting tide of the game was more 
uncontrollable than the delirious agitation of the pale face at the race course, or 
even at the gaming table. Their excitable temperament and emulous siiirits 
peculiarl.v adapted them for the enjoyment of their national games. 

These bets were made in a s.vstematic manner, and the articles tlien deposited 
with the m.-magers of the game. A bet offered by a person upon one side, in the 
nature of some valuable article, was matched by a similar article or one of 
equal value by some one upon the other. Personal ornaments made the usual 
gaming currenc.v. Other bets were offered and taken in the same manner, 
until hundreds of articles were sometimes collected. These were laid aside 
by the managers until the game was decided, when each article lost by the 
event was handed over to the winning individual, together with his own. which 
he had risked against it. 

Seneca. (Ti-aiid River reserve, Ontario. 

Mr David Bojde « says : 

It is only in connection with the midwinter and fall festivals that the prac- 
tice of public gambling is permitted. On these occasions there is high revelry. 
■ All the goods collected as stakes by tlie six men already mentioned are piled 
in one or two heaps, the articles being tied or pinned in jiairs with some regard 
to their respective values or uses. Thus, there may be two silk neckties, two 
jiairs of moccasins, two shawls, or two strings of onagorha (wampum), which 
is regarded as taking first place at such times. 

The Old Men * of the nation appoint two men, one from each side of the long 
house, to call out the male players, and. similarly, two women for a like purpose. 

A sheet is spread on the floor of the long house, and in the middle of this 
sheet rests the wooden bowl, about 14 or 16 inches wide and 4 to 5 deep, 
containing six peach stones rubbed down to smooth surfaces and blackened 
on one side. Near the south edge of the sheet is placed a vessel containing 100 

" Archasologlcal Report, 1808, p. 126, Toronto, 1898. 

"The pagan Indians when suppljling infoimation make frequent mention of the "Old 
Men, ' who are not. as wonlrl appenr. any old men, hut certain seniors who. either tacitly 
or by arrangement, are looked upon as sages. There are si.f of them; three represent 
the east end of the long house :ind three the west. The present Old Men are .Tohn Styres, 
Abraham Buck, and James Vanevery for the east and .lohnson Williams. Seneca Wil- 
liams, and .lacob Hill for the west. Gentes are not taken Into account. 


••• o«« 

••• ••• 

ooo ooo 

o o o o o« 


beans, from which stock seven are taken by each of the men who act as callers. 
When everything is ready the arrangement is as shown in the diagram [figure 
119], the players invariably sitting east and west. 

Before the game is begun all present are exhorted by the speaker to keep 
their temper, to do everything fairly, and to show no jealousy, " because," says 
he, " the side that loses this time may be favored by Niyoh the next time, and 
it will displease him should there be any bad feeling." 

The first player takes the bowl by the edge with both hands and after a few 
preliminary shakes in midair he strikes the bottom sharply on the floor, when 
the peach stones rebound and fall back within the dish. 

Winning throws are of four kinds : All white, all black, one white, or one 
black. All black or white means that the woman representing the winner 
receives from him who represents the loser ."> beans, but when only one white or 
one black bean shows face up, 1 bean is the gain. If, however, any player 
makes three successive casts, winning 5 each time, he is allowed !."> additional 
beans, and similarly, after 
three successive casts win- 
ning 1 each, he is allowed 
3 more beans. 

As long as a player makes 
winning throws he keeps his 
place, which when he leaves 
is immediately taken by an- 
other — man or woman. In 
this way the game is con- 
tinued until one side wins 
all the beans, and this may 
require only an hour or two. 
or it may take two or three 

While the play is going 
on it is not to be understood that the onlookers exemplify what is known as 
Indian stoicism. Anything but this. Excitement runs unusually high. Those 
on the side of the player for the time being encourage him with enthusias- 
tically uproarious shouts of " .iagon ! jagon ! jagon ! " " play ! play ! " or " go on ! 
go on ! go on ! " while the opponents yell with a sort of tremulous derisiveness 
" hee-aih ! hee-aih ! " Nor is this all. for those on the opposing side make faces 
and grimaces at each other and give utterance to all sorts of ridiculous and 
.absurd things, hoping thus to distract the attention of their rivals, to discourage 
them, or in some other way to induce loss. ... 

When all the beans have been won. the ceremonial game is at an end and the 
slakes are divided, each better getting his own article along with the one 
attached to it. 

Similar games may be played afterward " just for fun." as often as the 
people please. 

The peach-stone game is one of the most popular gambling exercises on the 
Reserve and is often played among friends in each other's houses. The pagans 
religiously abstain from card playing in accordance, it may be remembered, 
with the injunctions of Hoh-shah-honh and Sos<^-a-wa. the immediate successors 
of Ska-ne-o-dy'-o. both of whom taught that, as this was a white man's device, it 
must be shunned." 

» .Mr Boyle writes: "The description of the prach-stone game applies to the method of 
pla.Tlng by all the pagao nations — Seneca. Cayuga, and Onondaga, although the Seneca 
are referred to In my report. As the Oneida and Tuscarora are professedly Christian, 
the game is not Indulged In by them." 

<MN X O X '>WN 

Fig. 119. Position of players in bowl game; Seneca Indians,. 
Ontario; from Boyle. 



The implements for a Seneca bowl game collected by Mr John 
N. B. Hewitt, of the Bureau of American P^thnology (cat. no. 21073, 
Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania), from 
the Seneca Indians, Cattaraugus 
reservation, Cattaraugus county, 
N. Y., consist of a wooden bowl 
(figure 120) 9§ inches in diameter 
and six dice made of fruit stones. 
A set of bone gaming disks from 

Fig. lai. 

Pig. 131. 

Fio. 120. Peach-stone bowl game; diameter of bowl, 91 inches; Seneca Indians, New York; cat. 

no. 2107.S, Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 
Fig. 121. Bone dice; diameter. } inch; Seneca Indians, New Yorli; cat. no. 21073, Free Museum 

of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

the same tribe and place are represented in figure 121. As will be 
seen, they are eight in number and marked on one side, in a way 
similar to those of the Micmac and Penobscot. 

TuscARORA. North Carolina. 

Referring to the North Carolina Indians, John Lawson " writes : 

They have other games, as with the kernels or stones of persimmons, 
which are in effect the same as our dice, because winning or losing depends on 
which side appears uppermost and how they happen to fall together. 

Again, speaking of their gambling, he says : ^ 

Their arithmetic was kept with a heap of Indian grain. 

He does not specify this game as played by any particular tribe 
in North Carolina, and it was probably common to all of them. 

Wyandot. Kansas. 

Mr William E. Connelley writes me as follows: 

There is little I can say about games. The Wyandot are now three-fourths 
white in blood. There is scarcely a quarter-blood to be found in some neigh- 
borhoods. Until they came to Kansas in 1843 they kept up the game between 

° The History of North Carolina, p. 176, London, 1714. 

•> Ibid., p. 27. 


DICE games: kerbs 


the divisions of the tribe at the celebration of the green-corn feast. This game 
was played with uiarlced plum seeds, and exactly as the Seneca played it 
and play it yet. The ancient divisions of the tribe are as follows: " 

First division: 1, Bear; 2, Deer; 3, Snake: 4, Hawk. Second division: 
1, Big Turtle; 2, Little Turtle; .3, Mud Turtle; -t. Beaver; 5, Porcupine; 6, 
Striped Turtle; 7, Highland Turtle, or Prairie Turtle. Mediator, umpire, 
executive power, the Wolf clan. These are the phratries of the tribe. For 
the purpose of gambling or playing the final game of the green-corn feast fes- 
tivities, the tribe separated into its phratries. The Wolf clan was not permitted 
to take sides. It was always the office of this clan to act as the executive 
power of the tribe and settle all disputes ; but a certain portion of the 
winnings of the successful party was given to the Wolf clan. The game was 
played exactly as played by the Seneca. The ending of th^ game terminated 
the festivities, as it does to-day in the Seneca. The dances were partly 
games and partly ceremonies, often engaged in for amusement alone. But 1 
could never get enough information to warrant me in sa^^ing where amusement 
left off and ceremony began. The gambling at the close of the green-corn 
feast is the only game I could get any definite information about. 


Keres. Acoma, New Mexico. (Brooklyn Institute Museum.) 
Cat. no. 4976. Four split canes, 5 inches in length, marked on convex 
side with cut designs painted black as shown in figure 122. 
The reverses are painted with black marks, precisely like those of 
the Zuni sholiwe. The cut designs represent a water bug. gamasku, a 



Pig. 122. Fig. 123. 

Fio. 122. Cane dice; length, 5 inches; Keres Indians, Acoma. New Mexico; cat. no. 4976, Brook- 
lyn Institute Museum. 

Fig. las. Cane dice; length, 61 inches; Keres Indians, Acoma. New Mexico; cat. no. 4975, Brook- 
lyn Institute Museum. 

word which also means spider. The Zuni call this gannastepi, and 
use it in precisely the same way as a mark on their sholiwe (see fig- 
ure 289). 

Cat. no. 4975. Four split canes, 6i inches in length, marked as shown 
in figure 123. 

' Wyandot Folk-lore, p. 26, Topeka, Kans., 1899. 



Fig. 124. Stick dine : length, 5i inches; 
Keres Indians, Acoma, New Mex- 
ico; cat. no. 49*3, Brooklyn Insti- 
tute Museum. 

Both of the above were made for the writer in 1904 by James H. 
Miller, an Acoma Indian living at Zuiii, who furnished the following 
particulars : 

The game is called bish-i, and the four canes receive the following names : 
Stick marked at one end, bish-i, the same as the game, after a great gambler 

of the olden time; stick marked in the mid- 
dle, tsoi-yo, woman ; stick marked at both ends, 
gosh, the name of a man ; stick marked entire 
length, tel-i. woman. 

The first and last two are paired, as if part- 
ners. In playing, a basket, o-ta-ni, covered with 
buckskin, is hung concave side down and the 
canes tossed against it, so that they fall on a 
blanket spread beneath it on the ground. In 
throwing the canes three of them are slid, concave side up, one inside of the 
other, with the top one projecting and one or the other of the first two crossed 
beneath them, as in Zuiii. 

The counts, which resemble those in Zuiii. althougfh. according to 
Miller's statement not precisely the same, 
are extremely complicated. Among them 
is the following : 

Three convex sides up and the stick marked 
in the middle or at one end coneav^ side up, 
and cro.ssed beneath others, counts .3. 

The game is counted with twelve grains 
of white corn. They blow their breath on the 
canes before tossing them. The game was in- 
vented by Gau-pot. He was the greatest of 
gamblers, and lost everything. He played 
against the sun and was beaten, and lost 
his eyes and became blind. Bish-i is played in 
winter in the estufas, and there is a society, 
the society, devoted to it. Women don't play and are not even allowed to 
touch the sticks, Acoma Indians regard it as one of their original games and 
not as borrowed from Zuni. 

Keres. Acoma, New Mexico. (Cat. no. 4972, Brooklyn Institute 

Set of three stick dice (figure 124), ai inches in length, black on one 
side and plain white on the other. 
They were made for the writer by James H. Miller. He gave the 
name as owasakut. The counts are as follows: 

Three black counts 10; three white, 5; two white, 2; one white, 3. The 
game is counted around a circle of thirty stones, yow-wu-ni [figure 12."]. with 
little sticks called horses. There are three openings in the stone circle, which 
are called tsi-a-ma, door. 

Acoma, New Mexico. 

The Acoma Indian, James H. Miller, described also the following 
game to the writer under the name of inaani, to throw up : 

Fig. 125. Circuit for stick dice; Kerea 
Indians, Acoma, New Mexico. 




A piece of bone, white on one skle and black on the other, is tossed with the 
fingers. Black counts 10 and white 5. Black gives another throw. The count 
is 30, and is kept by making marks on the ground. Formerly a deer bone was 
used, but now a sheep bone is substituted. 

Kerbs. Cochiti, New Mexico. (Cat. no. 4977, Brooklyn Institute 

Three sticks, 4 inches in length, flat on one side and convex on the 
other, one of the flat sticks marked on the round side with four- 
teen or fifteen notches with two crossed notches, as shown in 
figure 126. 
They were collected by the writer in 1904, and were made by a 
Cochiti boy at St Michael. Arizona, named Fran- 
cisco Chaves (Kogit). He gave this account : 

The sticks are thrown, ends down, on a flat stone. The 
counts are as follows : Three round sides up counts 10 ; 
three flat sides up. 5 ; the marked stick round side up 
and the other two flat side up. 15 : one round side up and 
two flat. 2 : one flat side up and two round, 2. The game 
is counted around a circle of forty stones with markers 
called horses. 


■ Laguna, New Mexico. ( Cat. no. 61819, Field 
Columbian Museimi.) 

Fig. 126. Stick dice; 
leugth, 4 inches; 
Keres Indians. Co- 
chiti, New Mexico; 
cat. no. 4977. Brook- 
lyn Institute Mu- 

Three flat wooden blocks, 4^ by If inches, with one 

side plain and one side painted red. One of 

the block has fifteen notches, ten of which are on one edge and 

five on the other, as shown in figure 127. Collected by Dr C. E. 


The following detailed account of the game, under the name of 

owasokotz, which was furnished by the collector, appears on the 

museum label : 

The game is played with three billets 
of wood, painted black on one side, white 
on the other, one of the white sides hav- 
ing fifteen notches on it, the other plain. 
Each player has a small stick to use 
as a marker, formerly known as o-poia- 
nia-ma, but of late called a horse. " be- 
cause it goes so fast ; " a flat stone, the 
size of the hand, used as a center stone, 
upon which the billets are dropped : and 
forty small stones, the size of a hen"s egg. 
These forty stones are placed on the ground in the form of a circle, with four 
openings, or doors, called si-am-ma, always facing the four cardinal points. The 
play always begins at the east door, but after that the.v play whichever way they 
choose. Each player ma.v go a different way if he chooses ; as many as wish can 
play, or they may pla.v partners. At the lie.sinning of the play the horses are 
placed at the east door. A player takes up the billets and. placing the ends even 
with one hand, strikes them ends down on the center stone like dice ; the count 

Pig. 127. Stick dice: length, 4} inches; 
Keres Indians, Laguna. Ne^r Mexico: 
cat. no. 61819, Field Columbian Museum. 










ooO| IOOq 



is determined by the manner of the fall, and he then moves his horses up as 
many stones as he makes ; if he gets around to the starting point first, he wins. 
There are two ways of playing — one is called pass, the other enter. In pass, 
if one makes a score which lands him exactly in the starting, or east, door, he 
must go around again until he lands in the proper place. In enter, if A should 

laud his horse on the top 
of his opponent's horse, he 
kills him. and he goes back 
to the beginning, but if A 
'0„ reaches the starting point 

first, he falls in and wins, 
even if the number of stones 
made should carry him be- 
yond. The count otherwise 
is just the same in both. 
The blocks may fall within 
or without the ring. If one 
block should fall nn edge, 
not leaning, then tlie pla.ver 
lays it on the center stone 
and strikes it with another 
billet, but if the notched 
billet is lying face down, it 
must not be used to strike 
m edge it must be picked up and thrown 








^Ooo| |oo 





Fig. 128. 

Circuit for stick dice; Keres Indians, Laguua. New 
Mexico; from sketch by Dr C. E. Lukens. 

with ; when the notched block stand 
on the center stone. 

The count is as follows : Two black sides up, 
with oue white notched, 15 stones ; three white 
sides up, 10 (when a player makes 10 or 1.5 he 
may strike again, and as many times as he 
makes these large numbers) ; two blacks up and 
one white, not notched, 3 ; two white and one 
black up. 2 ; three blacks up, 5. 

Keres. Lagiina, New Mexico. (Cat. no. 
38500, Free Museum of Science 
and Art. University of Pennsyl- 
Three flat Iilocks (figure 1-29), .3J inches 
in length, painted black on one side 
the other plain. 
One has 1.) notches on the edge of the 
white side. Made for the writer hj- a 
Laguna youth, at the Pan-American E.\- 
position. Buffalo. 1903. He describes them as used in the game of 
patol. or. in their own language, wasokutz. 

Laguna, New Mexico. 

Capt. George H. Pradt. a resident of the pueblo of Laguna for 
many years, writes as follows: 

The game played with a circle of small stones is called, by the Keres Indians, 

Fig. 129. Stick dice; lengrth, 3j 
iuohes; Keres Indians. Laguna, 
New Me.iico; cat. no. 3.'<.5UO, Free 
Miiseum of Science and Art, 
University of Pennsylvania. 



ka-w-a-su-kuts.o The stones number 40. and are divided into tens by openings 
called doors or gates called si-am-uia : the doors are placed north, south, east, 
and west. 

In the center of the circle is placed a flat stone, upon which are thrown the 
three counters. These are flat pieces of wood about 4 inches long, one-half of 
an inch wide, and one-eighth of an inch thick, painted black on one side, and 
marked with two, three, and ten marks, respective!}-. The counters are flrmly 
grasped with the ends down and forcibly thrown, ends down, on the stone in 
the center in such a manner that they will rebound, and the marks, if any are 
uppermost, are counted, and the player lays his marker, a small stick like a 
pencil, between the stones the proper distance 

from the starting point, to record the number. OOOOOOOOOC 
The starting point is one of the doors, which- q O 

ever is selected, and the game is played by ^ ^ 

any number that can assemble around the 
circle. A player can go around the circle in 
either direction, but if another player arrives O I j O 

at the same point he kills the previous player. O I | O 

and that one is obliged to go back to the start- o O 

ing point ; the first one making the circuit sue- q q 

cessfully wins the game, which is generally 
played for a small stake. The game is modi- 
fied sometimes liy ruling that if a player falls OOOOOOOOOO 
into one of the doors he must go back, but in Fig. i;M. Circuit for stick-dice game, 
this case the player is not obliged to go back if ^eres Indians, Sia, New Mexico; 

. , , . , . i , from Mrs Stevenson, 

another happens to mark as many points as he. 

Sometimes a round stone is painted to resemble a face and has a wreath of 
evergreens placed around it and is used as a mascot ; it is placed to one side 
of the circle and is appealed to by the players to give them good numbers ; 
this mascot is generally called kflm-mQshk-ko-yo, a traditional fairy, or witch. 
The name means the old spider woman. 

Kerbs. Sia. New Mexico. 

Mrs Matilda Coxe Stevenson '' gives a description of the game as 
played by the Sia under the name of wash'kasi, of which the follow- 
ing is an abstract : 

Forty pebbles form a square, ten pebbles on a side, with a flat stone in the 
center of the square [figure 130]. Four flat blocks, painted black on one side 
and unpainted on the other, are held vertically and dropped upon the stone. 
The counts are as follows : Four painted sides up, 10 ; four unpainted sides up, 
6 : three painted sides up, 3 : two painted sides up, 2 : one painted side up, — . 
The players move in opposite directions, both starting at one of the corners. 
The game is described as the first of four games played by ro'shaiytinne. the Sia 
culture hero, with the tribal priest. The stake was the latter's house in the 
north. The .second of the four games is of the bowl class, which I have included 
in this series. The stake in this game was the ti'amoni, or priest's, house in 
the west. It was played with six 2-ineh cubes, which were highly polished 
and painted on one side. These were tossed up in a large bowl held with each 
hand. When three painted sides are up, the game is won ; with only two 
painted sides up. the game is lost. Six painted sides up is equivalent to a march 
In euchre. The games that followed were, first, a game played with fonr sticks 
with hollow ends, under one of which a pebble was hidden. This was played 

« Meaning a punch, or sudden blow, the only name the Lagunas have for it. 
'The Sia. Eleveutb .\nuual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, p. 60. 1894. 


for the priest's house in the south. Second, a game played with four little 
mounds of sand, in one of which a small round stone was hidden. This was 
played for the priest's house in the east. The games were then repeated in the 
same order, commencing with wash'kasi for the house in the zenith, the game 
with the six blocks for the house in the nadir, and, fiually, the third in order, 
that with the four sticks with hollow ends, for all the people of the tribe. 

Mr Charles F. Lummis informed the writer that he had witnessed 
the game with the staves or blocks in the following pueblos belong- 
ing to this stock : Acoma, Cochiti, Laguna, El Rito (Lagiina colony), 
and San Felipe. 


Kiowa. Oklahoma. (Cat. no. 16535, 16536, Free Museum of Sci- 
ence and Art, University of Pennsylvania.) 
Set of four sticks of willow wood, called ahl (wood). 10 inches in 

length, five-eighths of an inch in width, and three-eighths of an 

inch in thickness (figure 131), nearly hemispheric in section, with 

one side flat. 
Three of the sticks have a red groove running down the middle 
on the flat side, and one has a blue stripe. The last has a burnt 
design on the reverse, as shown in the figure, while the backs of the 
others are plain. The flat sides are also burnt, with featherlike 
markings at the ends. 
A cotton clotli. 41 by 48i inches, marked as shown in figure 133, 

called the ahl cloth ; a flat bowlder, called the ahl stone ; two 

awls, sharpened wires, with wooden handles, 6| inches in length ; 

eight sticks, 8f inches in length, to be used as counters (figure 

These objects were collected by Col. H. L. Scott, U. S. Army, who 
furnished the following descrii)tion of the game, under the title of 
zohn ahl (zohn, creek; ahl, wood), commonly known as the ahl game: 

The ahl cloth is divided into points Ijy which the game is counted. The 

curved lines are called knees, because they 
are like the knees of the players. The space 
between the parallel lines 1 <rnd 1 and 20 
and 20 is called the creek, and the corre- 
sponding spaces between the parallel lines 
at right angles are called the di'y lirauches. 
The sticks are held by the players in one 
Fio. 131. Stick dice; length, 10 Inches; hand and struck downward, so that their 
Kiowa Indians, Oklahoma; cat. no. ends come on the ahl stone with consider- 
J6536, Free Museum ot Science and .^^^^ j^^.^g jf j^jj j^g g^j^j-j, f,,„ „.jj^ ^^^ 

Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

Sides without grooves uppermost, the play 

is called white, and counts 10. If all the grooved sides come uppermost, it is 

called red, and counts .5. Both of these throws entitle the player to another 

throw. If one grooved side is uppermost, it counts 1: two grooved sides, 2, 

and three grooved sides, 3. The game is pla.ved by any even number of girls 

or women (never by men or boys), half on one side the line N S and half on 




the other. The flat ahl stone is placed iu the middle of the cloth, and tne 
players kneel on the edge. The two awls are stuck in the creek at 1 1. The 
player at A makes the first throw, and the throwing goes around the circle 




Fig. 132. Counting sticks and awls for ahl (stick-dice i game; lengths, 8f and fjj inches; Kiowa 
Indians, Oklahoma; cat. no. 165.%, Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsyl- 

in the direction of the hands of a watch, each side counting the results of each 
throw on the ahl cloth by .sticking its awl just be.yond the mark called for by 
the results of the throw. The moves are made in the opposite directions, as 
indicated by the arrows. 



• • • 

Pig. 133. Cloth for ahl game; Kiowa Indians, Oklahoma; cat. no. 16535, Free Museum of Science 
and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

If in counting any awl gets into the creek at N, that side must forfeit a 
counter to the other side and be set back to the creek at S. That side is 
then said to have fallen into the creek, the object being to jump over. If in 


tbeir passage around the circle the two awls get into the same division, the 
last comer is said to whip or kill the former, who forfeits a counter and is 
set back to the beginning. The counting continues until one gets back to the 
creek at S. The one first at S receives a counter, and if there is more than 
enough to take it to the creek the surplus is added to the next round ; that 
is. the creek is jumped, and the awl put beyond it as many points as may be 
over. When one side wins all the counters, it conquers. If the game, should 
he broken up before this event the side which has the greater number of 
counters is victor. 

Colonel Scott further states : 

The Kiowa have a custom of wetting the fingers and slapping them several 
times on the stone before a throw, and calling out "red. red." or "white, 
white," according to the number they desire to count: or. it hut "one" should 
be required to throw the opposite part.v into the " creek." some one puts her 
finger into her mouth, and. drawing it carefully across the top of the stone, 
calls out " parko. parko " ("one, one"). Often before the throw the thrower 
will rub the four sticks in a vertical position backward and forward several 
times between the palms of the hands, to insure good luck. 

■ The Comanche have a similar game which they play with eight ahl sticks, 
and the Cheyenne and Arapaho are said to have a game which they play with 
ahl sticks which are 2 feet or more long. 

Kiowa. Oklahoma. (Cat. no. 152908«, United States National 

Set of four sticks of willow wood, 7 inches in length, three-eighths of 
an inch in width, and three-sixteenths of an inch in thickness, 
nearly hemispherical in section, with one side flat, and ha^ang a 
deep groove. 
The stick is doubtless a substitute for the cane, like that used by 
the Zuiii. as suggested by Mr Cushing. Three of the grooves are 
painted red, these sticks having two oblique marks burnt across the 
grooved face near each end. The fourth stick has the groove painted 
black, with three lines burnt across the middle in addition to those 
at the ends. Its rounded reverse is marked with a star in the center, 
composed of four crossed lines burnt in the wood. The rounded 
sides of the others are plain. 

The collector, Mr James Mooney," prefaces his account of the 
game with the following song, employed in the ghost dance : 

Hise' hi, hise' hi, 
Hii' tine' biiku' tha' na, 
Ha' tine' baku' tha' na, 
Hati' ta-u' seta' na, 
Hati' ta-u' seta' na. 
My comrade, my comrade. 
Let us play the awl game, 
Let us play the awl game, 
Let us play the dice game. 
Let us play the dice game. 

» The Ghost Dance Religion. Fourteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, 
pt 2. p. 1002. 1896. 

CCLIN] DICE games: KIOWA 127 

The womau who composetl this soug tells how, on wakiug up in the spirit 
world, she met there a party of her former girl companions and sat down with 
them to play the two games universally popular with the prairie tribes. 

The first is called ne'liiiku'thana by the Arapaho and tsoua. or awl game 
(from tsoi), an awl) by the Kiowa, on account of an awl, the Indian woman's 
substitute for a needle, being used to keep record of the score. The game is 
becoming obsolete in the north, but it is the everyday summer amusement of 
the women among the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache in the southern plains. 
It is very amusing on account of the unforeseen rivers and whips that are 
constantly turning up to disappoint the expectant winner, and a party of 
women will frequently sit around the blanket for half a day at a time with a 
constant ripple of laughter and good-humored .iokes as they follow the chances 
of the play. It would make a very pretty picnic game, or could be readily 
adapted to the parlor of civilization. 

The players sit on the ground around a blanket marked in charcoal with 
lines and dots and quadrants in the corners, as shown in figure []o.3]. In the 
center is a stone upon which the sticks are thrown. Each dot, excepting those 
between the parallels, counts a point, making 24 points for dots. Each of the 
parallel lines and each end of the curved lines at the corners also counts a 
point, making 16 points for the lines, or 40 points In all. The players start 
at the bottom, opposing players moving in opposite directions, and with each 
throw of the sticks the thrower moves her awl forward and sticks it into the 
blanket at the dot or line to which her throw carries her. The parallels on 
each of the four sides are called rivers, and the dots within these parallels do 
not count in the game. The rivers at the top and bottom are dangerous and 
can not be crossed, and when the player is so unlucky as to score a throw which 
brings her upon the edge of the river (i. e.. upon the first line of either of these 
pairs of parallels) she falls into the river and must lose all she has hitherto 
gained, and begin again at the start. In the same way, when a player moving 
around in one direction makes a throw which brings her awl to the place 
occupied by the awl of her opponent coming around from the other side the 
said opponent is whipped back to the starting point and must begin all over 
again. Thus there is a constant succession of unforeseen accidents, which 
furnish endless amusement to the players. 

The game is played with four sticks, each from to 10 inches long, flat on 
one ?ide and round on the other. One of these is the trump stick and is 
marked in a distinctive manner in the center on both sides, and is also distin- 
guished by having a green line along the flat side, while the others have each 
a red line. The Kiowa call the trump stick sahe, green, on account of the 
green stripe, while the others are called guadal, red. There are also a number 
of small green sticks, about the size of lead pencils, for keeping tally. Each 
player in turn takes up the four sticks together in her hand and throws them 
down on end upon the stone in the center. The number of points depends upon 
the number of flat or round sides which turn up. A lucky throw with a green 
or trump stick generally gives the thrower another trial in addition. The 
formula is : One flat side up counts 1 : one flat side up (if sahe), 1 and another 
throw: two flat sides up (with or without sahe), 2; three flat sides up. 3; 
three ftot sides up (including sahet, .3 and another throw: all four flat sides 
up, and another throw : all four round sides up, 10 and another throw. 

Cat, no. 1529086. Set of four sticks (figure 134), of a variety of 
alder. 5i inches in length, seven-sixteenths of an inch in width, 
and one-fourth of an inch in thickness; three with groove painted 
red on flat side and one with groove painted black. 



The former are burned with four diagonal naarks. resembling the 
feathering of an arrow on alternate sides of the groove near each 
end. The fourth stick has in addition two parallel marks burned 
directly across the middle. Its rounded reverse is burned with a 

design in the shape of a diamond. 
The reverses of the others are plain. 
Cat. no. I.j2908f/. Set of four sticks 
of willow wood or chestnut 
sjDrout, 85 inches in length, 
three-fourths of an inch in 
breadth, and five-sixteenths of 
an inch in thickness (figure 
Three have flat sides with length- 
wise groove painted red, with par- 
allel oblique lines like arrow- 
feathering burned on alternate sides 
of the groove at the ends, opposite to which are similar marks 
arranged in triangles. The rounded reverses of these sticks are 
plain. The fourth stick has an incised device painted black and 
resembling two feathered arrows, the heads of which meet a trans- 
verse band cut acx'oss the middle. Its rounded side has three parallel 
lines burned across the center, on one side of which is an incised 
design resembling a serpent and on the other an undetermined 

Fio . 134. Stick dice (the lowest stick shows 
obverse of one nest above it); length, 5 i 
inches: Kiowa Indians, Oklahoma: cat. no, 
'1539(J8^, United States National Museum. 

^"■A^ CM-N Jy 

Fio. 135. Stick dice (the lowest stick shows obverse of one next above it); length, Kf inches; 
Kiowa Indians, Oklahoma; cat. no. 1529fl8rf, United States National Museum. 

Cat. no. 152908c. Set of four sticks of elm wood, 8J inches in length, 

nine-sixteenths of an inch in width, and five-sixteenths of an 

inch in thickness (figure 136) ; three with groove painted red 

and one with groove painted black. 

The former are burned with two sets of pai'allel marks about \\ 




inches apart across the grooved face near each end. The fourtli stick 
has in addition oblique marks burned across the center of the same 
side, with two pyramidal dotted designs in the center of the opposite 
side, which on the others is plain. 
Cat. no. 15'2909ff. Set of four sticks (figure 137), 5i inches in length, 

seven-sixteenths of an inch in breadth, and three-sixteenths of an 

inch in thickness: section ellipsoidal. 

( MWWm 

"rmmr-'^-^ ' -im rm 

Fig. 1.36. Stick dice ithe lowest stick shows obverse of one next above itt; length, fti inches; 
Kiowa Indians, Oklahoma; eat. no. 152908c, United States National Muspum. 

One side, slightly flatter than the other, is grooved and marked with 
fine cross lines, forming a lozenge pattern. Three are painted red 
and one dark green. One of the red sticks is burned in the center 
with two parallel marks obliquely 
across both the grooved and the 
opposite side. The green stick has 
an undetermined figure burned in 
the center of the rounded side, 
which on the other two is plain. 
Cat. no. 152909&. Set of four 

sticks, 3| inches in length, 

five-sixteenths of an inch in 

breadth, and one-eighth of an 

inch in thickness; the flat 

sides grooved and painted, 

three red and one black. 
Cat. no. 152909c. Set of four 

sticks, of inches in length, five-sixteenths of an inch in breadth, 

and one-eighth of an inch in thickness. 
One of the red sticks has an oblique incised line cut across the mid- 
dle and two parallel lines on the opposite (rounded) side. The black 
stick has a small triangle cut lengthwise in the center of the rounded 
side, across which is a transverse incised line. 

The flat sides are grooved and have triangular expansions of the 
gi'oove at each end. Three are painted red and one black; one of the 

-4 ETH — 05 M 9 

I, - — „-^.__^,^.»^. 

Fig. 137. Stick dice ithe lowest two sticks 
show obverses of the two next above); 
length, rti inches; Kiowa Indians, Okla- 
homa; cat. no. 1.52909rf, United States Na- 
tional Museum. 



red sticks is marked like the one in the preceding, and the black stick 
in the same manner. 

These Kiowa sticks were all collected by Mr James Mooney. In 
each set there is an odd stick. 

Cat. no. 

1 9 

Pig. 138. Ivory and wooden dice; Tlingit 
Indians, Alaska; cat. no. E 894, 19 &50, 
E 1859, 19 650, E 1857, American Mnseiim 
of Natural History. 


Alaska. (American Museum of Natural History.) 

Small ivory die (figure lS8d), shaped like a chair; 
height 1 inch, twelve-sixteenths 
of an inch wide at back, and 
ten-sixteenths of an inch at 
side, with a vertical hole from 
top to bottom filled with lead. 
It is called ketchu and came from 

Cat. no. ^. Small wooden die 
(figure 1386), like preceding, the sides engraved with ci'ossed 
lines. The back of the die has four lead plugs and a liole for a 
similar plug. The front has an incised rectangular design with 
three lead plugs. 
Cat. no. E 894. Small ivory die (figure 138ff), like the preceding; 
height 1 inch, twelve- 
sixteenths of an inch 
wide at back, and 
eight-sixteentlis of an 
inch at side; front 
face having small 
plug of lead. 
Cat. no. E 1857. Small 
wooden die ( figure 
138e), like the pre- 
ceding, liV inches 
high, twelve- six- 
teenths of an inch 
wide at back and 
sides; the back and 
three sides marked 
with incised lines. 
Cat. no. E 1859. Small 
wooden die (figure 
138c), like the pre- 
ceding, fifteen-sixteenths of an inch high and nine-sixteenths of 
an inch wide at side; perfectly plain. 
All these specimens were collected in Sitka by Lieut. Geqrge T. Em- 
mons, U. S. Navy. They are designated as women's gambling dice. 

Fig. 139. Leather tablet on which dice are thi'own: lieight, 
7} inches; Tlingit Indians, Alaslsa; cat. no. E lidB, Amer- 
ican Museum of Natural History. 




Dr Boas informs me that one die is used. The counts are : 

Either side up, ; Imcli or front up, 1 ; bottom up, 2. 

The dice are thrown upon a thick tablet of leather about 8 inches 
square, cut with a totemic device. One (cat. no. E 606. figure 139) 
has the device of a bear's head. Another (cat. no. E 1057) a beaver, 
and still another (cat. no. E 2404) an unidentified animal. 

Similar dice are used by tlie Ilaida and i:)ossibly by the Kwakiutl. 


PoMO. Tculaki. Mendocino county, California. (Cat. no. 54473, 

Field Columbian Museum.) 
Six wooden staves (figure 140), 17 inches in length, fiat on one side, 
the oth^r convex, with rounded ends, the convex faces decorated 
with l)urned designs, in two slightly different patterns; accom- 
panied with twelve counting sticks, rudely whittled, 11 inches 
in length. 
The collector. Dr George .\. Dorsey, who obtained these objects in 
1899, describes the game as follows : 

Pio. 140. Stick dice; length, 17 inches; Pomo Indians. TculaH, California; cat. no. 54473, Field 

Columbian Museum. 

Name, ka-dai. Twelve is the game. All white, kule-laile-ka, counts 2: all 
black, katse-mal da butchin, counts .3: three white, three black, bubu-kule-ka, 
counts 1. It is pla.ved by women. 

Ukiah, California. (Field Columbian Museum.) 

Cat. no. 61085. Six staves (figure 141) of elder wood, 10 inches in 
length, similar to the preceding, decorated alike on the rounded 
face with a burned figure, designated as kawinatcedi, turtle-back 


Collected by Dr George A. Dorsey, who gives the counts us folh)\vs: 

Three plain up counts 3 ; three plain down, 1 ; six plain up, 6 ; six uuirlied 
up, 2. 

Pig. 141. Stick dice; length, 11) inches; Pomn Indians, Ukiah, California; cat. no. 61085, Field 

Columbian Museum. 

Cat. no. 61086. Six staves (figure 142). similar to preceding, 11 

inches in length, four marked alike and two slightly different, 

with turtle-rib pattern, kawinamisat. 
Cat. no. 61087. Six staves (figure 143), similar to the preceding, 

made of elder, 12 inches in length, marked alike with hododudu- 

ciba, the milk-snake pattern. 

Pig. 142. Stick dice; length, 11 inches; Pomo Indians, Ukiah, California; cat. uo. 61086, Field 

Columbian Museum. 

Cat. no. 61146. Six staves (figure 144). similar to the preceding, 
lOf inches in length; four marked alike and two differently, the 
counts varying much. 

Cat. no. 61166. Six staves (figure 145), similar to the preceding, 
14f inches in length, all marked differently with burnt design. 




Cat. no. fillTl. Six staves (figure 14()). like the preceding, made of 
elder, 11 inches in length and marked alike. Collected by Dr 
George A. Dorsey. 

Pig. 143. 

Fig. 144. 




Fig. 145. Fig. 146. 

Fig. 143. Stick dice; length, 12 inches; Porno Indians, Ukiah, California; cat. no. 61087, Field 

Columbian Museum. 
Fig. 144. Stick dice; length, 10} inches; Porno Indians, Ukiah, California; cat. no. IU146. Field 

Columbian Museum. 
FlQ. 145. Stick dice; length, 14f inches; Pomo Indians, Ukiah, California; cat. no. HUeti, Field 

Columbian Museum. 
Pig. 146. Stick dice; length, 11 inches; Pomo Indians, Ukiah, California; cat. no. 61174, Field 

Columbian Museum. 

Cat. no. 61175. Six staves (figure 147). 8 inches in length, of Salix 
sitchensis, mai-ked alike, designated as kadai kawiatan (toy for 



Cat. no. 61193. Six staves (figure 148), 12^ inches in length, all 

marked alike. 
Cat. no. 61194. Six staves (figure 149), 12^ inches in length, all 

marked alike. 

Fig. 147 

Fig. 149. 

Fig. U». 

Fig. 14T. Stick dice: length, 8 inches; Pomo Indians, Ulriah, California: cat. no. 8117.5, Field 

Columbian Museum. 
Fig. 14H. Stick dice; length, 13i inches: Pomo Indians, Ukiah. California; cat. no. 6119:j, Field 

Columbian Museum. 
Fig. 149. Stick dice; length, 12} inches; Pomo Indians, Ukiah, California; cat. no. B1194. Field 

Columbian Museum. 

Cat. no. 01089. Twelve counting sticks (figure 1.50). kadai haitai 
(counters), ash shoots, painted black, 9^ inches in length. 

Cat. no. 61090. Twelve counting sticks (figure 151). 10 inches in 
length, with burnt markings on the end and in middle of the 
tsupiam, lance ]iattern. 




Cat. no. 61091. Twelve counting sticks (figure 152), 04 inches in 
length, with burnt markings of the niisakala, black-snake pat- 

Fig. 154. Fig. 155. 

Pio. 150. Counting sticks for stick dice: length, 9} inches: Porno Indians, Ukiah, California; 

cat. no. 61089, Field Columbian Museum. 
Fig. 151. Counting sticks for stick dice: length, 10 inches; Pomo Indians, Ukiah, California; 

cat. no. 61090, Field Columbian Museum. 
Fig. 152. Counting sticks for stick dice: length, 94 inches: Pomo Indians, Ukiah, California: 

cat. no. 61091, Field Columbian Museum. 
Fig. 153. Counting sticks for stick dice; length, 9s inches; Pomo Indians, Ukiah, California; 

cat. no 61092, Field Columbian Museum 
Fig. 154. Stick dice; length, 16 inches; Pomo ludians. Lake village, California; cat. no. 54474, 

Field Columbian Museum. 
Fig. 155. Astragalus of deer used as die; Pomo Indians. Ukiah valley, California: cat. no. 70937, 

Field Columbian Museum. 

Cat. no. 61092. Twelve counting sticks (figure 153), 9|^ inches in 
length, with burnt markings. 



All of the preceding were collected by Dr George A. Dorsey. 
PoMo. Lake village. Lake county, California. (Cat. No. 54474, 

Field Columbian Museum.) 
Set of six staves (figure 154) of elder wood. 15 inches in length, simi- 
lar to the 23receding, but each with a different pattern. 
They were collected in 1899 by Dr George A. Dorsey. who desig- 
nates them as kaikadai. 

Ukiah. Mendocino county, California. (Cat. No. 70937. Field 

Columbian Museum. ) 
Astragalus of deer (figure 155), described by the collector. Dr J. W. 
Hudson, as used as a die. 


Klamath. Upper Klamath lake, Oregon. (Cat. no. 61711. <il7-J2, 

Field Columbian Museum.) 
Four pine staves (figure 15(>), 7f inches long, flat on one side, rather 
rounded on the other, and tapering to the ends. 







Fig. 156. Stick dice; length. 7i inches: Klamath Inrtians. Oregon; cat. no. BITU. Field Columbian 


Two of the Staves are marked by a series of nine parallel lines at 
each end and tlu-ee parallel lines in the center, and are known as 
shnawedsh. women ; the remaining two sticks are marked from end 
to end by zigzag lines ci'ossing back and forth from side to side, and 
these are called xoxsha or hishiiaksk. male person. All these lines 
have been burnt in by means of a sharp-pointed iron tool. 

The counting is as follows : " 

■■ Certain Gambling Games of the Klamath Indians. American .Anthropologist, n. s., v. 
3, p. 25, 1001. 




All marked sides up or down count 2: both uinle sticks up with women down, 
or vice versa, count 1. These are the only counts. 

The set no. 61722 differs from the j^receding only in the number of 
parallel lines on the two shnawedsh staves. At the ends of the two 
staves there are seven parallel lines, while in the center of one are 
five and of the other six parallel lines. These specimens were col- 
lected in 1900 by Dr George A. Dorsey. who furnished the above 
description of the game under the name of skushash. 

Klamath. Oregon. (Cat. no. 2412G, United States National Museum. ) 

Four woodchuck-teeth dice (figure 157), two, both lefts, stopped at 
the end with red cloth and marked on the 
flat side with chevron pattern, and two. some- 
what smaller, one right and the other left, 
apparently from the same animal, marked 
on the same side with five small holes. Col- 
lected by L. S. Dyar, Indian agent. 
The game is described by Dr Albert S. Gat- 

schet." under the name of skushash : 
The four teeth of the beaver are marked for this game 

by the incision of parallel lines or crosses on one side, 

and a small piece of woolen or other cloth is inserted 

into the hollow to prevent lireaks in falling. The two 

longer or upper teeth of the beaver are called the male. 

lakf. the pair of lower and shorter the female teeth, 

gfilo. kulu, distributive form: kfikalu. The marked side 

i>f the teeth wins, if it is turned uj) after dropping. The 

teeth of the woodchuck (mu-i, or moi) serve for the same purpose. . . . In 

this game of beavers" teeth (pu'man tfit) or woodchuck's teeth (mflyam tut) 

they use twelve check sticks to count their gains with. The game is played tiy 

two persons, or by two partners on each side. 

A further account of the game is found in a text translated by 
Doctor Gatschet : '^ 

The Klamath lake females play a game with beavers" teeth, letting them drop 
on a rubbing stone. When all the teeth fall with the right, or marked, side 
uppermost, they win 2 checks. If both female teeth fall right side up, they 
win 1 check. If both male teeth fall right side up, they win 1 check. Fall- 
ing unequally, they win nothing. They quit when one side has won all the 
stakes. Women only play this game. 

The beaver-teeth game may be regarded as a modification of the 
bone game played by the Blackfeet. The four beaver teeth marked 
with circles or dots and lines arranged in chevrons clearly rej^lace the 
four similarly marked staves. Again, the tooth tied with sinew cor- 
responds with the sinew-wrapped stave. The twelve counters agree 
with those of the Blackfeet. 

Fig. l.iT. Woodchuck- 
teeth dice; length. 1; tt» 
li inches; Klamath In- 
dians, Oregon; cat. no 
24126, United States Na- 
tional Museum. 

° The Klamath Indians. 
Washington. 1890. 
»Ibid., p. SO, 

Contributions to North American Ethnology, v. 2, pt. 1, p. 81, 


Klamath. Uppei" Klamath lake, Oregon. (Cat. no. 6153G, 61734, 

Field Columbian Museum.) 

Set of four woodchuck teeth, the two upper teeth marked on the flat 

side with zigzag lines extending the length of the teeth ; these 

are called laki, male. 

The lower teeth are marked by four incised dots and are kulu, 

female. In another set (61734), figure 158, the markings are as in 

the preceding set, except that the lower teeth have fi\'e dots instead of 

Fio. 158. Woodchuck-teetli dice; Klamath Indians, Oi-egon; cat. no. 61734, Field Columbian 


four, and that the incised markings on all four teeth have been filled 
with red paint instead of black as in the preceding set. These speci- 
mens were collected by Dr George A. Dorsey." who gives the name of 
the game as skushash, and says : 

lu playing the game, which is generally done by women, the teeth are dropped 
on a hard level object, such as an under grinding stt>ue. The count is the same 
as in the stave game, namely, all marlced dice up or down, 2 ; both males up with 
females do\yn, 1. 


Chukchansi. Chow chilly river, Madera county, California. (Cat. 
no. 70890, Field Columbian Museum.) 

Astralagus of deer used as a die. Collected by Dr J. W. Hudson. they call ka-nish-nau-she, to flip between thumb and second finger. 
The counts are 0, 2, 3, 5. 

Doctor Hudson also gave the following description of this game, 
obtained from the Tcausilla living on Chowchilly River, about 4 
miles west of Ahwahnee post-office. 

The bone and the game are called by the same name, kanisbnaushe, mean- 
ing flipped between thumb and second finger. The bone is thrown like a die. 
There are four counts, 1, 2, 4, 12, depending upon the side that turns uppermost. 

Tejox. Tule River reservation, California. (Cat. No. 70371. Field 

Columbian Museum.) 
Flat basket plaque for dice game, collected by Dr J. W. Hudson, who 
describes it as follows : 
This game is played by women with six dice made from halves of walnut 
shells. The game, whioh is played by any number is called ho-wateh, the same 

" Certain Gambling Samea of the Klamath Indians. American Anthropologist, n. s., 
V. 3, p. 26, 1901. 




name being applied to the dice. Three up and 3 down count 1 : all up or all 
down. 5. The count is kept with 10 sticks, witchet. The basket plaque is 
called tai-wan. The designs on this plaque represent the women players, the 
walnut-shell dice, and the counters. 

The game is played also by all other Mariposan tribes in this manner. 

WiKTCHAMXE. Keweali river, California. (Collection of Dr C. 
Hart Merriam.) 

Flat basket plaque for dice game (figure 159) 22^ inches in diameter, 
with a coil foundation of yellow grass. Epicampes rigens; the 
body material is of the root of the Cladium mariscxis. It is dec- 

PlG. 15a. Dice ijlayue; diameter, 22J inclies; Wiktoliamne Indians, Keweah river, CalUuruia; 
in the collection of Dr C. Hart Merriam. 

orated with colored designs in red and black; the red twigs with 
bark on. of redbud (Cercis occidentalis) , the black, the root of 
the basket fern [Pteridium) . Doctor Merriam describes the 
game as played with eight dice of half walnut shells filled with 
pitch, inlaid with abalone shell. The flat faces up count when 
2, 5, or 8 are up together. Two and five up count 1 each: eight 
up. 4. The basket is called ti-wan. The man-like figures repre- 
sent water dogs, the 5-spots, wild-cat tracks, and the double 
triangles, deer tracks. 
The employment of these basket plaques in dice games may in part 



be explained upon the supposition that the phiques originated in 
basket shields. The coiled basket trays made by the Hopi Indians at 
the Second mesa, which suggest shields in their general character, were 
probably derived from shields. One of the Hopi names for shield is 
tii'"-o-230-o-ta, from tu'"'-o-ka, enemy, po'-o-ta, the circular tray. An 
unique examiale of an ancient basket shield, from a clitf-dwelling in 
the Canyon de Chelly, Arizona, is represented in plate i." 

YoKUTS. Fort Tejon and Tule river, California. 
Mr Stephen Powers '' gives the following account : 

The Yokiits have a sort of gaiiililing which jK-rtahis exrhisively to wniiien. It 
i.s a kind of dice throwing, and is called u-ohu'-us. For dice they talie half of a 
large acorn or walnut shell, fill it level with pitch and pounded charcoal, and 
inlay it with bits of bright colored abalone shells. For a dice table they weave 
a very large fine basket tray, almost flat, and ornamented with devices woven 
in black or brown, mostly rude imitations of trees and geometrical figures. 
Four squaws sit around it to play, and a fifth keeps tally with fifteen sticks. 
There are eight dice, and they scoop them up in their hands and dash them into 
the basket, counting 1 when two or five flat surfaces turn up. The rapidity 
with which the game goes forward is wonderful, and the players seem totally 
oblivious to all things in the world beside. After each throw that a jilayer 
makes she exclaims, yet'-ni or wl-a-tak or ko-mai-^h, which are simply a kind 
of sing-song or chanting. 

Tule Kiver reservation, Tulare county, California. ( Cat. no. 

70395, 70396, 70397. Field Columbian Museum.) 
Eight split reeds (figure 160), 13 inches in length, with V)acks rudely 
smeared with seven and eight bands of red paint ; four willow 

Fig. 16U. Cane dic-e and counting sticks; length of dice, 13 inches: length of counting sticks, 20 
inches; Yokuts Indians, Tule River reservation, California; cat. no. TO.39.5. 7(i:»(j. Field Colum- 
bian Museum. 

rijws: and 2.") willow 

counters, 20 inches long, marked with rc<l >t 
sticks, pointed at one end. 

" This shield, which is 31 inches in diameter, was found by Mr Charles L. Da.v, of Chin 
Lee, Arizona, in the cliff-house known as the Muramy cave, in the Canyon del Muerto, .luly 
19, in04. It is now in the United States National .Museum, cat. no. 1'3177S. 

K Tribes of California. Contributions to North .\merican Ethnology, v. 3, p. 377, Wash 
ington, 1877. 


These were collected by Dr J. W. Hudson, who describes them as 
used in tlie flip-stave game by women. 

The game is called tsikehi, to hurdle. Twenty-flve sticks are stuck in a row 
in the ground and receive the same name as the game. The throws are counted 
around these sticks with four stick counters or horses called witchet. All con- 
cave sides up count Hi; one concave side up. 1 : two concave sides up. -. and so 
on ; but if an opponent ties your throw you go back as much. 

The game appears from Doctor Hudson's description to be played also for 
counting sticks, when 4 up and -t down count 1 ; all up or all down. 4. The 
sticks are ta-cha. In another dialect they are ka-li-sa. 

YoKUTs. Mouth of Mill creek, Fresno county, California. (Cat. 

no. 70r)71, 70fi7-2. Field Columbian Museum.) 
Eight wahiut-shell dice (figure 161); basinet plaque. ■2■^ inches in 
diameter. Collected by Dr J. W. Hudson. 
The shells are filled with gum, with pieces of nbaloue shell inserted 
as usual, and the basket is old, with colored design. 

Pig. IHl. Walnut-shell dice: diametei-. about 1 incli; Yokuts Indiaus, Fresno county, California: 
cat. no. 70671, Field Columbian Museum. 


Kekchi. Northern Guatemala. 

Mr Thomas J. Collins, of Haddonfield, N. J., who spent some time 
in Guatemala, has connnunicated to the writer the following account 
of the corn game of this tribe. He says that it is still in common use 
among those in the outlying districts. In or near the Spanish- 
speaking towns, although known, it is rarely, if ever, played. 

It is known as bool-ik (from bool, dice, and ik, state of, or meaning of) ; " or 
as batsunk, to play ; Iain oj guech txe batsunk, I want to play. 

° In reply to my inquiry in reference to the meaning of bool, Mr Collins writes me as 
follows, under date of Deceml)er -.5, ISOI* : 

" I have some Information as to the Kekchi word bool-ik. I asked for a list of all the 
words containing the syllable bool from a seminative who has the reputation of knowing 
the language better than a Guatemalteco. Bool ; un pajarito ehiquitito, the smallest of 
birds : bool : cumbre de las montailas, the summits of mountains ; bool : burbuja, bubble : 
bool : granos de mafz marcados, the dice : bool-ok : jogar ; to play. 

"The third (bubble) recalls to me something of interest. A small, turbulent stream 
near the house at Chama was called the bul-bul-hfi, and this name was also given to a 
stream on the opposite mountain when the sound of its roaring reached us during the 
rains. Superlatives are made by repeating the adjective, and bul-bul-hS would signify 
an extremely bubbling, playful water. The way they throw the dice and the reboundin.; 
and rolling of them on the ground are very suggestive of bubbling water and eddies, and 
if the bird he means be the humming bird, as is likely, its motion would be in line with 
the same idea. The summits of the mountains are not unlike the irregular up-and-down 
flight of humming birds. 1 think that bul (bool) may fairly be taken to mean bubbling, 
playful, or dancing, in a general sense." 


The game is played on the clay floors of houses, usually at night liy light of 
the fire. The ground is swept clean and 15 grains of corn are placed in a 
straight line. U to 2 inches apart, forming eplix chet, all their places, the 14 
spaces between these grains being the board for play. 

Four flat-sided grains of corn are selected for dice, and are prepared by dig- 
ging out with the thumbnail the eye on one side of each grain and either rub- 
bing charcoal in or applying the live end of a glowing stick to the hollow, 
resulting in each of the four grains, or dice, having a black spot on one side. 
This operation is called tsep, to mark, ke ru xam, put to the face of the fire, 
or ke kek sa ix naj ru, put black in the face of his face. The black-spotteil side 
of the dice is called ru bool, face of the dice, and the blank side rit bool. bottom 
of the dice. 

The board and the dice being ready, players select their counters, five for 
each. Any small articles will do, but preference is shown for five similar twigs, 
leaf stems, or split sticks, or different lengths and kinds of these. Fragments 
of leaves of different colors or structure are often used, and where there are 
many players bits of grass, muslin, or paper ; even thread is pressed into service. 

Players, any even number, squat around the line of corn, and one of them, 
taking the four dice in his hand, throws them lightly on the ground, calling the 
number of black spots, ru bool, .showing as they lie. It may be one, two, three, 
four. or. in case of all blanks, rit bool, five. He plays in a counter to the value 
of his throw starting from the right end of the line of corn, then throws again 
and iilays farther in ; thus, if his first is two and the second five he would 
leave his counter in the seventh chet, or space, from the right of the board. 
He is followed by an opponent who plays in from the opposite, or left, end of 
the board. Then, in turn, a partner (guehben) of the first and a partner of 
the second pla.ver enter, continuing alternately, each throwing twice, entering 
each at the proi)er end of the board, until both have pkayed and it is the turn 
of the first player, who continues the advance of his counter from its position 
in the seventh space, with the object of ultimately completing his passage of 
the line. If this is accomplished without taking an ad\ersary or being taken 
by him he enters again at his own end of the board, exactly as if the board 
were continuous. 

But it is the hope of every player to fall into the space occupied by the 
counter of an adversary and so take him (xin ket, I struck, or xin chop, I 
caught). In this case he plays backward toward his entering jioint and passes 
out, carrying his captive (ix kam, he is dead). 

If he passes out safely without meanwhile being retaken by one of his op- 
(lonents, the captured counrer is retained (ix guak, he is eaten), but his own 
counter, the captor, is entered again as before. But if he is retaken before 
passing out. both himself and his captive become the prey of the new captor and 
are carried by him in the opposite direction. He in his turn may be taken, 
losing himself and all his prey. Sometimes this taking and retaking continues 
until the accumulated counters number 6 or S, the excitement of players in- 
creasing until it is a wonderful sight to look upon in the lialf light of the fire. 

All crowded together and moving ceaselessly in a euriousl.v animal way, no 
muscle or feature at rest. Some are pawing with their hands, scmie stretching 
Ijai-k like cats about to spring, or leaping for an instant upright, but all scream- 
ing comments or calling throws in voices entirel.v unrecognizable. At last the 
disputed counters are carried out at one end or the other. They are at once 
separated, those belonging to partners of the winner of them are returned to 
their owners, who enter them again (tex yoia hi chik, they are living again), 
while those belonging to the opposing side are put into a hat or some receptacle 
(lix naj kaminak. there place the dead, or, rotxotx kaminak. house of the dead). 


No player loses his throw, for if he has lost his counter, he enters another. 
but no second can he used until the first is lost. Falling into a space occupied 
by a partner does not change the play of either, hut an adversary would take 
both should he throw into that space. Players never throw more than twice 
under any circumstances, hut if the first throw takes an opponent's counter, the 
second throw counts toward carrying him home. 

The game lasts from one to three hours and is ended when one side has no 
more counters to enter (laex chixgunil xa guak, you have eaten all). 

From time to time, toward the close of the game, counters alread.y taken are 
separated, eham-alni, and counted, guar.1 hi, the burden of proof lying curiously 
enough on the victors to show they have caught and eaten all their adversaries. 

The whole idea shown by the terms of the game, and still more by the excla- 
mations and remarks of iilayers is that of the pursuit, capture, and safe carry- 
ing off of pre.v. For exami)le : Xin kan. I lay in wait ; a fm xa ram txe us. 
you intercepted him well ; ta ok lafit, enter, thou (ok is used as setting out 
upon an enterprise) ; ok rf sikbal kar, to start fishing, or ok re sikbal tsik, to 
start the hunt for birds. In the ordinary sense of enter, another word. o.ian. 
is used ; a .In xin num6 sa jumpat, I passed him quickly ; gwi jun chik xa 
kam-si gwe, if one more, you would have killed me. 

Before counters arc put in pl.a.v tlie.v are called what the.v are: Che, stick; 
<ha.1, leaf; ruk-chc, twig: ton chaj, leaf stem. Hut when put in play they 
become gwe, me, myself : laat, thou ; or in the third person are called by name 
of the player. 

Maya. Chicheii Itza, Yucatan. 

Dr Alfred Tozzer informs me that he saw grains of corn. I)la<k- 
ened on one side, that were used in a game, juego de maiz, presumably 
similar to that ol)served among the Kekchi. 

The game is called baSal iSim (bashul ishim). Four grains of corn, two of 
them colored black on one side, are thrown. The winning throws are two white 
and two black or all black. 


AwANi. Near Cold Springs, Mariposa county, California. 

Dr J. W. Hudson describes the following game under the name of 
teatacfu : 

Six half acorns are cast in a basket plaque. Half face up, half down, cnunt 
1 ; all up or down count 2. 

The game was given me by a refugee of the Awani once possessing Yosemite 
valley, called " Old Short-and-Dirty," a woman about 80 years old. who is one 
of the five surviving members of that warlike people and lives with her sister 
and a blind nephew at the above-mentioned place. None of her people have 
been in Yosemite since about 1870. 

MiwoK. California. (Collection of Dr C. Hart Merriam.) 
Plaque for dice game (figure 162), 23f inches in diameter, collected 
by Dr C. Hart Merriam. 
The collector states that this plaque was collected from the Miwok, 
but made by one of the Yuroks tribes. The Miwok call the plaque 
and game by the same name, chattattoomhe. They use six dice. 



Olamentke. Bay of Sau Francisco, Calit'oruiM. 
Louis Choris " (1816) says: 

Their games consist in throwing small pieces of wood, which fall either in 
odd or even numbers, or of others which are rounded on one side, and tlie game 

Fig. Ifi:i. Dice plaque; diameter. 23^ inches: Miwok Indians. California; in the collection of Dr 

C. Hart Merriam. 

is or won according to whetlier llie pieces of wood f;ill on tlie fl;it or round 
side. r>'^ee plate in, i.] 

MiwoK. Mariposa county. California. (Cat. no. 702-22. Field 

Columbian Museum.) 
8et of six split acorn dice with the shells removed. Collected by Dr 
J. W, Hudson. 

Tuolumne county, California, (Cat. no. T0_'l!1. I-'idd Coliun- 

bian Museum.) 
Flat basket tray, collected by Dr J, W, Hudson and described l)y him 
as used in a game called chatatha : 

Si.x halves of acorns are u.sed as dice. Three up or three down, called king-e, 
c-ounts 1 : all up or down, called a-ti-ka. 2: all other turns, a-wu-ya. nothing. 

The flat round basket trays on which the dice are tossed are called hetal. from 
a grass used as a warp in this Ijasket. Eight stick counters, chi-ki-la-hu-hu. oak 
sticks, are piled between the opponents. When one side has won them, they 
are all banded to the loser, and must be won again. 

' Voyage I'ittoiesqiie Autour du Monde, p. 5. Paris, 1822. 











TuLARES. Rancheria near Lemooiv, Kings county, California. (Cat. 

no. 200069, United States National Mnseum.) 
Flat basket tray (figure 163), 28f inches in diameter, worked in 
chevron design in colored pattern; accompanied by eight dice 

Fig. 163. Basket dice tray and die.': diameter .jf basket, 2.S; iuchos; Tulare Indians, California; 
cat. no. 200069, United States National Museum. 

made of halves of walnut shells, filled with gum and inlaid with 
pieces of abalone shell. (From the C. F. Briggs collection. See 
Holmes in Report of U. S. National Museum, 1900, plate xli, 

24 ETH — 0.^ M 10 



Choctaw. Mandeville, Louisiana. (Cat. no. 38-1:77. Free Museum 
of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania.) 

Eight grains of white corn (figure 161), 
cliarred on one side. Collected by the 
writer in 1901. 
These are used as dice in the corn game, baslsa- 
FiG. 164. Corn-grain dice; tanje. Two or more men play, throwing the com 
Choctaw Indians, Louisiana; with the hand upon the ground. The throws are 
cat. no. S'qrT, Free Museum either white, tobeh, or blaclj, losah. up. The game is 
of Science and Art, Univer- ^ ^ ^ , i.i ^ ^ ,, 

sity of Pennsylvania. twenty-five, and the counts are as follows: All 

lilaok up, untachaina, counts S; all white up, 8; 
seven white ui*i, untokalo, T: six white up, hanali, 0; five white up, tustslata, 5: 
four white up, oshta, 4; three white up, tuchaina, 3; two white up. takalok. 2: 
one white up, chofa, 1. 


Natchez. Loui,siana. 

Le Page du Pratz " says, referring to the women's game of the 
Natchez : pieces with which they play are three little bits of cane, from S to 
inches long, split in two equal parts and pointed at the ends. Each piece is 
distinguished liy the designs which are engraved on the convex side. They 
play three at a time and each woman has her piece. To play this game they 
hold two of these pieces of cane on the open left hand and the third In the 
right hand, the round side uppermost, with which they strike upon the others, 
taking care to touch only the end. The three pieces fall, and when there are 
two of them which have the convex side uppermost the player marks one point. 
If there is only one. she marks nothing. After the first the two others play 
In their turn. 


Opata. Sonora. 

Dr A. F. Baiidelier '' sjjeaks of patol, or quince, as a social game 
played often on the streets. 

Papago. Pima county. Arizona. (Cat. no. 174516, United States 
National Museum.) 
Set of four .sticks (figure 165) of saguaro cactus, about 9) inches in 
length, three-fourths of an inch in width, and one-fonrth of an 
inch thick. 
These are painted solid red on one side, " which is flat and marked 
with black lines of numerical and sex significance." They were col- 
lected by Dr W J McGee and Mr William Dinwiddie. The game is 
described by the collectors imder the name of ghingskoot : 

The four marked faces receive the following names: Old man (a), young man 
(6), old woman (c), young woman (d). In the play the sticks are held verti- 

" Histoire de la Loulsiane, v, 3, p. 4. Paris, 1758. 

'' Final Keport. Papers of the Archaeological Institute of America, Am, series, pt, 1, p. 
1'40, Cambridge, 1890, 


DICE games: papago 147 

cally, bunched in the right hand, and struck from underneath on their lower ends 
by a stone grasped in the left hand, the blow shooting them vertically into the 
air [figure 166]. Two backs and two fronts of any sticks up counts 2; three 
fronts and one back of any sticks up, 3 ; three backs and the young man up, 4 ; 
all fronts up. 5" ; three backs and the old woman up, 6 : all backs. 10 ; three backs 
and the young woman up, 14 ; three backs and the old man up, 1.5. If the sticks 
touch or fall on one another, the throw must 
be repeated. The counts are kept on a rec- 
tangle marked on the ground [figure 167], _________________ 

usually approximating 12 by 8 feet, having 1 1' " "h'--|^-^-^-->=^^^^^-— =-^ 

ten holes, or pockets, counting the corners 

each time along each side. At two alternate 

corners are two quadrants called houses 

(kee) of five holes each not counting the cor- Fig. 165. Stick dice; length, 9} inches; 

ner holes, called doors (jouta). Papago Indians, Pima county, Ari- 

rj,, „ - „i 1 1 J. i, £ zona; cat. no. 174516, United States 

The game is played by two, three, or four „ ,. , ,, 

1 . . National Museum. 

players for self or partner, with counters 

called horses. These usually number two for each player. They are put 
into play consecutively and by alternate throws of the players. A throw of 
less than 5, which does not carry the horses out of the door, prevents a 
player from entering another horse until his aggregate throws are 5+, thus 
putting his horse into the rectangle proper. After all the horses of a single 
contestant are in play he may move the same horse continuously. In counting, 
the pockets from A to either of the nearest corners is l.o. It is optional with the 
player whether he turns to the left or right upon leaving the door, though he 








o o o o o 

c b a 

Fig. 166. 

Fig. 166. Papago Indian striking stick dice in the air; from photograph by William Dinwiddle. 
Fig. 167. Circuit fur stick dice; Papago Indians, Arizona; from sketch by McGee and Dinwiddle. 

must move his horse round the rectangle in the same direction after once 
starting. If X throws 15, moving to o, and W throws the same number, enabling 
him to move to the same point, he kills, or throws X's horse out of play, and he 
must start his piece over again ; and again, if he should throw 14, he accom- 
plishes the same result (there is no 1 in the stick count). However, if X 
should get to c and W throw 10 from bouse and get to il. he does not kill him. 
If on the next throw W throws 14 and X has not moved from e, he kills him. 
A horse must run entirely around the rectangle and back into the house pockets, 
where he is safe from being killed ; but to lualce him a winning piece, the exact 

"At this play they all laugh, and say the player "has not done skinning himself." 



number to count to a must l)e thrown by the sticks. When a horse is on a 
pocket adjoining o, a 2 throw is considered out. The object of the game is to 
carry all the horses around the pockets and out again at a. the first player 
succeeding in this being declared the winner. 

Papago. Cahili, Arizona. (Cat. no. S674, 59, Rijks Ethnographi- 
sches Museum, Leiden.) 

Set of four sticks (figure 168), 4i inches in length, rounded on one 
side, flat, unmarked on the other. Catalogued under the name 
of quince as a woman's game. Collected by Dr H. F. C. ten 
Kate, jr, in 1888. 

Fig. 168. Stick dice; length, 44 inches; Papago Indians, Arizona; cat. no. S674, 59, Eijks Ethno- 

graphisches Museum, Leiden. 

Pima county, Arizona, 
tional Museum.) 

(Cat. no. 174443, United States Na- 

Astragalus of bison (figure 169). Collected by Dr W J McGee, 
who described it as used in a game called tanwan. 
The game is played by two persons, who sit facing each other, four or five feet 
apart. The bone is twirled into the air out of tlie 
thumb and forefinger, the back of the hand being held 
upward. The position in which it falls on the ground 
controls the count in the game. So long as the player 
succeeds in throwing the pitted side, or cow hoof, as 
it is called, upward he retains possession of the bone, 
and with each tln-ow wins one bean from a prear- 
ranged number eiiually divided between the players. 
The sides do not count in the play, and the thrower 
may play again and again without forfeiting the bone 
until he throws the flat side, opposite the cow hoof, 
upward, when the bone goes to his opponent to throw, 

with the same conditions. The winning of the entire number of an opponent's 

counters constitutes a game won. 

PiMA. Arizona. (United States National Museum.) 
Gat. no. 27842. Set of four sticks of willow " wood, 9 inches in 
length, three-fourths of an inch in breadth, and one-fourth of an 
inch in thickness (figure 170) : flat on one side, which is incised 
with transverse and diagonal lines filled in with black paint; the 
opposite side rounded and painted red. 
Cat. no. 27843. Set of four sticks of willow " wood, 8f inches in 
length, three-fourths of an inch in breadth, and one-fourth of an 

Pig. 169. Astragalus of bi- 
son used as die; Papago 
Indians, Pima county, 
Arizona; cat. no. 174443, 
United States National 

" Salix amygdaloides. 




inch in thickness (figure 171) ; identical with preceding, except 
in the arrangement of the incised lines. Both collected by Mrs 
G. Stout. 




Fig. 170. Stick dice; length, 9 inclies; Pima Indians, Arizona; ca-t. no. £7843, United States 

National Museum. 

Cat. no. 76017. Set of four sticks of hazel wood, 7.{ inches in length, 
one-half of an inch in breadth, and one-fourth of an inch in 


TT 1 




Fig. 171. Stick dice; length, 8| inches; Pima Indians, Arizona; cat. no. 2784.3, United States 

National Museum. 

thickness (figure 172) ; flat on one side, and marked with incised 
lines cut at angles across the sticks. These lines are painted red, 

Pig. 172. Stick dice; length, 7J inches; Pima Indians, Arizona; cat. no. 76017, United States 

National Museum. 

and the inscribed part of the faces, black; opposite, rounded 
sides, plain. These were collected by Dr Edward Palmer and 
described as men's sticks. 



Doctor Palmer states : 

A space of 10 square feet is inclosed by holes made in tbe ground [figure 
178], At opposite corners on the outside are two 
semicircular rows of five holes each. At the liegin- 
ning a marking-stick is put into the center hole. A. of 
each semicircle, and the point is to play around the 
square, and back again to the center hole. Each pair 
of players moves the pegs in opposite directions, and 
whenever the count is made that would bring t)ie 
stick to the hole occupied by that of the antagonist, 
be is sent back to his original starting place. 

The counts are as follows: Four round sides up, 
counts 10 ; four flat sides up, 5. When only one flat 
side is up, it counts whatever is marked on it ; any 
three counts 3, and any two, 2. 


o o 

o o o oo 





o o o o o 



o o o o o 





o oo o o 



Fig. 17,S. Circuit for stick- 
dice game; Pima Indians. 
Arizona; from sketch by 
Dr Edward Palmer. 

Arizona. (Cat. no. TfiOlS. 
States National Museum.) 
Set of four sticks 7f inches long, one-half 
inch in breadth, and one-fourth of an inch 
in thickness; flat on one side and painted 
black; the opposite side rounded and painted red. Collected by Dr 
Edward Palmer and described by him as women's sticks. 

Two play. The sticks are held in the right hand, between the thumb and 
forefinger, and, with an underthrow, touch the ground slightly, and are let fly. 

The counts are as follows: Four blacks, counts 2; four reds. 1: two blacks, 

Cat. no. 211935. Squared wooden block, 7J inches long, marked on 
its four sides, as shown in figure 174. 




Flo. 174. Foxir faces of stick die; length, 1} inches; Pima Indians, Arizona; cat. n». 211935, 
United States National Museum. 

This specimen was collected by Mr Clarence H. Shaw, who de- 
scribes it as used in the game of kinsgoot : 

It is held in the palm of each hand and thrown from the pla.ver with a push- 
ing motion. The counts are indicated on figure 174: 1.5, 4. 14. 6. The game 
ends at 45. 

Pima. Arizona. (Cat. no. S362, 52. Rijks Ethnographisches Mu- 
seum, Leiden.) 
Three sticks (figure 17.-)). from a set of four, about 5 inches in 
length, marked on one face with incised lines. 




These were collected by Dr H. F. C. ten Kate. jr. and catalogued 
under the name of kiense (quince), and aj^e similar to the sets from 
the Pima in the United States National Museum (cat. no. 27842. 
278i3. 7(i017). 

Dr ten Kate" refers to this game as kiensse, and says it resembles 
the otochei and oetaha of the Yuma and Mohave. 


Fig. 175. Stick dice; length, .i inches; Pima Indians, Arizona; cat. no. S382, 52, Rijk» Ethno- 

graphisches Museum. Leiden. 

Pima. Arizona. (Cat. no. 218042. United States National Mu- 
.seum. ) 

Four sticks of mesquite wood, about 8f inches in length, hemi- 
spheric in section and not colored on either side. They were 
collected by the late Dr Frank Russell, who gives the name 
of the game as ki°ts and of the sticks as ki^ts kut. 

The sticks [figure 176] are designated as foUows: 

No. 1. ki-ik. four. No. 2. teo-otp'. six. No. 3, si-ika. meaning of word un- 
known to informants. No. 4. kl°ts. meaning also unknown. 

The pla.vers sit about 10 feet apart, and put the sticks in play by stiiking 
from l>elow with a flat stone held in the left hand. The sticks are held nearly 
vertical, but are inclined a little forward, so that they will fall in the center of 
the .space between the players, who rake them back with a long stick after each 

The count is similar to that described for the Papago game, if we substitute 
the Pima names for the pieces as follows : 

Two backs and 2 faces count 2; 1 back and 3 faces count 3: ki-ik facing up 
and others down count 4 : all faces up count a : tco-oti)' 
facing up and others down count 6 ; all faces down count 
10 : si-ika facing up and others down count 14 : ki°ts fac- 
ing up and others down count l.j. The counts are kept 
upon a rectangle marked upon the ground, usually approx- 
imating 12 by 8 feet, having 10 holes or pockets, counting 
the corners each time along each side. .\t two alternate 
corners are two quadrants, called houses (ki).of five holes 
each, not counting the corner holes, called doors (utpa). 
The stick used by each player or side to mark its throw is 
called rsaika. slave or horse. When a player is " coming home " and his count 
carries his " slave " only to the last hole of his house, it is said to be " in the 
fire." and remains " liurnt " until he throws a less number than 14 or 15. 

The corner hole of the rectangle is called tcoliit. hii) ; the second, tcoolrsan, 
near the corner; the third, rsa-akit, middle: the fourth, koketam. above the end; 
the fifth, ko-ok. last : the first hole of the house, tcooletam. above the hip : the 




ZEE 1 
I2S 2 

ZZ) 3 

Fig. 176. Stick dice; 
Pima Indians, Ari- 
zona; cat. no. 218012, 
United States Na 
tional Museum. 

" Relsen en Onderzoekingen in Noord .\merika. p. 139, Leiden, 1885. 


hecond, ki-ik vak' utra. four hole end; the third, vai-ik vak' utra. three hole 
fcnd ; the fourth, sap'k" utra, right end or place; the tifth, tai-I utra, fire end or 
in the fire. 

Doctor Kussell describes also the following stick dice game, which 
is played exclusively by women : " 

Kfl-anilsaknt. This stave game is pla.ved with eight sticks, in 'two sets of 
four each, which are colored black on the rounded side in one set and black on 
the flat side in the other, the opposite side being stained red. Two pla.v, each 
using her own set of sticks, but e.xchanging them alternatel.v, so that first one 
set is in use and then the other. The,v are held loosely in tlie right hand, and 
are thrown from the end of the metate or an,v other convenient stone. If all 
fall red side up, one point is scored by a mark in the sand. If all are black, 
two are counted. Four points completes the game. 

Tarahumare, Pueblo of Carichic, Chihuahua, Mexico. (Cat. no. 

^^, American Museum of Natural History,) 
Set of four split reeds, 6 inches in length and one-half of an inch in 
wddth, marked on the inner, flat sides, as shown in figure 177; 
opposite sides plain. 
Collected by Dr Carl Lumholtz. who says: '' 

Their greatest gambling game, at which they may play even when tipsy, is 
quince, in Tarahumare romavoa. It is played with four sticks of equal length, 
called romaiaka and inscribed with certain mai-ks to indicate their value. They 

. practically serve the same purpose as 
A 'v w Vv v. — J'y y y^ y y 1 dice, but they are thrown in a different 
^\SKS!^^^S >s> V^yy^ ^'"J'- The pla.ver .grasps them in his left 

hand, levels their ends carefully, lifts 

-yW his bundle and strikes the ends against 

a flat or square little stone in front of 

1 him, from which they rebound toward 

\ his opponent. The sticks count iu ac- 
cordance with the way they fall. The 
" I point of the game is to pass through a 

' figure outlined by small holes in the 

Fig. it:. Stick dice; length, 6 inches; Tara- ground between the two players. The 
hiimare Indians, pueblo of Carichic, Chi- ^ i, ■, , j., 

, , „ ■ ,. ,, , • movements, of course, depend upon the 

huahua, Mexico; cat. no. gVs, American ^ ' 

Museum of Natural History. points gained in throwing the sticks, 

and the count is kept by means of a 
little stone, which is placed in the respective hole after each throw. .Many 
accidents ma.v impede its progress; for instance, it ma,v happen to be in the 
hole into which the adversary comes from the opposite direction. In this 
case he is killed, and he has to begin again from the opposite side. The 
iidvance is regulated by a number of ingenious by-laws, which make the game 
liiglily intellectual and entertaining. If he has the wherewithal to pay his 
losses, a Tarahumare may go on jilaying for a fortnight or a month, until he 
has lost everything he has in tliis world except his wife and children; he draws 
the line at that. He scrupulously pays all his gambling debts, (See plate 
III, c, ) 

" From a forthcoming memttir li,v the collcctfn*. to Im iniblished by the Bureau of Ameri- 
can Ethnology. 

'' rnkrif)wn Mexico, v. 1. p. 27.S, New York. 11I0-. 





Tepehuan. Talayote. near Nabogame, Chihuahua, Mexico. (Cat. 

no. jYt- American Museum of Natural History.) 
Set of four ash-wood sticks, 184 inches in length, three-fourths of an 

inch broad, and one-eighth of an inch thick, marked on one side 

witli incised lines smeared with red paint (figure 178«) ; reverse, 

Chihuahua, Mexico. (Cat. no. ^W . American Museum of 

Natural History.) 
Set of four ash-wood sticks, identical with the preceding, except that 

they are 16J inches in length (figure 1786). 

Fig. IT.s. Stick dico; leuyth&; u, l^A uj>-hL.">; 6, lil^ iucliu^; c, 11; to 13^ inches; Tepehuan Indians, 
Chihuahua, Mexico; cat. no. jV,, ^,%, iSSo. American Museum of Natural History. 

Cat. no. xol'5- '^6t of four sticks of canyon walnut, of slightly differ- 
ent lengths, from 11] to 13i inclies, eleven-sixteenths of an inch 
wide, and one-eighth of an inch thick; one side flat, with incised 
designs composed of straight and oblique lines, the incised 
places being stained red (figure 178e) ; opposite sides rounded 
and jilain. 
Cat. no. ifl-g. Set of four sticks of piiion wood, 6^ inches in length 
and three-eighths of an inch square (figure 179). 
These last sticks have four instead of two faces. Two opposite sides 
are flat and unpainted. One set of the other four sides is unpaiuted, 
with incised lines filled with red paint, as shown in figure 179. The 
sides opposite to these are slightly rounded and painted red. The 
top stick is marked with a diagonal line across the middle, the next 



with two straight transverse, lines near each end, the third has a sin- 
gle transverse cut across the middle, and the fourth is jjlain. The 
preceding Tepehuan siiecimens were all collected by Dr Carl Lum- 
lioltz. He informs me that the Tepehuan call the game intuvigai 
zuli gairagai. game straight throwing. It is also generally known 
by the Spanish name of quince," or fifteen. 

He .states that it is played by all the tribes in Chihuahua who live 
in or near the sierra, and bv the Mexicans as well, but is not seen 

o o o o o 





o o o o o 

o o o o o 



O O O O 0( 

Fig. 179. 

Fig. 180. 

Fig. 17y. stick dice; length, 6i iuches; Tepehuan Indians, Chihuahua, Mexico; cat. no. ^S5b, 

American Museum of Natural History flower four show reverses). 
Fig. 180. Circuit for stick dice game; Tarahnmare and Tepehuan Indians. Chihviahua, Mexico; 

from drawing by Dr Carl Lumholtz. 

south of the state of Durango. It is not known to the Cora of the 
state of Jalisco, or to the Tarasco of Michoacan. 

ZuAQUE. Rio Fuerte, Sinaloa, Mexico. 

Mr C. V. Hartman, who accompanied Dr Carl Lumholtz, informs 
me that the Zuaque play the game of quince with four flattened reeds, 
calling the game kezute. 


NisHiNAM. California. 

Mr Stephen Powers " gives the following account: 

The ha is a game of dice, played by men or women, two. three, or four together. 
The dice, four in number, consist of two acorns split lengthwise into halves, 
with the outside.s scraped and painted red or black. They are shaken in the 
hands and thrown into a wide, fiat basket, woven in ornamental patterns, 
sometimes worth $25. One paint and three whites, or vice versa, score nothing ; 

" Also in French, quinze. " a popular game with cards. In which the object Is to make 
15 point.s." The name " quince " does not appear to bo confined among the Indians to 
the game played with staves. 

'Contributions to North .\meilcan Ethnology, v. 3, p. 332, Washington, 1877. 



two of each score 1 : four alike score 4. The thrower keeps on throwing until 
be makes a blank throw, when another takes the dice. When all the pla.vers 
have stood their turn, the one who has scored most takes the stakes, which 
in this game are generally small, sa.v a " bit." 

NiSHiNAM. Mokehimne river. 12 miles south of Placerville, Cali- 
Dr J. W. Hudson describes a dice game, played with four half 
acorns cast into a basket, imder the name of ha. 

Te'-o. the dice plaque basket is often oval in shape. Two alike up or two 
alike down count 1 : all alike up or down. 2. 


Bellacoola. British Cohimbia. (Field Columbian Museum.) 
Cat. no. 18422. Bone die. copied from a beaver tooth, 1| inches in 

length, the center tied with a thong and one face decorated with 

twelve dots in six pairs. 
Cat. no. 18434 and 1843.5. Bone dice, two similar to the above, but 

with chevron devices; length, 1.1 inches. 
Cat. no. 18416 to 18419. AVooden dice (figure 181), similar to the 

preceding, two carved with chevrons and two with dots; length, 

2i inches. 
All these specimens were collected by Mr Carl Hagenbeck. 

Fig. 181. W(.odeu dice; length, 2) iiK-hes; BeUacoola ludiaus, British Columbiui cat. no. 18416 
to 18419. Field Columlnan Museum. 

Clallam. "Washington. 

A Clallam boy. John Raub, described to the writer the beaver-teeth 
dice game, as played by this tribe, under the name of smitale. The 
two teeth marked with dots are called swaika, men, and the two marked 
with chevrons, slani, women. Playing cards are called smitale. 

Port Gamble, Washington. (Cat. no. 19653, Field Columbian 

Set of four beaver-teeth dice, two with straight lines and two with 
circles. Collected by Rev. Myron Eells. 

Mr Eells writes: 

Precisely the same kind are used by the Twaua. Puyallup, Snohomish. Che- 
balis, and Quenaielt : in fact, by all the tribes on Puget Sound. I have obtained 
them from the Twana and Quinaielt. 



To this list Mr Eells h:is added the (.\n\iitz, Lummi. Skagit, and 
Squaxon. and the Sooke. of British Cohimbia. 

NisQUALLi. Washington. 
Mr George Gibbs " states : 

The women have a game belonging properly to themselves. It is played 
with four beaver teeth, meh-ta-la. having particular marks on each side. They 
are thrown as dice, success depending on the arrangement in which they fall. 

In his dictionary of the Nisqnalli, the name of the game is given 
as metahi, smetali : the highest, or four-point in dice, kes. 

QuiNAiELT. Washington. (Cat. no. j^, American Museum of 

Natural History.) 
Four beaver-teeth dice. Collected by Dr Livingston Farrand. 
Shuswap. Kamloops, British Columbia. 
Dr Franz Boas '' says : 

The games of the Shuswap are almost the same as those of the coast tribes. 
We find the game of dice played with beaver teeth. 

Snohomish (?).'■ Tulalip agency. Washington. (Cat. no. 130990, 

United States National Museum.) 
Set of four beaver-teeth dice (figure 18-2) ; two, both lefts, stopped 
at the end and marked on the flat side with rings anil dots, and 

Fig. IW. Fig, 18;i 

FKi. IHa. Beaver-teeth dice; length. \} to ~ inches; Snohomish (?) Indians. Tulalip agency, 

Washington; cat. no. 130990, United States National Museum. 
Fig. 183. Counters for beaver-teeth dice; length, about .3 inches; Snohomish (? i Indians. Tulalip 

agency, Washington; eat. no. 130990, United States National Museum. 

two, rights and lefts, both apjiarently from the same animal, with 
both sides plain; 28 radial hones of birds, about :'> inches in 
length (figure 183). used as counters. Collected by Mr E. C. 
Cherouse and designated by him as a woman's game. 

" Contriljutions to North American Ethnolog.v, v. 1. p. 206, Washington. 1S77. 

".Second General Report on the Indians of British Columljia. Report of the Sixtieth 
Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, p. G41. Lniidon. I.S90. 

' It is not possible to determine the tribe exactly. The tribes at the Tulalip agency 
are given in Powell's Indian Linguistic Families of America as follows: Snohomish, 443; 
Madison, 144 ; Muckleshoot, 103 ; Swinomlsh, 227 ; Lummi, 295. 


SoNGiSH. Vancouver island, British Columbia. 
Dr Franz Boas" gives the following account: 

. Smetale', a game of dice, is played with four beaver teeth, two being marked 
on one of their flat sides witli two rows of small circles. They arc called 
women, slfi'nae smetalf-'. The two others are marked on one of the flat sides 
•with cross lines. They are called men, suwe'k-a smetale'. One of them is tied 
with a small string in the middle. It is called ink- ak- "e sen. The game is 
played by two persons. According to the value of the stakes, 30 or 40 sticks 
are placed between the players. One begins to throw. When all the marked, 
faces are either up or down, he wins 2 sticks. If the faces of the two men are 
up, of the two women down, or vice versa, he wins 1 stick. When the face of 
the iak' ak''e sen is up, all others down, or vice versa, he \vins 4 sticks. Who- 
ever wins a stick gees on playing, \\hen one of the players has obtained all the 
sticks he wins the game. 

It is considered indecent for women to look on when the men gamble. Only 
when two tribes play against each other are they allowed to be present. They 
sing during the game, waving their arms up and down rhythmically. Men and 
women of the winning party paint their faces red. 

Thompson. British Columbia. (Cat. no. ^^, American Museum 

of Natural History.) 
Set of four beaver-teeth dice (figure 184) ; one, partly split, wrapped 
in sinew; marked on one face with lines and dots, the opposite 
sides plain. Collected by Mr James Teit. 
The following account is given bj- the collector: '' 

Women played a game of dice with beaver teeth, which were tossed down on 
a spread blanket or skin by the player. Each tooth was marked on only one 
side with carved lines or spots. 
One, called the man, was marked 
with eight transverse lines and 
tied around the middle with a 
piece of sinew. Its mate was 
marked with five transverse lines, 
each having a dot in the middle. 
The other two were mates, and ^''C'7~T~X. 

were each marked alike with a /'^^IIUS^ 'C=J^- — ^^\ 

certain number of triangular lines. /C y' ^Tv 

When the dice were thrown, if all N^/ 

the blank sides or if all the faces ^-^ 

came up, it o-.unted 2 points for ^'«, ^■'•'- Beaver-teeth dice; length, U inche.,; 

Tnompson Indians, British ColumDia; cat. no. 
the thrower; if a triangular- ^e,. American Museum of Natural History, 

marked die came face up and all 

the others face down, 14 points; if the dotted one fell face up and the other 
three face down, 8 points ; if the man turned face up and the rest face down, 
4 points. If the dice fell any other way than as indicated above, it counted 
nothing, and the opposite party took their turn to throw. If a tooth fell on its 
edge, it was taken up and let fall to see on which side it would turn. This game 
is still played by some women, but nut nearly as much as it was eight or teu 
years ago, 

» Second General Report on the Indians of British Columbia. Report of the Sixtieth 
Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, p. 571, London, 1891. 

'The Thompson Indians of British Columbia. Memoirs of the American Museum of 
Natural History, v. 2, p. 272, New York, 1900. 


TwANA. Washington. 

Rev. Myron Eells thus describes the women's game : " 

The dice are made of beavers' teeth generally, but sometimes from musk-- 
rats' teeth. There are two pairs of them, and generally two persons play, one 
on each side ; but sometimes there are two or three on each side. The teeth 
are all taken in one hand and thrown after the manner of dice. One has a string 
around the middle. If this one is down and all the rest up, or up and the 
rest down, it counts 4 ; if all are up or down, it counts 2 ; if one pair is up 
and the other down, it counts 1 ; and if one pair is up or down and the other 
divided, unless it be as above when it counts 4, then it counts nothing ; 30 is a 
game : but they generally play three games, and bet more or less, money, dresses, 
or other things. The.v sometimes learn ver.v expertly to throw the one with the 
string on differently from the others, by arranging them in the hand so that 
they can hold this one, which they know by feeling, a trifle longer than the 


Klikitat. Washington. (Cat. no. 20D55, Free Museum of Science 
and Ai't, University of Pennsylvania.) 

Three beaver-teeth dice, two marked with five circles with central 
dot and one with chevrons on flat side. All have ends wrapped 
with sinew to prevent splitting and one with circles and one with 
chevrons are wrapped about the middle with sinew. Collected 
by Mr A. B. Averill. 

Yakima. Yakima reservation. Washington. (Cat. no. 37.512, Free 

Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania.) 
Four sticks, 5f inches in length, triangular in section, one side flat 
and plain and the other two sides marked with dots and cross 

lines as shown in figure 

m r- 1 ^_.-J * x^ ^^^^ ^^^- <^'oll«'C'ted by the 

^^^^^^^^^^^=====^^^^ES2^^ The dice and game are called 

^ porataliwit. The two sticks marked 

Pig. 186. stick dice: length. .5! inches; Yakima In- with cross lines are called walou, 

dians, Washington: cat. no. 37.512. Free Museum man, and the two with dots, 

of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. ,,.^j,,^^, jt is a woman's game, 

played by two persons and counted with twenty counting sticks, il quas. The 
counts are as follows: All heads up counts 2; all tails up, 1; two heads and 
two tails. 1. 

My informant, a Dalles (Wasco) Indian named Jack Long, stated 
that the game was also played by the Klikitat and Dalles Indians. 
The former call the game tskaiwit. The game is played on a blanket, 
and the sticks are tossed up with the hands. 

"Bulletin of the United States Geological Survey, v. iii, p. 90, Washington, 1877. 





Bannock. Foi-t Hall reservation. Idaho. (Cat. no. 37059, Free 
Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania.) 

Four willow sticks, halves, with pith removed and the groove painted 
red; length, 8| inches. Three have the Hat, gi-ooved side plain, 
and one has burnt cross marks. Two have plain reverses. The 
others, including the one with the flat side, are marked with 
burned designs, as shown in figure 186 ; with eight willow-twig 
counting sticks 4^ inches in length. These were collected by the 
writer in 1900. 

The stick dice and the game are called to-pe-di : the counters, ti-hope. The two 
sticks marked on the rounded convex side with cross lines and triangles are 
known, respectivel.v, as pi-au. female, and a-ku-a, male. The counts are as fol- 
lows : All heads or all tails. 1 : male and female lieads or tails up and the other 
two heads or tails down, 2 ; three heads or three tails up, 1. 


Fig. LHi;. Fig. 187. 

1H6. Stick dice: length. Si inches: Bannock Indians. Idaho: cat. no. 37059. Free Museum of 

Science and Art. University of Pennsylvania. 
Fig. 187. Cf'unting sticks for stick dice: length, ^ inches: Bannock Indians. Idaho: cat. no. 
37059, Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

Comanche. Texas. 

J. M. Stanley, in his Catalogue of Portraits of Xorth American 
Indians," says in connection with no, 92, a Comanche game, painted 
in 18-14 : 

This game is played exclusively by the women. They hold in their hands 
twelve sticks, about inches in length which they drop upon a rock : the sticks 
that fall across each other are counted for the game ; 100 such counts the game. 
They become very excited, and frequently bet all the dresses, deerskins, and 
buffalo robes they possess. 

Kiowa reservation, Oklahoma. (United States National Mu- 
seum, ) 
Cat, no, 152911«. Set of six bone dice, having both faces convex, and 

bearing on one face incised designs (figure 188) filled with i-ed 


° Page 55, Washington, 1852. The pictures were destroyed by the fire in the Smith- 
sonian Institution, January :;4, 1865. 



The reverses are plain, with the exception of the third from the 
left, which has a cross inscribed upon the back. The device on tlie 
face of this die was intended to represent the head of a buffalo, whicli 
is more plainly delineated upon one of the Mandan dice (figure 1^4^!). 
The dice are described by the collector as being played by women and 
shaken up in a basket. 

Pig. 188. Bone dice; lengths, U to 1} inches; Comanche Indians, Oklahoma; lat no. I'tiSlla, 
United States National Museum, 


189. Bone dice; lengths, 1} and H inches; Comanche Indians, Oklahoma; cat. no. 1529116, 
United States National Museum. 





Cat. no. 1529115. Set of six bone dice with designs like those on the 
preceding . but painted green instead of red (figure 189). Both 
sets were collected by Mr James Mooney. 
Hopi. Oraibi, Arizona. (Field Columbian Museum.) 

Cat. no. 55352. Sandstone slab, inscribed with 

diagram, 11 inches in length; and four 

pieces of cane, 3| inches in length, witli 

the outer face burned with dots in chevron 

pattern (figure 1!)0). 

These were collected in 1899 by Rev. H. R. 

Voth, and are described by him as implements 

for the game of totolospi : " 

In this game either two or four participate. Each 
player has one piece, which is placed in the ring seen in 
the four semicircles. The sticks are then thrown Ijy one party, and as long as 
either the plain or the figured sides of all the sticks lie upward he moves his 
piece forward over the cross lines toward the center. As soon as the sticks 
present different surfaces another player throws. 

Cat. no. 53353. Inscribed stone for game of totolospi (figure 191). 

" Compare with the Aztec totoloque ; " Sorte de jeu qui eonsistait il lancer d'un pou loin 
dp petits .j.Tk'ts coulfe en or et trfes-polis .sur des palets (^Ralemeut en or; cinq marcpics 
sufhsaieut pour qu'on perdlt ou qu'oD gajL^mlt certaine pif^ce on joaillerie qui fiu-mait 
I'cnjeu (B. Diaz)." R. Simeon, Dictionnalip de la Ijunsue Nahuatl ou Mexicaine I I'aiis, 
1S,K,^). The same name, totolospi, is applied b.v the Tewa at liano to the forei.iju Mexican 
(S[)aiiisli) same Uke Fox and Geese, and (lie worci \v;is prol)aljl.v derived from the Mexican 
like the ;inaIoguus patol. 

Fig. 190. Cane dice; 
length, ,Si inches; Hopi 
Indians, Oraibi, Ari- 
zona; cat. no, 55352, 
Field Columbian Mu- 




Cat. no. 55354. Inscribed stone for game of totolospi (figure 192). 
Cat. no. ;-)5356. Two slips of cane, 3f inches in length, marked on the 
round side with burned designs (figure 193), dice used with the 

These were collected in 1899 liv Kev. H. R. Voth, who describes 
the game as follows: 

There are two opposing parties, each of which may consist of one or more 
persons. The diagram is made smaller or larger, according to the number of 
players. Each player has one piece, or animal as the Hopi call it, and before 
starting the pieces are placed on the circles in the space that is depicted run- 
ning into the center of the diagram. This space is made either in a straight. 

Pig. 192, 

DDDfl am 
w I 



Fig. 191. Fig. 193. 

Fio. 191. Stone board for cane dite; length of diagram, S inches; Hopi Indians, Oraibi, Ari- 
zona: cat. no. 55.3.53, Field Columbian Museum. 

Flo. 192, Stone board for cane dice; length of diagram, 5 inches: Hopi Indians, Oraibi, Arizona; 
cat. no. 5.5;i')4, Field Columbian Museum. 

Fig. 193. Cane dice; length, 3J inches; Hopi Indians, Oraibi. Arizona; cat. no. 55356, Field 
Columbian Museum. 

winding, or coiled form. The number of sticks used varies ; generally, how- 
ever, either two or three are used. These are dropped upon the floor on end. 
All white or all figured sides up count. The jiluyers throw until the sticks do 
not all present the same side. The pieces are put into the outside circles and 
move from left to right. ITnder certain conditions, which have not yet lieen 
fully studieil, they are put forward over more than one point or are returned 
to the place of starting. 

Hopi. Oraibi, Arizona. (Free Museum of Science and Art. Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania). 

Cat. no. 38611. Sandstone slab, 9 inches long, inscribed with dia- 
gram, consisting of an ellipse, with 5 transverse lines on each 
side and three circles arranged as shown in figure 194. 

24 ETH — fl5 M 11 



Cat. no. 38610. Sandstone slab, 11| inches long, inscribed with a 
cross-shaped figure, with five "lines on each arm and a circle at 
each end and in the middle (figure 195). Collected by the writer 
in 11)01. 

Fig. 194. Fig. 195. 

Fig. 194. Cane dice and stone board; length of board, 9 inches; Hopi Indians, Oraibi. Arizona; cat. 

no. :^6n. Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 
Fig. 195. Cane dice and stone board: length of board, 11 J inches; Hopi Indians. Orailn, Arizona; 

cat. no. 38610. Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

Cat. no. 38609. Stone slab engraved with diagram as shown in figure 
196. Collected by tlie writer in 1901. 
These are counting boards for the game of totolospi. The is 
played by two men and the second by four. The moves are made 
according to the throws with cane dice. The first is accompanied by 
three slips of cane i inches in length, painted red on the inner, hollow 

Fig. 196. Cane dice and stone board: length of board, 124 inches; Hopi Indians, Oraibi. Arizona, 
cat. no. 38(i09, Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

side. The second also has three dice, with the convex side marked 
with diagonal burned lines. The counts are as follows : 

Three white up counts 2; three red up, 1. The players start with their mau 
on the circle nearest to them, advanein.? line by line across the board. The one 
who gets first to the opijosite side wins. The circles are called hwalmai, and 
the spaces tuwoila. 

Hopi. Walpi, Arizona. 

Mr A. M. Stephen in his unpublished manuscript gives tcomakin- 
tota as the name of a Hopi man's game, corresponding to the Navaho 
woman's game of tsittilc. 


DICE games: hopi 


Hopi. Mishongnovi. Arizona. (Field Columbian Museum.) 

Cat. no. 75568. Pottery bowl ( figure 197) . 7-i inches in diameter, cream 

Pig. 197. Decorated pottery bowl with gambling sticks; Hopi Indians, Mishongnovi, Arizona; 
rat. no. 7.V)68, Field Columbian Museum. 

color, decorated with four marked gambling sticks painted in 
brown inside of a broken band in the center. 

Fig. 198. Decorated pottery bowl with gambling sticks; Hopi Indians, Mishongnovi^ Arizona; 
cat. no. T5.S9*J, Field Columbian Museum. 

Cat. no. 75892. Pottery bowl (figure 198). 8 inches in diameter, the 
interior decorated with three marked gambling sticks painted 
in brown on a plain field inside of a ring with serrated edges 



having 30 notches ; the sjDace outside of the ring spattered. Col- 
lected from ancient graves by Mr C. L. Owen in 1900. 

Hopi. Shiniopavi. Arizona. (Cat. no. 15773.5, United States Na- 
tional Museum.) 
Pottery bowl (figure 199), containing symbolic pictograph of bird 
and four marked gaming canes. Excavated from the old ceme- 
tery " by Dr J. Walter Fewkes. 
The symbolic bird. Doctor Fewkes informed me, was identified as 
Kwataka. Eagle-man. an old crony of gamblers. 

Fig. 199. Decorated pottery bowl with Eagle-man and gaming reed casts; Hopi Indians, Shimo- 
pavi, Arizona; cat. no. 157735, United States National Museum. 

The bird in this bowl was further identified by Mr Cushing with 
the Zuni Misina, referred to in his account of sholiwe (p. 215). 

These three bowls serve to establish the existence and antiquity of a 
cane or reed game, like the Zuni sholiwe, among the Hopi. Fur- 
ther evidence of the antiquity of this game is furnished by several 
split gaming reeds excavated by Doctor Fewkes at the Chevlon ruin, 
near where the Chevlon fork flows into the Little Colorado, about 15 
miles east of Winslow, Arizona. The marks on the reeds are shown 

» Doctor Fewkes informs me that old Shimopavl was inhabited up to 1680, but the 
bowl he regards as older than the middle of the sixteenth century. 




ill figure 200. One is apparently without marks on the exterior, and 
of the four others, two have the same marks, from which it may be 
inferred that they belonged to two different sets. 

Fig. 200. Caue dice (restored): Clievlon ruin, Arizona; cat. no. loSKiO, United States National 


Kawia. Indio. Riverside county, California. (Cat. no. G3589, Field 
Columbian Museum.) 

{^^C^/^^^^^ J./^^^] 


Fig. 201. Stick dice; length, 16 inches; Kawia Indians, Indio, Riverside county, California; cat. 
no. 63589, Field Columbian Museum. 

Three staves of midrib of palmetto, 16 inches in length, one side 
rounded, the other flat with burned marks, as shown in figure 
201. Collected by Mr S. C. Simms. 



Mono. Hooker cove, Madera county, California. (Field Columbian 

Museum. ) 
Cat. no. 71926, 71927. Basket plaque, 18| inches in diameter, and six 
dice, made of acorn calyxes, filled with talc (figui-e 202). 

Flo. 202. Acorn-cup dice; diameter, seven-eighths of an inch; Mono Indians, Madera county, 
California; cat. no. 71927, Field Columbian Museum. 

Cat. no. 71178. Basket dice plaque (figure 203). 2.") inches in diam- 
eter, with colored designs. 
Both collected by Dr J. W. Hudson. 

;^-B%^..^- ^ 


Fig. 803. Basket tray for dice; diameter, 25 inches; Mono Indians, Madera county, California; 
cat. no. 71178, Field Columbian Museum. 

Paiute. Southern Utah. (Cat. no. 14662, United States National 

Museum. ) 
Slips of cane (figure 204), about 14 inches in length, painted red on 
the inner, concave side. 


- -* - .j«- 

■ -^ ''**' 

1I1-UILUU.H J.M1M.-- i-!t»^ 

Pia. 204. Cane dice: length, about 14 inches; Paiute Indians, southern Utah; cat. no. 14662, United 

States National Museum. 

Among them are several pairs, made of halves of the same cane, 
collected by Maj. J. W. Powell. A large number of other sets of these 
cane dice from the same place are contained in the National Museum. 




Paiute. Southern Utah. (Cat. no. 9411, Peabody Museum of 

American Archaeology and Ethnology.) 
Fourteen strips of cane, of inches long, with the inner, curved sides 

painted red (figure 205). Collected by Dr Edwai'd Palmer and 

said to be used on the dice principle, the red sides only being 


Pyramid lake, Nevada, 
tional Museum.) 

(Cat. no. 10045, United States Na- 

Eight slips of split cane, painted red on the inside, 11 inches in 
length. Collected by Mr Stephen Powers, who describes them as 
follows : 

Tatsungiu. gambling pieces. Ten sticlis are stucli into the ground, and two 
men iilay by throwing on end eight split pieces of reed, painted red on the 

Fig. 305. Fig. 21)6. 

Fig. 205. Cane dice; lengtli, 58 inches; Paiute Indlan-s, .southern Utah; cat. no. 9411, Peabody 

Museum ot American Ai'chieology and Ethnology. 
Fig. 206. Stick dice; length, 2} inches; Paiute Indians, Pyramid lake, Nevada; cat. no. 37152, Free 

Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

inside ; they count the pieces which fall white side up and there are two pieces 
serving as counters in addition to the pieces stuck in the ground, the latter 
representing the ten fingers. 

Pyramid lake, Nevada. (Cat. no. 37150, Free Museum of 

Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania.) 
Eight slips of split reed, painted red on the convex side ; length, 135 

inches. Collected by the writer in 1900. 
The name of these dice, as reported by Dr George A. Dorsey, is 
Cat. no. 37152. Eight small willow sticks (figure 206), rounded on 

one side and flat on the other, the round side plain and the flat 

side stained red; length, 2f inches. Collected by the writer in 

1900 through Miss Marian Taylor. 

Pyramid lake, Nevada. (United States National Museum.) 

Cat. no 19054. Set of twelve sticks of grease wood," one and three- 
fourths inches in length, five-sixteenths of an inch in breadth, 
and one-eighth of an inch in thickness (figure 207) ; both sides 
rounded, the outer painted red and the inner unpainted. 

" Larrea mexicana. 



[ETH. ANN. 24 

These were collected by Mr Stephen Powers, and are described by 
the collector under the name of nabago-in, as intended for women to 
gamble with : 

Four players squat in a circle and take turns in tossing these sticks on a 
basket tray. Five white sides must turn up to count 1. They mark in the sand 
and five marks count 1 stone : 10 stones end the game. 

Fir.. 207. Stick dice: length, 2J inches: Painte Indians, Pyramid lake, Nevada; cat. no. 19054, 
United States National Museum. 

Cat. no. 19695. Set of eight dice (figure 208), hoowats, made of 
canyon walnut shells, split in the middle, and each half filled 
with pitch and powdered charcoal, inlaid with small red and 
white glass beads and bits of abalone shell. They are accom- 
panied by a basket tray, chappit (cat. no. 19696). 

The collector, Mr Stephen Pow- 
ers, gives the following account of 
the game: 

The women squat on the ground and 
toss the dice in the tray. When either 
three or five of them fall fiat side up 
that counts 1. They keep count with 
sticks for counters. The game is exclu- 
sively for women, who bet on it with as 
much recklessness as men. 

Shoshoni. Wind River reservation, Wyoming. (Free Museum of 
Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania.) 

Cat. no. 36859. Set of stick dice, topedi, slender twigs, two marked 
alike with grooves the entire length and cross notches in the 
middle and at the ends on the flat side; the reverse plain; two 
marked with red grooves and burnt designs on the flat side, 
and with burnt designs on the reverse, which is otherwise plain; 
length, 7^ inches. 

Cat. no. 36860. Similar to the preceding, except that the designs on 
the reverses of the two sticks are slightly different; length, 9 J 

Cat. no. 36861: Two alike, one side painted red. the reverse plain. 
One painted red on the flat side, with burnt marks in the center, 

Fig. 208. Walnut-shell dice; diameter, 1 
inch: Painte Indians, Pyramid lake, 
Nevada; cat. no. 19695, United States Na- 
tional Museum. 





and burnt marks and green paint in center on the reverse; one 
with the groove painted green and burnt marks on the flat side, 
the reverse with burnt marks and green paint ; length. 11^ inches; 
with eight willow counting sticks, 8 inches in length, 
no. 36862. Two painted yellow on the flat side, the reverse plain ; 
one painted red on the flat side with burnt marks and blue paint 
in the middle, the re- 
verse with burnt cross 
lines in the middle: one 
with groove painted red, 
and burnt lines, the re- 
verse burnt with cross 
marks (figure 209) : 
length, 11 inches. 
There are five other sets in 
this collection (cat. no. 
36863-36867), all varying slightly from the above. Collected by 
the writer in 1900. The dice are struck ends down on a flat stone. 

Shoshoni. Fort Hall agency. Idaho. (Cat. no. 22285. United States 
National Museum. ) 

Set of four sticks, 10 inches in length, seven-sixteenths of an inch in 
breadth, and three-sixteenths of an inch in thickness: rectangu- 
lar in section (figure 210). made from grooved box boards, which 
Mr Gushing pointed out to the writer were used as a substitiite 
for split canes; burnt on the inner grooved side with four trans- 
verse marks, two near each end. Collected by William H. Dan- 

Fig. 2ri9, Stick dice: lengrth, U inches; Shoshoni In- 
dians. Wyoming; cat. no. 368(i2, Free Museum of 
Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania, (c,^ 
are reverses of c, rf. ) 

Fi(j. 21U. Stick dice: length, 10 inches; Shoshoni Indians; Port Hall agency, Idaho; cat. no. 
32285, United States National Museum. 

Wind River reservation, Wyoming. (Free Museum of Science 

and Art. University of Pennsylvania.) 
Cat. no. 36836. Dice, bone, marked with incised lines and painted 

red and green. 
Cat. no. 36837. Dice, bone, three round, three rectangular. 
Cat. no. 36838. Dice, blue china, three round, three oval. 
Cat. no. 36839. Dice, three blue china, three bone. 
Cat. no. 36840. Dice, three bone disks, three plum stones. 



Cat. no. 36841. Dice (figure 211). six bone disks, two sizes. 
Cat. no. 36842. Dice, three bone disks, three bone diamonds. 

Fig. 2U. 

Fig. 211. Bone dice; diameter, 4 and i inch; Shoshoni Indians. Wyoming; cat. no. 36841, Free 

Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 
Fig. 212. Bone dice; diameter, J to ig inch; Shoshoni Indians. Wyoming; cat. no. 3684.3, Free 

Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

Cat. no. 36843. Dice (figure 212). three bone disks, three bone tri- 
Cat. no. 36844. Dice, three chin;i disks, three |)hini stones. 

Fig. 213. 

Fig. 214. 

Fig. 213. China dice; diameter, } inch; Shoshoni Indians, Wyoming; cat. no. 36tS47, Free Museum 

of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 
Fio. 314. China dice; diameter, } to f inch; Shoshoni Indians, Wyoming; cat no. 36848, Free 

Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania, 

Cat. no. 36845. Dice, three bone disks, three phim stones. 
Cat. no. 36846. Dice, three plum stones, three china triangles. 

Pig. 215. 

Fis?. 216. 

Fig. 215. Bag for dice; diameter, 3 inches; Shoshoni Indians, Wyoming; cat. no. 38855, Free 

Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 
Fig. 210.'t for dice; diameter, 12j inches; Shoshoni Indians. Wyoming; cat. no. 36858, Free 

Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

Cat. no. 36847. Dice (figure 213), six china disks, two kinds. 
Cat. no. 36848. Dice (figure 214). seven china dice of three sets. 




Cat. no. 3684:9. Dice, three bone disks, three bone diamondM. 
Cat. no. 36850. Nine dice of five sets. 

All these specimens were collected by the writer in 1900. There 
are six dice of two diilerent kinds in each set. As will be seen from 
the above, three may be made of china or bone and three of plum 

Fig. 317, Counting sticks for dice; lengths, 5 and 13j inches; Shoshoui Indians, Wyoming; cat. 
no. 36868, Free Musenni of Science and Art. University of Pennsylvania. 

stones, or three may be round and three diamond-shaped or triangular. 
The reverses are all plain, (ireat ingenuity is displayed in the manu- 
facture of these dice, which are made by the women. They are called 
awunhut. The dice are carried in small buckskin bags ornamented 
with beadwork, awunhut mogutz. Cat. no. 36852, rectangular. 4 by 
'^ inches; cat. no. 36853, 36854, circular: cat. no. 36855. circular, 
diameter, 3 inches (figure 215). 

The dice are tossed in a flat woven basket, of which there are three 
specimens in this collection: Cat. no. 36856. diameter, 15 inches; cat. 
no. 36857, diameter. 11 inches: cat. no. 36858. diameter. 12i inches 
(figure 216). 

These baskets are called seheouwu. The game is counted with ten 
counting sticks of peeled willow. Cat. no. 36868 consists of ten such 
sticks, four of which are 135 '^"d six 5 inches in length (figure 217). 

Saboba. California. (Cat. no. 61940. Field Columbian Museum.) 
Set of four wooden staves, 15 

inches in length, rounded 

on one side and flat and 

marked with incised lines. 

as shown in figure 218, on 

the other. 
They were collected by Mr 
Edwin Minor, who describes the 
game as follows : 

Kuu-we'la is played by any number 
of xvomen seated on the ground in a 

circle. The players in turn bold the sticks, round side up, with the palms 
pressing against the ends of the sticlis, which are tossed up and allowed to fall 
on the ground. The count is determined by the number of faces, or flat sides, 
that turn up. The marks on the sticks are not used in the counting ; they 
merely distinguish them individually. 

Fio, 218, Stick dice; length, 15 inches; Saboba 
Indians, California; cat. no, 61940, Field Co- 
lumbian Mu,seum. 


ToBiKHAK (Gabeielenos). Los Aiigeles county. California. 
Hugo Ried " says : 

Another game, called charcharake, was played between two. each taking a 
turn to throw with the points down eight pieces of split reed 8 or 10 inches long 
and black one side. 

Uinta Ute. White Rocks, Utah. (Free Museum of Science and 

Art, University of Pennsylvania.) 
Cat. no. 37109. Four willow sticks, one side flat and painted red, 
the rounded side burnt with cross marks: length. Id inches. 

Fi(i. 219. Stick dice; length, 9i inches; Uinta Ute Indians, White Rocks, Utah; rat. no. 37110, 
Free Mnseum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

Cat. no. 37110. Four willow sticks ( figure 219), one side nearly flat 

and jiainted blue, the opposite sides also nearly flat and marked 

alike with burnt designs ; length, 9{t inches. 
Cat. no. 37111. Four willow sticks, one side flat and painted yellow, 

and the opposite side rounded and painted red : length, 16J 


Fig. 22(1. Stick dice for basket dice: length, 2[ inches; Uinta Ute Indians, White Rock.s, Utah; 
cat. no. 37112, Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

These were collected by the writer in 1900. The dice are called 

loroknop (toropwinuk, Dorsey). 

Cat. no. 37112. Twenty oval slips of willow wood (figure 220), flat 
on one side and rounded on the other, in five sets marked alike on 
the rounded side; four painted red. four yellow, four green, four 

» Account of the Indians of Los Angeles Co., Cal. Bulletin of the Essex Institute, v. 
17, p. 18, Salem, 1885. 


DICE games: assiniboin 


black, and four with burnt marks, the reverses plain ; length, 2} 
inches. Collected by the writer in 1900. 
Doctor Dorsey wives tlie name as wushanup. 

Pig. 221. I'inta Ut<' wumen playiug basket dit-e, Uui'ay, Utah; froiu pliotugraph by Dv Oeorge 

A. Dorsey. 


AssiNiBoix. Xorth Dakota. (Cat. no. 8498, United States National 

Set of four sticks of polished hickory, 15^ inches in length, about 1 
inch in lireadth in the center, tapering to three-fourths of an 
inch at ends, and one-eighth of an inch in thickness. Two are 
burnt on one side with war calumets, or tomahawks, and with 
crosses (stars?) at each end, and two each with four bear tracks, 
with stripes of red paint between (figure 222) ; opposite sides 
plain, ends rounded ; one notched and tied with sinew, to prevent 
splitting. Collected by Dr J. P. Kimball. 

■ Fort Union, Montana. 

In a report to Isaac I. Stevens, governor of Washington territory, 

on the Indian tribes of the upper Missouri, by Mr Edwin T. Denig. 

a manuscript in the library of the Bureau of American Ethnology, 

occurs the following accounts of the bowl and stick-dice game among 

the Assiniboin : 

Most of the leisure time, either liy night or by day, among all tliese nations is 



devoted to gambling in various ways, and such is their infatuation that it is 
the cause of much distress and poverty in families. For this reason the name 
of being a desperate gambler forms a great obstacle in the way of a young man 
getting a wife. Many quarrels arise among them from this source, and we are 
well acquainted with an Indian who a few years since liilled another liecause 
after winning all he had he refused to put up his wife to be played for. Every 
day and night in the soldier's lodge not occupied by business matters presents 

Pig. 222. Stick dice: length, 15} inches: Asglniboin Indians, North Dakota; cat. no. 8498, United 

States National Museum. 

gambling in various ways all the time; also in many private lodges the song of 
hand gambling and the rattle of the bowl dice can be heard. 

Women are as much addicted to the practice as men, though their games are 
different, and not being in possession of much property their losses, although 
considerable to them, are not so distressing. The principal game played by men 
is that of the bowl, or cossoo. which is a bowl made of wood with flat bottom 
1 foot in diameter or less, the rim turned up about 2 inches, and highly polished 
inside and out, A drawing and a description of the arithmetical principles of 
this game is now attached in this place. The manner of counting therein men- 
tioned is the manner in which we learned it 
from the Indians, but the value of each of the 
articles composing the dice can be and is 
changed sometimes in default of some of them 
being lost, and again by agreement among 
the playrs in order to lengthen or shorten 
the game or facilitate the counting. How- 
ever, the best and most ex|)erieneed hands 
play it as it is represented. It can be played 
between two or four : that is, either one on 
each side or two against two. The game has 
no limit unless it is so agreed in the com- 
mencement, but this is seldom done, it being 
usually understood that the players continue 
until one party is completely ruined. 

The dice and their counts [figure 223] are 
as follows : One large crow's claw, red on one 
side and black on the other, being the only one that will occasionally stand on 
end, in which case 25 for it is counted, besides its value of 5 when on its side: 
four small crow's claws, painted the same as the large one, which count 5 
each if the red side turns up ; if the black, nothing ; five plum stones, black 
on one side and scraped white on the other, the black sides turned up val- 
ued at 4 each, the white sides nothing: five small round pieces of blue 
china, one-half inch in diameter, which count .S each for the blue side, for the 
white side nothing : five vest buttons, the eyes filed off, the eye side turned up 
counts 2 each, the smooth side nothing : five heads of brass tacks, the concave- 
Bide turning up counts 1 each, the convex side nothing. 

Fig. 223. Bowl game; Assiniboin In- 
dians, Montana: from sketch by- 
Edwin T. Denig. 




First throic. Big claw on end. 30. and three red claws. 15, counts 45 ; two 
burnt sides up. ; three blue sides up. 3 each, 9 ; one eye side up, ; four con- 
caves up, 1 each. 4; total, 58. [Figure 224a. 1 

'Second Ihroir. Two red. none on end. nothing by claws, counts 0; three burnt 
sides up. 4 each. 12 ; five blue sides up. 3 each, 15 ; three eye sides up, 2 each, 
6: two concaves, nothing by tacks. 0: total. .33. [Figure 224b.] 

Third throw. Big claw on end, .30, all the rest red, 20. counts 50 ; five burnt 
sides up. 4 each, 20 ; five blue sides up, 3 each, 15 ; five eye sides up, 2 each, 10 ; 
five concave tacks. 1 each. 5 : total. 100. This is the best throw that can be 
made and takes all the stakes when the game does not 
exceed 100. [Figure 224c.] 

The bowl is held by the tips of the four fingers in- /^ y 

side the rim and the thumb underneath. The dice being / ^ ^2) 

put in. they are thrown up a few inches by striking / ^ O m o o 
the bottom of the bowl on the ground, so that each • O • O • 

counter makes several revolutions. It is altogether a \ O o o o © 
game of chance, and no advantage can be taken b.\ \ O ' 
anyone in making the throws. The counters or dice 
never leave the bowl, but are counted as the value 
turns up. One person having shaken it. and the amount 
of his throw having been ascertained, a requisite num- 
ber of small sticks are placed before him. each stick / cn:^ a^ ^J J 
counting 1. In this way the game is kept, but each / • • O #0 
keeps his adversary's game, not his own ; that is. he J « « • • • 
hands him a number of sticks equal to the amount of I p o o o o 
his throw, which are laid so that all can see them. 
Each throws in turn unless the big claw stands on end. 
in which case the person is entitled to a successive 
throw. By much practice they are able to count the 
number turned up at a glance, and the principles of the 
game being stated . . . we will now describe how /V i=^ 

it is carried on. It has been observed in reference / n ^ 
to their gambling that it is much fairer in its nature ' 
than the same as carried on by the whites, and this 
is worthy of attention, inasmuch as it shows how the , . ^ o o o 
loser is propitiated, so that the game may not result 
in quarrel or bloodshed, as is often the case. The game 
is mostly played by the soldiers and warriors, and each 
must feel ecjual to the other in courage and resolution ; piQ 2->4. Counts in bowl 
it is often kept up for two or three days and nights game; Assiniboin Indians, 
without any intermission, e.xoept to eat, until one of Montana; from sketch by 
-T, i- • . -, -n 1.1 . ._ Edwin T. Denig. 

the parties is ruined. For example. A plays against 

B; each puts up a knife, and they throw alternately until 100 is counted 
by the dice ; say A wins. B now puts up his shirt against two knives, which is 
about equal in value ; say A wins again, B then stakes his powderhorn and 
some arrows against the whole of A's winnings ; should B now win. the 
game commences again at the beginning, as A would only have lost a knife ; 
but supposing A wins. B now puts up his bow and quiver of arrows against 
all A has won. The stakes are never withdrawn. Iiut let lie in front of 
them. Say A again wins. B then stakes his blanket and leggings, which 
are about equ:il in value to all A has won. or. if not. it is equalized Iiy adding 
or subtracting some article. Supposing A again to be winner, he would then 
be in possession of two knives, one shirt, one blanket, one powderhorn. one lx>w 
and quiver of arrows, and one pair of leggings, the whole of which the Indians 
value at eight robes. B now stakes his gun all the above of A's win- 


nings. Now, if A again wins lie only retains the gnn, and the whole of the rest 
of the property won by A returns to B, Init he is obliged to stake it all against 
his gun in possession of A, and play again. If A wins the second time he 
retains the whole, and B now puts up his horse against all of A's winnings, 
including the gun. If A wins he retains only the horse, and the gnn and every- 
thing revert again to B, he being oljliged to stalce them again against the 
horse in A's possession. If A wins this time, he Iveeps the whole, but if B wins 
he only gets back the horse and gun, and all the rest of the property goes to A. 
8ui)l>osing B again loses and continues losing until all his personal property 
has passed into the hands of A, then B, as a last resort, stakes his wife and 
lodge against all his property in the hands of A. If A wins he only keeps the 
woman ; the horse, gun, and all other property returns again to B, with the 
understanding, however, that he stake it all to get back his wife. Now, if B 
loses he is ruined, but if A loses he gives up only the woman and the horse, con- 
tinuing to ])lay with the rest of the articles against the horse until one or the 
other is broke. At this stage of the game the excitement is very gr^at. The 
spectators crowd around and intense fler<eness prevails. Few words are ex- 
changed and no remarks made by those looking on. If the loser be completely 
ruined and a desperate man, it is more than likely he will liy quarrel endeavor 
to repossess himself of some of his property, but they are generally well 
matcheil in this respect, though bloody struggles are often the consequence. 
We have known Indians to lose everything — horse, 
' — ^ dogs, cooking utensils, lodge, wife, even to his wear- 
ing apparel, and l)e obliged to beg an old skin from 
.some one to cover himself and seek a shelter in the 

,T=K— =^=i^7 — :-i= — J— -^ lodge of one of his relations. It Is, however, consld- 
~ - - ered a mark of manliness to suffer no discomposure 

C ^- ^~^ - ^^ 2 -1^ to be perceptible on account of the loss, but in most 
Fig. a25. Stick dice; length Cases we imagine this a restraint forced upon the 

\2 inches; Assiniboin indi- loser by the character of his adversary. Suicide is 

ans, Montana; from sketch never committed on these occasions. His vengeance 
y win enig. seeks some other outlet — in war expeditions or some 

way to acquire property that he may again |ilay and retrieve his losses. There 
are .some who invariabl.v lose and are poor all their lives. A man may with 
honor stop pl;iying with the loss of bis gun. He has also a .second opiiortnnity 
to retire on losing his horse, and when this is so understood at the commence- 
iiient they do; but when a regular set-to takes place between two soldiers it 
generally ends as above described. 

The usual game which women play alone — that is, without the men — is called 
cliunkandee, and Is performed with four sticks marked on one side and blank 
on the other. The women all sit in a circle around the edge of .some skin spread 
upon the grqund, each with her stake before her. One of them gathers up the 
sticks and throws them down forcilily on the end. which makes them hound and 
whirl around. When they fall the number of the throw is counted, as herein 
stated. The implements [figure 22'<] are four sticks, 12 inches long. Hat, and 
rounded at the ends, about 1 inch broad and one-eighth of an inch thick. Two 
of them have figures of snakes burned on one side and two the figure of a bear's 
foot. AH the sticks are white on the opposite side. Two painted or marked 
sides and two white count 2; all the white sides turned up count 10; three liurnt 
sides up and one white count 0; three white sides up and one burnt count 0; 
four burnt sides up count 10. Each throws in turn against all otliers. and if 
the whole of the marked sides or all the fair sides of the sticks are turned up 
she is entitled to a successive throw. The g;inie is 40. and they count liv small 
sticks as in the preceding. In fine weather many of these g;iiiililiiig circles can 




be seen outside their lodges, siiending the whole day at it, instead of attending 
to their household affairs. Some men prohibit their wives from gambling, but 
these take the advantage of their husbands' absence to play. Jlost of the 
women will gamble off everything they possess, even to the dresses of their 
children, and the passion appears to be as deeply rooted in them as in the men. 
They frequently are thrashed by their husbands for their losses and occasionally 
have quarrels among themselves as to the results of the game. 

Maximilian, Prince of Wied," says : 

Another [game] is that in which they play with four small boues and four 
yellow nails, to which one of each sort is added: they are laid upon a fiat 
wooden plate, which is struck, so that they fly up and fall back into the plate, 
and you gain or lose according as they lie together 
on one side, and the stake is often very high. 

AssiNiBoiN. Fort Bolknap reservation. 

Montana. (Cat. no. 60161.' Field 

Columbian Museum.) 

Set of dice consisting of five claws, one a 

lion clav: larger than the others, five 

heads of brass tacks, one rectangular 

piece of copper, and fotir plum stones 

having one side burnt and one plain 

(figure 226). 

These were collected in 1900 by Dr 

George A. Dorsey. who describes them as 

used in th(> game of kansvi and gives the 

names and value of the objects as follows : 

Large crow claw, washage, on end counts 28 : 
red side up, 5 : small claws on end, 12 ; red side 
up, 4; plum stones, kan-h, black (saap) side up, 

4 ; plain, ska, side up, : brass tacks, masiek, concave side up. 4 : convex side 
up, 0; copper jilate. hungotunk. big mother, bright side up, 18: other side, 0. 

As in other dice games, these ob.iects are tossed in a wooden bowl, the score 
being kept by counting sticks and 100 constituting game. 

Crows. Wyoming. 

Dr F. V. Hayden '' in his vocabulary gives manopede. a favorite 
game with women, in which plum pits are used: manuhpe. plum 
(Pvurnis i'h'ahii(tiia) reveals the etymology: badeahpedik. to gamble, 
evidently referring to the dish, bate : also <■ maneshope, a game with 
sticks, played by the women. 

Crow reservation, ^Montana. (Field Columbian Museum.) 

Cat. no. 69691. Four stick dice (figure 22T). flat slips of sapling. 
11^ inches in length and one-half of an inch wide, with rounded 
sides plain, and flat sides painted red: two having burnt marks 

" Travels in the Interior of North Amerira, translated by IT. Evans IJoyd, p. infi. Lon- 
don. 1843. 

''Contributions to the Ethnoi^raphy and Philology of the Indian Tribes of the Missouri 
Valley, p. 408. Philadelphia. 18G2. 

<^ Ibid., p. 420. 

24 ETH— 0.0 M 12 

Q Q Q Q ® 

Fig. 22*1. Claw, plum-stone, and 
brass dice; Assiniboin Indians, 
Montana; cat. no. 60161, Field 
Columbian Museum. 



on both sides; one, two crosses with three dots on the red side 

opposite, and the other, six diagonal lines with two crosses on the 

red side opposite. 

These were collected hj Mr S. C. Simms, who describes them as 

used in a woman's game. There are 14 other sets of these stick dice 

in this collection, all of four sticks each, varying in length from B to 

11| inches. They are painted red, green, blue, yellow, and black. 

Two sticks in each set are distinguished by burnt marks on both sides 

more or less like those figured. 

Fig. 227. 

Fig. 228. 

Fig. 329. Fig. 230. 

Fig. 227. Stick dice; length, 11* inches; Crow Indiana, Montana; cat. no. 6'.I691, Field Columbian 

Ftg. 228. Bone dice and counting sticks; length of sticks, 4 inches; Crow Indians, Montana; cat. 

no. 69711, 69712, Field Columbian Museum. 
Fig 229. Platter for dice; diameter, 9 inches; Crow Indians, Montana; cat. no. 69712, Field 

Columbian Museum. 
Fig. 2311. Plum-stone dice; Crow Indians, Montana; cat. no. 69699, 69700, 69701, 69702, 69706, 69707, 

69708, 69731, 697:«, Field Columbian Museum. 

Cat. no. G0711, 69712. Set of implements for woman's dice game, 
consisting of six bone dice, three triangular and three rectangular, 
marked on one side with burnt designs ; a wooden bowl, 9 inches 
in diameter, and twelve willow twig counting sticks, 4 inches in 
length (figures 228, 229). Collected by Mr S. C. Simms in 1901. 
There are some fifty sets of these dice in this collection, each con- 
sisting of six pieces, of which three and three are alike. They are 
made of bone, of plum stones (figure 230). and of wood, uniformly 
marked on one side with burnt designs. A few sets are made of for- 
eign material, such as blue china, brass buttons, etc. They closely 
resemble the dice used by the Shoshoni in Wyoming. 




Dakota (Brule). South Dakota. (Cat. no. 1044:2, 1044.3, 16552, 
Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsyl- 
Eleven plum-stone dice, apparently belonging to two sets; basket in 

which dice are thrown, made 

of woven grass, 8 inches in 

diameter at top and 2^ inches 

deep, with bottom covered 

with cotton cloth (figure 

231) ; set of thirty-two sticks 

used in counting (figure 

232). consisting of eleven 

rounded white sticks, about 

13 inches in length, fourteen 

similar black sticks, made of 

ribs of an old umbrella, about 12 inches in length, and seven iron 

sticks, about 11 inches in length, consisting of ribs of an umbrella^ 

Collected bv Mr Horatio N. Rust in 1873. 

Fig. 231. Basket for plum-stone dice; diameter 
at top, 8 inclies; Brule Dakota Indians, South 
Dakota: cat. no. 10U3, Free Museum of Science 
and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

Fig. 2:«. Counting sticks for plum-stone dice; lengths, 13. 12, and 11 inches; Brule Dakota Indians, 
South Dakota; cat. no. 16552, Free Museum of .Science and Art. University of Pennsylvania. 

Dakot.a. (Oglala). Pine Ridge reservation. South Dakota. (Free 
Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania.) Im- 
plements for the game of kansu. 

Cat. no. 22119. Set of six dice made of plum stones, polished, with 
incised and burned marks. Two are marked on one face 
with a spider and on the reverse with a longitudinal line 
with three cross marks; two with a lizard, with three transverse 
marks on the reverse, and two with undetermined marks, as 
shown in figure 233, the reverses being plain. 

Cat. no. 22120. Basket, tampa. 8A inches in diameter, having the bot- 
tom covered with a disk of hide (figure 234). 



Cat. no. 22121. Wooden cup. tanipa, 3f inches in diameter and 2 
inches deep (.figure 235) — a model such as would be used l)v a 
These objects were collected by Mr Louis L. ^Sleeker," who says : 
The game is played like dU-e. Each spider [figure 283] counts i: each lizard, 
3. and each turtle, G. There is a connection between tlie native term for spider, 
inlctomi. and the number 4, topa or torn. The turtle presents six visllile mem- 
bers when it walks. An old woman here ha.s plum stones marked with the 
above signs, and also with a face, a tliunder hawk, and a bear track. She has 

Fig. 2.33. 

Fig. 23i. Fig. 2:B. 

Pig. 233. Plum-stone dice: Oglala Dakota Indians, Pine Ridge reservation. South Dakota: cat. 
no. 22119, Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

Fio. 23i. Basket for dice: diameter, 8} inches, Oglala Dakota Indians, Pine Ridge reservation, 
South Dakota: cat. no. 22120, Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

Fio . 235. Wooden cup for dice: diameter, 3i inches; Oglala Dakota Indians, Pine Ridge reser- 
vation, South Dakota: cat. no. 22121, Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsyl- 

three sets of three pairs each. The third set bears a Imffalo face on one and 
marks that represent the pickets of a buffalo-surround on the others. Tliose 
were used only to secure success in the buffalo hunt. The wagers were sacri- 

Dakota (Santee). Minnesota. 

Philander Prescott '' gives the following account in Schoolcraft : 

They play with a dish and use plum stones figured and marked. Seven is the 
game. Sometimes they throw the whole count : at others they throw two or 
three times, but frequently miss, and the next one takes the dish. The dish 
which they play in is round and will hold about - quarts. Women i>lay this 
game more than the men and often lose all their trinkets at it. 

" Ogalala Games. Bnlletin of the Free Museum of Science .nnd Art, v. 3. p. .31, Phila- 
delphia. lOOl. 

"Information respecting the History. Condition, and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of 
the United States, pt. 4, p. G4. Philadelphia, 1856. 

CLLiN] DICE games: DAKOTA 181 

Schoolcraft " describes the game of kuiitahso, which he translates 
as ■' the game of the plum stones." He figures five sets of stones, 
each consisting of eight pieces : 

111 set A [figure 230] numbers 1 and 2 represent sparrow bawks with forked 
tails, or the forked-tail eagle — Falco fiiicatiit:. This is the so-called war eagle. 
Numbers 3 and 4 are the turtle ; which typifies, generally, the earth. If 1 and 2 
fall upwards, the game is won. If but one of these figures falls upwards, and, at 
the same time, 3 and 4 are up. the game is also won; The other numbers. 5, 6, 7, 
and 8. are all blanks. B denotes the reversed sides of .\, which are all blanks. 

Set C shows different characters with a single chief figure (o) which repre- 
sents the Falco fiircatKx. This throw indicates half a game, and entitles the 
thrower to repeat it. If the same 

figure (5) turns up. the game is 4 :■ 2 l r. R 7 8 

won. If no success attends it by A (^ (^ (J) @ ^ ^ ■% ||» 
turning up the chief figure, the 

throw passes to other hands. D is ■' "' '' '- !■' '* l"' l* 

the reverse of set C and is a blank bQQ0 ®0000 

In set E. Xo. ."> represents a ' .' :; 4 .5 « , 8 

muskrat. Tlie three dots (7) iudi- ^^ ^0 ®(DO OO 
cate two-thirds of a throw, and 

the thrower can throw again : but ' :; :i 4 .5 6 7 k 

if he gets blanks the second time D^^^@@(J)Q^ 
the dish passes on to the next 

thrower. Set F is invested with ' • ^ •> 7 8 

different powers. Xo. 1 repre- i^^<g»## i)0©0 
seuts a buffalo, and 2 and 3 de- 
note cliicken-hawks. fluttering "• • '■ ' l :.■ ;! 4 
horizontally in the air. The chief F ^ ^^ ^ ^ vj) (J) (£) O 
pieces, 1, 2. 3, liave the same p.^, g^g c^sts in plum-stone dice; Santee Dakota, 
powers and modifications of Indians. Minnesota: from Schoolcraft. 
value as A. 

To play this game, a little orifice is made in the ground and a skin put in it. 
Often it is also ]ilayed on a robe. The women and young men play this game. 
The bowl is lifted with one hand about 3 or 4 inches, and pushed suddenly 
down to its place. The plum stones fly over several times. The sttike is first 
put up Iiy all who wish to play. A dozen can play at once, if it be desirable. 

Dakota (Teton). Cheyenne River agency. South Dakota. (Cat. 

no. lo3365, United States National Museum.) 
Set of seven plum stones, plain on one side and with marks burnt 
upon the other. 

Collected by Dr Z. T. Daniel.' who describes the game as follows 
under the name of kansu : 

This is a very ancient game of the Sioux Indians, j)layed usually by elderly 
women, although young women and men of all ages play it. Kansu is an 
abbreviation of kantasu, which means plum seed. They drop the ta and call 
the game kansu, because it is [ilayed with plum seeds. It is used for gainliling 
and amusement, and is more like our dice than any other of our games. When 
played, the seeds are thrown up in a basket or bowl, and the markings on 
the seeds that are up or down decide the throw. 

" Inform.ition respecting the History. Condition, and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of 
the ("nlted Stales, pt. 2, p. 72. Philadeiphia. lS.j3. 

" Kansu, a Sioux fJame. The .American Anthroijologist. v. 5, p. 215, 1892. 


The seeds used are those of the wild plum of the Dnkotas, indigenous throu^U- 
out the northwest region of the United States. They are seven in number. 
On one side they are all perfectly plain and of the natural color, except some 
fine marks on four to distinguish them when the liurnt sides are down, but 
on the side of all there are burnt markings. These markings are made 
by a piece of hot iron, .such as a nail, the blade of a knife, or a piece of hoop 
iron. Before the natives used iron they used a hot stone. Six of- the seeds are 
in pairs of three different kinds, and only one is of a different marking from 
all the others. One pair is scorched entirely cm one side ; another pair has an 
unliurnt line about 2 millimeters wide traversing their longitudinal convexity, 
the remainder of their surfaces on that side being scorched: the remaining pair 
have one-half of one side burnt longitudinally, the other side of the same 
unburnt, but traversed by three small burnt lines equidistant, about I milli- 
meter wide, running across their short axes. The i-emaining and only single 
seed has an hourglass figure burnt on one side, the contraction in the figure 
corresponding to the long diameter of the seed. They are all of the srme size, 
about 16 millimeters long, 12 wide, and 7 thick, and are oval, having the out- 
lines and convexity on each side of a diminutive turtle shell. When the 
Sioux first obtained our ordinary playing cards they gave to them, as well 
as to the game, the name kansu, because they were used by the whites and 
themselves for the same puriiose as their original kansu. The men do not 
use the seeds or the original kansu now, but they substitute our cards. 
The women, however, do use the game at the present time. When a r.ition 
ticket was issued to them, they gave it the name of kansu, because it was 
a card ; so also to a postal card, business card, or anything of the description 
of a card or ticket; a railroad, street-car, milk, store, or circus ticket would 
be called a kansu ; so that the evolution of this term as applied to a ticket is 
a little interesting. 

The description of the game kansu. as related by the Sioux, is as follows : 
Any number of per.sons may play, and they call the game kansu kute. which liter- 
ally means to shoot the seeds. When two persons play, or four that are p.irtners, 
OU1.V six of the seeds are used, the hourglass, or king kansu. being eliminated. The 
king is used when a number over two are playing and each one for himself. The 
three-line seeds are called sixes, the one-line foin's, those that are all lilack tens. 
When two play for a wager they each put sixteen small sticks, stones, corn, peas. 
or whatnot into a common pile between them, making in all .'52. The play 
begins by putting the seeds into a small bowl or basket and giving it a (juiek 
upward motion, which changes the positions of the seeds, then letting them fall 
back into the receptacle, care being taken not to let any one fall out. The 
markings that are up decide the throw, precisely on the principle of our dice. 
As they count, they take from the pile of 32 what they make, and when the pile 
is exhausted, the one having the greatest number wins the game. If all the 
white sides are up, the throw counts 16. The two tens up and four whites 
count 16. Two pairs up count 6, and the- player takes another throw. Two 
sixes down count 4. If both tens are down, either side symmetrically, it counts 
10. If all burnt sides are up, it is 16. If both fours are down, it is 6. If 
two pairs are up, it counts 2. One pair up does not count uidess all the others 
are down. When more than two play, and each for himself, the king is intro- 
duced. If the king is up and all the others down, the count is 16. If they are 
all up, the count is the same. If two pairs are up, the count is 6. If the king 
is down and the remainder up. the count is 16. 


Dakota (Wahpeton and Sisseton). South Dakota. 

Dr H. C. Yarrow " refers to the phim-stone game in his paper on 
Indian mortuary customs, as described to him by Dr Charles E. 
McChesney, U. S. Army, as follows: 

After the death of a wealthy Indian the near relatives talce charge of the 
effects, and at a stated time — usually at the time of the first feast held over the 
hundle containing the lock of hair — they are divided into many small piles, so as 
to give all the Indians invited to play an opportunity to win something. One 
Indian is selected to represent the ghost, and he plays against all the others, 
who are not required to stake anything ou the result, but simply invited to take 
part in the ceremony, which is usually held iu the lodge of the dead person, in 
which is contained the bundle inclosing the lock of hair. In cases where the 
ghost himself is not wealthy, the stakes are furnished by his rich friends, should 
he liave any. The players are called in one at a time, and play singly against 
the ghosfs representative, the gambling being done iu recent years by means of 
cards. If the invited player sucieeds in beating the 
ghost, he takes one of the piles of goods and passes out. 
when another is invited to play, etc., until all the piles 
of goods are won. In cases of men. only the men play, 
and in eases of women, the women only take part in the 
ceremony. Before the white man came amoug theee 
Indians and taught them many of his 
this game was played l)y means of figured plum seeds, 
the men using eight and the women seven seeds, figured 
as follows and as shown in figure 2.37. Two seeds are 
sijiiply blackened on one side [AAl, the reverse [aa] 
containing nothing. Two seeds are black on one side. c d 

with a small spot of the color of the seed left in the 
center [BB]. the reverse side [bb] having a black spot 
in the center, the body being plain. Two seeds have a 

buffalo's head on one side [C] and the reverse [e] 'c d d 

simply two crossed blat^k lines. There is but one seed Fig. 337. Plum-stone dice; 
of this kind in the set used by women. Two seeds ha\e Wahpeton and Sisseton 
4.1 i itf 41 -Jill 1 1 ii i . ^^ , . Dakota Indians. South 

the half of one side blackened and the rest eft pan. t^ , . , ,, 

' Dakota; from Yarrow. 

SO as to represent a half-moon [DD] ; the reverse [dil] 

has a black longitudinal line crossed at right angles by six small ones. There 
are six throws whereby the player can win and five that entitle him to another 
throw. The winning throws are as follows, each winner taking a pile of the 
ghost's goods ; 

Two plain ones up. two plain with black spots up. buffalo's head up. and two 
half-moons up wins a pile. Two plain black ones up. two black with natural 
spot up. two longitudinally crossed ones up. and the transversely crossed one 
up wins a pile. 

Two plain black ones up. two black with natural spots up, two half-moons up, 
and the transversely crossed one up wins a pile. Two plaiu black ones, two 
black with natural spot up, two half-moons up. and the buffalo's head up wins 
a pile. Two plain ones up, two with black spots up, two longitudinally crossed 
ones up, and the transversely crossed one up wins a pile. Two plain ones up, 
two with black spots up, buffalo's head up. and two long crossed up wins a pile. 

The following auxiliary throws entitle to another chance to win : Two plain 
ones up, two with black six)ts up, one half-moon up, one longitudinally crossed 

" Mortuary Customs of the North .American Indians. First Report of the 
Bureau of Ethnology, p. 195, 1S81. 

le among theee /~\ /"N /~\ /~\ 
improved vices I J \l IVi \) 

d €) 

U D 

® DO) 



oiif up. :iik1 1hi1T;i1o"s bead up sivos Muotber throw, aud uu tliis throw, it the 
twit plain ones iip and two with bhiek spots with either of tlie lialf-moons or 
linlTalo's head up, the player takes a pile. Two plain ones up. two with black 
spots up. two lialf-nioons up, and the transversely crossed one up entitles to 
another throw, when, if all the black sides come up excepting one, tlie throw 
wins. One of the plain ones up and all the rest with l)lacU sides up gives 
another throw, and the same then turning up wins. One of the plain black ones 
up with that side up of all the others having the least black on gives another 
throw, when the same turning up again wins. One half-moon up. with that 
side up of all the others having the least black on, gives another throw, and 
if the throw is then duplicated it wins. The eighth seed, used by men, has its 
place in their game whenever its facings are mentioned above. 

The periimtations of the winning throws may be indicated as fol- 
Jow.s: ff«, hh, c, dd; aa, bb, r, dd ; aa, bb, f, dd; aa, bb, c, dd; aa, bh, 
c. dd; aa, I>b, c, dd. 

Dakota (Yankton). Fort Peck, Montana. (Cat, no. 37604. Free 

Museum of Science and Art. University of Pennsylvania.) 
Set of six phim stones (figure 238). kansu, for phiying the game of 

kansukute, pkira-stone 
Kl"1i f m II S («IlfS|B ^HaiP, shooting, marked as fol- 

lows: One pair marked 
on one face with a cross, 
kahdehdega, marked 
across, reverse black, 
ata sapa, all black ; one 
pair marked on one 
face with burnt bands 
at the end, sanni ska, 
half white, the reverse, three dots, yamni, threes; one pair marked 
with two bands near one end, coka. ska. middle white, the reverse 
])lain, ska, white. Collected by the writer in 1000. 

The game is played by both men aud women. The dice are thrown with the 
hand. The object is to get a pair uppermost. Bets are made on particular 
pairs. In old times, when a man died, it was customary to gamble off his 
property at this game. This was done four or five days after death. The 
men and women sat in a circle. 

South Dakota. 

George P. Belden " says : 

They used a kind of dice made of the stones of the wild plum, which grew 
very plentifully in the deep ravines and canyons a mile or two back from the 
Missouri river at this point. These stones were first dried hard, then polished 
by scraping them with a knife. Six were used for the game, four of them 
being spotted on one side and blank on the opposite, and the other two striped 
or checked on one side and left blank on the other. These spots and stripes 
were made on the stones b.v means of a small iron instrument which they used 
to paint buffalo robes with. The iron was heated, and the spots and stripes 

Fig. 238. Plum-stone dice; Yankton Dakota Indians, 
Fort Peck, Montana; cat. no. :^7604, Free Museum of 
Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

" Belden. the White Chief, edited by Gen. James S. Brisbln, U. S. Army, p. 218, Cincin- 
nati, 1871. 


then seared or Imnit in the stone. The Indians used a wooden bowl, small and 
light, for shaking the dice, and never threw them out of the bowi. To play the 
game they sat on the ground in a circle, and a blanket or robe was doubled up 
and placed in the middle of the ring — the bowl, containing the six dice, being 
placed on the folded blanket. The stakes usually were two or four silver ear- 
rings, iiut up by those who engaged in the game, and the sport commenced Ijy 
some one of the players seizing the edge of the bowl, with his thumb outside and 
the ends of his forefingers inside the rim, and, raising it an inch or so. bumped 
it down on the folded blanket three or four times, causing the light jilum 
stones to jump around in the most lively manner, .\fter the player had shaken 
the bowl thoroughly he sat down and allowed the stones to settle on the bottom, 
and then they were counted thus: If all the spotted and striped sides were 
uppermost, the player won, unless some one else tied him ; if he threw four 
spotted ones, it was the same as four aces in cards in the game of liluff : but 
if he threw three spotted and two striped ones, it was equivalent to a full band 
of bluff, and so (jn, the only differcJice being that wlien all the spotted and 
striped sides were turned up, it showed a higher hand than four aces, and when 
all the blank sides were turned up it showed a flush that ranked next to the 
highest hand and above the four aces. 

Dakota (Yanktonai). Devils lake. Xorth Dakota. (Cat. no. 

23556, 23557, United States National Museum.) 
Six plum-stone dice, part of two sets of four each. The designs are 
burnt, and two — the fourth and fifth — have perforations on both 
sides (figure 239). Collected by Mr Paul Beckwith in 187G. 
The two dice to the left bear a buffalo's head on one side and a 
pipe or calumet on the reverse. The die on the right has an eagle, 
or thunderbird, with lightning symbol, on the reverse. 

Fig. 2.S9. Pluro-stone dice (a, obverse: h, revers^); diameter, about 1 inch: Yanktonai Dakota 
Indians. North Dakota; cat. no. 2:fi.56, 23557, United States National Museum. 

-Devils Lake reservation, Xorth Dakota, (Cat. no. ('10369, 

60421, Field Columbian iluseum. ) 
Seven jjlum stones seared on one side (figure 210). ;ind an (>l)long 
wooden bowl, with handle, about 11 inches in length. 
These were collected by Dr George A. Dorsey, who describes the 
game as follows: 

These are used in the Cut Ile;id [Pabaksaj game of kansu. The dice ;ire plum 
stones and are seared on one side with various devices, which occur in jiairs with 
an odd stone. The odd stone, wit!i central markings and eight radiating lines, 
is called echeana, alone: the pair with three parallel lines and seared ends are 
called okehe, next : the other two pairs are ikcheka, common. To play, the 
bowl is grasped with two hands and brought down sharply on the ground, so as 
to cause the dice to jump about. The counts are determined by the character 
of the upper sides of the dice and are as follows : x\.ll marked sides up, 



Siibyaese. black, equal 10 ; all marked sides dowu, sakyapese. white. 10 ; all 
marked sides down, except alone, 4 ; all marked sides down, except one, next, 3 ; 
all marked sides down, except one, common, 1 ; all marked sides up. except one, 
common. 1. This game is played exclusively by women and invariably for 

Fig. 340. Plum-stone dice; Yanlctonai Dakota Indians, Devils Lake reservation, North Dakota; 
cat. no. 60:%9, Field Columbian Museum. 

HiDATSA. North Dakota. (Cat. no. 8425, United States National 

Set of four bone staves made from cores of elk horn. 8-J inches in 
length, eleven-sixteenths of an inch in width in middle, and about 
one-sixteenth of an inch thick; the outer rounded face of the 
bone marked with lines and dots, filled in with faint red paint, 
as shown in figure 241, there being two pairs marked alike; the 
opposite side unmarked and showing texture of bone; ends 
rounded. Collected by Dr Washington Matthews, U. S. Army, 
and described as women's gambling instruments. 
Doctor Matthews stated in a letter to the writer that tiiese bone 

staves were not thrown so as to rebound, but gently, ends down, on a 


X riLXX^ 

Fm. 241. Bone stick dice: length. S) inches; Hidalsa Indians, North Dakota; cat. no. 8425, United 

States National Museum. 

Iowa. Missouri. 

Catlin " describes a game among the Iowa under the name of 
konthogi-a, game of platter. 

This is the fascinating game of the women and exclusively their own, played 
with a number of little blocks of wood the size o^ a half-crown piece, marked 
with certain points for countinf; the game, to be decided by throws, as they are 
shaken into a bowl and turned out on a sort of pillow. The bets are made 
after the bowl is turned and decided by the number of points and colors turned. 

° Thomas Donaldson, The George Catlin Indian Gallery. Report of the Smithsonian 
Institution for ISSS, p. 1.52, 1887. 



Mandax. Fort Berthold, North Dakota. (Cat. no. 8427. United 

States National Museum. ) 
Set of five bone dice, with incised designs (figure 242) filled in with 
red i3aint, and basket of woven grass (figure 243), 7i inclies in 
diameter at top and 3 inches deep; with the dice a small clay 
effigy, 1:^ inches in length, with legs outspread and with arms and 
head missing (figure 244). Collected by Dr Washington Mat- 
thews, U. S. Army. 
Catlin " mentions the game of the platter among the Mandan. 

Fig. a«. Pig. -MS. Fig. 244. 

Fig. 24^. Boue dice: lengths. 1^, 1/e, and 1 inch; Mandau Indians. Fort Bertliold. North Dakota; 

cat. no. 8427, United States National Museum. 
Fig. 24(J. Basket for dice; diameter. 7.i inches: Mandan Indians. Port Berthold, North Dakota: 

cat. no. 8437, United States National Museum. 
Pig. 244. Clay fetich used with dice; length, 1; inches; Mandan Indians, Fort Berthold, North 

Dakota: cat. no. 8427, United States National Museum. 

Omaha. Nebraska. 

Dr J. Owen Dorsey * gives the following account under tlie name 
of plum-stone shooting, ka"'-si kide : '' 

Five plum .stones are provided, three of which are marlied on one side only 
with a greater or smaller number of black dots or lines and two of them are 
marked on both sides ; they are, however, sometimes made of bone of a rounded 
or flattened form, somewhat like an orbicular button-mold, the dots in this case 
being impressed. A wide dish and a certain number of small sticks by the 
way of counters are also provided. Any number of persons may play this 
game, and agreeably to the number engaged in it. is the quantity of sticks or 
counters. The plum stones or bones are placed in a dish, and ;i throw is made 
by simply jolting the vessel against the ground to make the seeds or bones 
rebound, iind they are counted as they lie when they fall. The part.v jilays 
around for the throw. Whoever gaius all the sticks in the course of the 
game wins the stake. The throws succeed each other with so much rapidity 
that we vainly endeavor to observe their laws of computation, which it was 
the sole business of an assistant to attend to. The seeds used in this game 
are called ka°'-si ge. Their number varies. Among the Ponkas and Omahas, 
only five are used, while the Otos play with six. Sometimes four are marked 
alike, and the fifth is black or white (unmarked). Generally three are black 

« Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Condition of the North American 
Indians, p. 147, Philadelphia, 1860. 

'Omaha Sociology. Third .\nnual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, p. 334, 1884. 

" Miss Alice C. Fletcher gives me the name of the game as gkoH'-thi. GkoH is the 
first syllable of the word gko«'-de, plum ; thi means seed. The game is described by 
Major S. H. Long (Account of an Expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains, v. 
1, p, 216, Philadelphia, 1822) under the name of kon-se ke-da. 



Q Q^ 

Fig. 245. Plum-stone dice (n, obverse; h, reverse); 
diameter. I inch; Omaha Indians. Nebraska: cat. 
no. IV B 2228. Berlin Museum fur Volkerkunde. 

on one side, and white or uninai'lied on tlie other, while two have each a star 
on one side and a moon on the other. The players must always be of the same 
sex and class ; that is, men must play with men, youths with youths, and women 
with women. There must always be an even number of players, not more 

than two on each side. There 
are about twenty sticks used as 
counters. These are made of 
desl^a or of some other grass. 
The seeds are put into a l)Owl, 
which is hit against a pillow and 
not on the bare .ground, lest it 
should break the bowl. When 
three seeds show black and two 
have the moon »n the upper 
side it is a winnins; throw ; but when one is white, one black, the third black 
(or white), the fourth showing a moon, and the fifth a star, it is a losing throw. 
The game is played for small stakes, such as rings and necklaces. 

Figure 245 represents a set of plum stones from the Omaha, col- 
lected by Miss Alice C. Fletcher. Two have a star on one side and a 
crescent moon on the other, the device being in white on a burnt 
ground, and three are white or plain on one side and black on the other. 
They are accompanied by a hemispherical bowl made of walnut, 12 
inches in diameter, of perfect form and finish, and by about one hun- 
dred slips of the stalks of the blue-joint grass, about 12 inches in 
length, nsed as counters. 

Osage. Missouri and Arkansas. 

John D. Hunter" says: 

In common, they merely burn on one side a few grains of corn or pumpkin 
seeds, which the stakers alternately throw up for a suc- 
cession of times, or till one arrives at a given number 
first; that is, counting those only that show of tlic 
requisite color when he wins. 

A very similar game is played witli small fiat pieces of 
wood or bone, on one side of which are notched ov l)urnt a 
greater or less number of marks. like the individual faces 
of a die. It is played and counted like the preceding. 

Osage reservation, Oklahoma, 
hian Museum.) 

o o o 

o o ® 

FiG.24(>. Brass dice; Osage 
Indians. Oklahoma; cat. 
no. 5lM)(tT. Field Colum- 
bian Museum. 

(Cat. no. 59097. Field Colum- 

Six dice, heads of small brass tacks (figure 246). one with a hole 
punched through the center, all with the inside painted red; 
diameter, ime-fourth of an inch; accompanied by a flat wooden 
bowl. 9] inches in diameter. Collected by Dr George A. Dorsey. 

PoNCA. Nebraska. 

According to a Ponca legend jiublished by Dr J. Owen Dorsey,* 
the plum-stone game was invented by Ukiaba, a tribal hero of the 

» Manners and Customs of Several Indian Tribes Located West of the Mississippi, p. 
276, Philadelphia. 1823. 

"The ('egiha Language. Contributions to North .American Kthnologv. v. 6, p. 617, 
Washington, 1S90. 




(Cat. no. 22157. Fre 

Ponca, who sent five plum stones to a young womian whom he secured 
by magical arts, afterward telling her: "Keep the plum stones for 
gambling. You shall always win.'" 

Winnebago. Black River Falls, AVisconsin, 
Museum of Science and 
Art. University of Penn- 
Wooden bowl, highly polished with 
use, 9^ inches in diameter, 
and eight bone disks, five- 
eighths of an inch in diameter, 
one side smooth and white, 
the other .stained dark blue 
(figure 247). Collected bv 
Mr T. R. Roddy. 

• Prairie du Chien. Wisconsin 

Caleb 'Atwater " saj's : 

The wouien play a game among themselves, using pieces of Ixme about the 
size and which have the appearance of a common button mold. 'I'ho.v are so cut 
out that one side is blackish and the other white. A considerable number of 
these button molds are placed in a small wooden bowl and thrown up in it a 
certain number of times, when the white sides ui) are counted. 


FiCJ. ^T. Bone dice; diameter, ; inch: Win- 
nebago Indians, Wisconsin; cat. uo. 221-57, 
Free Museum of Science and Art. Univer- 
sity of Pennsylvania. 

^ €^ 

Haida. Skidegate. Queen Charlotte islands, British Columbia. 

Dr C. F. Newcombe states that this tribe have the chair-shaped dice 
figured among the Kwakiutl and Tlingit and gives the following 
account of the game, obtained in 1901, under the name of gadegan : 

Ten counters of slips of wood or of long bones of 
birds are placed between two players. The first 
throw in the game is won by the pla.ver who scores 
the highest in the preliminary throwing, which con- 
tinues until the advantage is gained in the alter- 
nate play. 

Scoring. — The following are the winning positions 
[figure 248] : Supine (1), scores 1 : prone (2), with 
the back and under surface uppermost: erect (3). 
or natural position of a chair. 2 ; resting on the 
front edge (4), back uppermost, 4. 

Losing positions. — If the die falls and remains on 
either side. The player continues to throw until the 
die falls on its side. Until the pot is exhausted win- 
it. and afterward from their opponent's pile. The 
won all the counters. Men and women play 


Fig. 24.^. Positions of die in 
winning throws; Haida In- 
dians, British Columbia; 
from sketch by Dr C. F. 

ners draw counters from 

game goes (ui until one player ha 


» Remarks Made on a Tour to Prairie du Chien, p. 117, Columbus. 1831. 


Haida. British Cohimbia. 

Dr J. E. Swanton " describes the throwing game : 

The Haida name for this game (gu'tgi qla'atagafi) means literally "they 
throw the q la'atagafio, ' thing thrown up.' to each other." The " thing thrown 
up." figure .5 [Swanton], was a piece of wood, bone, or ivory, about 3 inclies 
high, with a base measuring, say. 1* by 1^ inches, and most of the upper part 
cut away, leaving a thin flange extending upward on one side. It was held by 
the thin flange, with the thicker part up, and flipped over and over. If it fell 
upon either side, called qia'dagano, marked o in figure 5 [Swanton], the oppo- 
nent took it ; if on the long flat side, or on the concave side, it counted the one 
who threw it 1 ; if on the bottom, 2 : or if on the smallest side, 4. as indicated 
in the figure. The game was usually played at camp, in the smokehouse, and 
the winner had the privilege of smearing the loo.ser"s face with soot. It may be 
played by two or more, each for himself or by sides. 

tanoAn stock 

Tewa. Hano. Arizona. (Cat. no 38618, Free Museum of Science 

and Art. University of Pennsylvania.) 
Three wooden blocks, -ii inches long and 14 inches wide, painted black 

on one side and plain 
on the other (figure 
249). Collected by 
the writer in 1901. 
They are called chi-ti, and 
are counted around a circle 
of forty stones laid on the 
ground and having an open- 
ing after every ten. The 
Fig. 349. Stick dice; length, 4} inches; Tewa Indians, counts are as follows : Three 

Hano, Arizona; cat. no. 3.S61H, Free Museum of Science ... . *- ia 4.1,.. ui „i 

,.'_.,. .^ , _ , . white count 10 : three black, 

and Art, University of Pennsvlvania. 

.5 ; two black. 3 ; one black, 2. 

Mr A. M. Stephen, in an unpublished manuscript, gives edehti as 
the Tewa name of a seldom-played man's game corresponding with 
the Xavaho woman's game of tsittilc. 
TiGUA. Isleta, New Mexico. (Cat. no. 22726, Free Museum of 

Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania.) 
Two sets of three sticks each (figure 250), halves of twigs, flat on one 
side, and rounded, with inner bark on the other ; length. 44 
inches. Collected by the writer in 1902. 

One stick in one of the sets has eleven diagonal notches across the 
rounded side. In the other set all the sticks are plain. They are 
used as dice in the game of patol. 

An Isleta boy, J. Crecencio Lucero, described to the writer the peo- 
ple of this pueblo as playing the game of patol, which they call in 
their own language cuwee, with three sticks, puo, counting around a 
circle of stones, hio. 

» Contributions to the Ethnology of the Haida. Memoirs of the American Museum of 
Natural History, whole series, v. 8, pt. 1, p. 59, New Yorlt, 190.'). 




Fio. a')*), stickdice: length, 4* inches; 
Tigua Indians, Isleta, New Mexico; 
cat. no. 227)iG, Free Museum of Sci- 
ence and Art, University of Penn- 

Mr Charles F. Lumniis " gives the following account of the game 

in Isleta : 

The boys gather forty smooth stones, the size of the fist, and arrange them 
in a circle about 3 feet in diameter. Between every tenth and eleventh stone 
is a gate of 4 or '> inches. These gates are 
called p'ay-hlah rivers. In the center of the 
circle, pa-tol naht-heh, pa-tol bouse, is placed a 
large cobblestone, smooth and approsimatel.\- 
flat on top. called byee-oh-tee-ay. There is 
your pa-tol ground. 

The pa-tol sticks, which are the most im- 
portant part of the paraphernalia, are three 
in number. Sometimes they are made b.v 
splitting from dry branches, and sometimes by 
whittling from a solid block. The chief essen- 
tial is that the wood be firm and hard. The 
sticks are 4 to 5 inches long, about an inch 
wide, and a quarter of an inch thick, and must 
have their sides flat, so that the three may be clasped together very much as one 
holds a lien, but more nearly perpendicular, with the thumb and first three fin- 
gers of the right hand. Each stick is plain on one side and marke<l on the other, 
generally with diagonal notches, as shown in figure [-•'I'l]- 

The only other requisite is a kah-nfd-deh, horse, for each player, of whom 
there may be as many as can seat themselves around the pa-tol house. The 
horse is merely a twig or stick used as a marker. When the players have 
seated themselves, the first takes the pa-tol sticks tightly in his right hand, 
lifts them about as high as his chin, and, bringing them down 
with a smart vertical thrust, as if to harpoon the center stone, 
lets go of them when they are within some G inches of it. The 
three sticks strike the stone as one, hitting on their ends 
squarely, and, rebounding several inches, fall back into the cir- 
cle. The manner in which they fall decides the denomination 
of the throw, and the different values are shown in figure [251]. 
Although at first flush this might seem to make it a game of 
chance, nothing could be farther from the truth. Indeed, no 
really aboriginal game is a true game of chance ; the invention 
of that dangerous and delusive plaything was reserved for 
civilized ingenuity. 

An expert pa-tol player will throw the number he desires 
with almost unfailing certainty by bis arrangement of the sticks 
in his hand and the manner and force with which he strikes 
them down. It is a dexterity which anyone may acquire by sufficient practice, 
and only thus. The five throw is deemed very much the hardest of all, and I 
have certainly found it so. 

According to the number of his throw the player moves his marker an equal 
number of stones aliead on the circle, using one of the rivers as a starting 
point. If the throw is five, for instance, he lays his horse between the fourth 
and fifth stones, and hands the pa-tol sticks to the next man. If his throw be 
ten, however, as the first man's first throw is very certain to be, it lands his 
horse in the second river, and he has another throw. The second man may 
make his starting point the same or another river, and may elect to run his 




PiG.2r)l. Counts 
in stick dice; 
Tigua Indians, 
Isleta, New 
Mexico; from 

« A New Mexico David, p. 184, New York, 1891. 





Fig. 232. Counts 

in stick dice: 

Tigua Indians. 

Isleta. New 

Mexico; from 


192 GAMES OF THE NORTH .\MERIC.\N INDIANS [eth. ans. 24 

horse around the circle in the .same direction that the first is going or in the 
opposite. If in the same direction, he will do his best to make a throw which 
will liring his horse into the same notch as that of the first man. in which case 
the first man is lulled and has to take his horse hack to the starting point, to 
try over again when he gets another turn. In case the second man starts in 
the opposite direction — which he will not do unless an expert player — he has 
to calculate with a good deal of skill for the meeting, to kill and to avoid being 
killed by the first player. When he starts in the same direction, he is behind, 
and runs no chance of being killed, while he has just as good a 
chance to kill. But if. even then, a high throw carries him 
ahead of the first man — for jumping does not count either way. 
the only killing lieing when two horses come in the same notch — 
his rear is in danger, and he will try to run on out of the way of 
his pursuer as fast as possible. The more players the more com- 
plicated the game, for each horse is threatened alike by foes that 
chase from behind and charge from before, and the most skillful 
player is liable to he .sent back to the starting point several 
times before the game is finished, which is as soon as one horse 
has made the complete circuit. Sometimes the idayers. when 
very young or unskilled, agree there shall be no killing: but 
unless there is an explicit arrangement to that effect, killing is 
understood, and it adds greatly to the interest of the game. 
There is also another variation of the game — a rare one, however. In case 
the players agree to throw fifteens, all the pa-tol sticks are made the same, 
except that one has an extra notch to distinguish it from the others. Then 
the throws are as shown in figure [-."i-1- 

111 reply to a letter of inquirv, Mr Lunaiiis wrote me that he di.s- 
tinctly remembers having witnessed this game at Isleta, Santa Clara, 
San Ildefonso, Tesiique. and Taos (Tanoan): at Acoma. Titsiama, 
and Canada Cruz (Acoma colonies). Cochiti, Laguna, El Eito, 
Sandia, Santo Domingo, and San Felipe (Keresan) ; and at Ziini. 

I feel quite confident I saw it also in San .Juan (Tanoan i. though of that I 
would not lie positive. I can not remember seeing the game idayed in Jemez, 
Picuris. and Pojoaipie (Tanoan) : in Sia (Keresan) or any of the .Moqui pueblos 
except Hano (which of course is a village of migration from the Rio Grande). 
In Xambe (Tanoan) I never saw it. I am sure. 

Tewa. Nambe, New Mexico. (Cat. no. 17773. 17774, Field Columbian 

Set of stick dice, three pieces of .split twig, 3§ inches in length. 
one side rounded and the other flat; one of the round sides 
marked with fifteen notches (figure 253). Collected by Mr L. M. 
There are two sets, one having the bark left on the back ; on the 
other it is removed. The game is described under the name of tugea. 
or patol : 

This game is played by two or more persons. Forty small stones are laid iu 
a circle with a space or gate between each gi-oup of ten. The players throw 
the billets perpendicularly upon a stone, the surfaces falling uppermost deter- 




FKi. a.;, .stick di.e. it-ufjtli, :t! 
inches; Tewa Indians, Nambe, 
New Mexico; cat. no. 17774, Field 
Columbian MoBeum. 

niiuing the count. One flat and one notebed round side up count 1 : two flat 

and one notched round side up, 3 : three flat sides up. 5 : three round sides up, 

10 ; two flat and notched stick up. 15. When 

the count is 10 or 15, the jjlayer is entitled to 

another throw. Each player is provided with a 

small stieli for a counter. This is called a horse. 

All players start from the same place and mov>' 

their horses forward between the stones ai- 

cording to their score, in the same or opposite 

directions, as they choose. If one player scorjs 

so that his counter conies to a place occupied by 

the counter of a previous player, the first player 

must remove his counter or horse and start 

again, except it be in one of the spaces or gates 

which may be occupied by two or more horses 

at the same time. The one who first moves his counter completely round the 

circle is the winner. 

Tewa. Santa Clara, New Mexico. (Cat. no. 60359, Field Colum- 
bian Museum.) 
Four sticks (figure 2.54), 4^ inches in length, one side flat and un- 
marked and the other round with bark on, two of the rounded 
sides with incised marks. 
They were collected by Mr W. C. B. Biddle, who describes the game 
as follows: 

This game is played with four short two-faced lots, tn'o of which bear 
special markings on the obverse side. In playing the 
game forty small pebbles are placed on the ground in 
the form of a hollow square. Two small sticks or 
feathers, to be used later on as markers, are placed 
at the opening in one corner. In the center of the 
square is a flat stone or inverted cup. 

The game begins by one of the players taking the 
four staves in hand and casting them on one end on 
the stone or cup. The count is determined by the 
character of the uppermost side of the staves, and is 
as follows : All flat sides down count 10 : all round 
sides down, 5 ; two flat sides down, 3. In registering the count the counting 
stick is moved about the stone circuit according to the value of the throw. 

The game is ended when one of the counting sticks has made the entire 

■ — Santa Clara, New Mexico. (Cat. no. 176T07, United States 

National Museum.) 

Set of three blocks of wood, 5^ inches in length, 1 inch in breadth, 
and three-eighths of an inch in thickness (figure 2.55) : flat and 
painted red on one side; the opposite side rounded and painted 
reddish brown. 

Fig. 254. Stick dice: length, 
4J inches: Tewa Indians, 
Santa Clara, New Mexico; 
cat. no. (iiiaifl, Field Colum- 
bian Museum. 

24 ETH — 05 M- 




One stick has fifteen transverse notches painted green on the 
rounded side. The notches are divided by an incised cross painted 
yellow." ' 

The following account of the game, from a manuscript by the col- 
lector. Mr T. S. Dozier, was kindly placed in my hands by Mr F. W. 
Hodge : 

Grains of corn or pebbles are laid in the form of a square, in sections of ten 
each. The two players sit on either side. The sticlis. called e-pfe. are thrown 
in turn on a stone placed in the square. The counts are as follows : Two flat 
and notched sticks, notches up. count 15 ; three round sides up, 10 ; three flat 
sides up. 5 ; two flat and one round side, not notched, up, .3 ; one flat and two 
round sides, not notched, up, 1. 

The players move their markers between the grains or pebbles according to 
their throw, going in opposite directions. The one first returning to the start- 
ing point wins. This is the ordinary way. Sometimes, the markers being con- 

Fif;. 2.5.5 Fig -i'lii 

Fig. 2.55. Stick dice; k-ngtl!, oi inches; Tewa Indians. Santa Clara, New Mexico; cat. no. 176707, 

United States National Museiim. 
Fig. 256. Stick dice and marking sticks; lengths, +J and 4) inches; Tigua Indians, Taos, New 

Mexico; cat. nf>. 2(1l2:i Fn^e Mnsenni of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

sidered as horses, a player will attempt to kill his adversary's horses. In this 
case he so announces at the commencement of the game, and he then moves his 
marker in the same direction, and. by duplicating the first throw, or, if at any 
future stage of the game, always following, he succeeds in placing his marker 
where his adversary's is. by so doing he kills that horse (marker! and sends 
him back to the place of beginning. The latter may then elect to move in the 
same direction as before and kill and send back his adversary, but, if he wishes, 
he may go in the opposite direction. In which case he does no killing. The game 
is called tugJ-e-pfe, meaning the thrown stick (tugi, to throw). 

Mr Dozier states that the stick with fifteen notches gives rise to the 
Mexican name of quince (fifteen), which is sometimes given its Tewa 
equivalent of tadipwa nopfe, and juego de pastor, shepherd's game. 

" Another set, collected by Mr T. S. Dozier, in the Free Museum of Science and Art of the 
University of Pennsylvania (cat. no. 20153), has the notches painted green, red, yellow, 
.inrt hin.', and the cross retl. These marks appear to Imitate wrappings of cord of dif- 
ferent colors. 

uLiN] DICE games: tigua 1*)5 

TiGUA. Taos, New Mexico. (Cat. no. 20123, Free Museum of Science 

and Art, University of Pennsylvania.) 
Set of thi'ee sticks, 4J inches in length, three-fourths of an inch broad, 
and six-sixteenths of an inch thick (figure 25G), one side round, 
with bark, and the other flat. 
One of the sticks has eight transverse cuts on the bark side, as 
shown in the figure, with the opposite flat side smeared with red 
paint. THej- are accompanied by two twigs, 4| inches in length, with 
sharpened ends, one having two nicks cut near one end to distin- 
guish it. 

These objects are employed in the game of caseheapana (Spanish, 
pastor), of which the collector. Dr T. P. Martin, of Taos, has fur- 
nished the following accoiuit : 

A circle, from 2 to .'! feet iu diameter [figure 257], is marliecl on the ground 
with small stones. Oue hundred and 
sixty stones are used, with larger ones WEST 

at each quarter, dividing the circle ...—•o 

into four quarters of forty stones each. _.••" '•.._ 

A line AB is marked out as a river, ,o"' "'•t, 

and is usually marked from east to 

west. The line CD is designated as a / 

trail. A large stone is placed in the / •. 

center. / '; 

There are two players, each of whom j ^^^ 

takes one of the little twigs, which \ t 

are known as horses. .\ player takes '. / 

the three stones, holds them togethei-, °, o' 

and drops them vertically uiion the 

large stone. He counts according to ''o, ,/ 

their fall, and moves his horse as *'•.., .••' 

many places around the circuit. 1'hey '" ^_ •°'' 

throw and move in turn, going in op- EAST 

posite directions, one st.irtnig from „,„ .,., ,,. ,, ,. , j. „. , ,. 

PiG.257. (irouit for stick dice; Ti^ua Indians, 
K and the other from M. If M Taos, New Mexico; from sketch by Dr T. P. 

passes point B hefore K reaches it, Martin. 
and meets K"s horse anywhere around 

the circle, K's is said to lie killed, and has to go back to A and start over 
again, and vice versa. A chief point in the game is to reach B before the other 
player, so as to kill him on the second half of the circle. 

The counts are as follows : Two flat and notched sticks, notches up, count !.'> ; 
three round side.s up, 10 ; three flat sides up, 5 : two flat and one round side, not 
notched, up, 1 : one flat and two round sides, not notched, up, 1. 

This game is usually played all night on the night of November 3 of each year. 
November .*? is known as " the day of the dead." and this game seems in some 
way to be connected with it. or rather with its celebration, but I can not find 
out any tradition connecting the two. 




Clayoqtjot. West coast of Vancouver island, British Columbia. 

(Cat. no. ^Jf^, American Museum of Natural History.) 
Set of four beaver-teeth dice, two with dots and two with crossed lines 

(figure 258). Collected by Mr F. Jacob- 
sen in 1897. 

One pail- with circular designs are called tlie women 
and the other pair with straight lines the men. The 
one man with the more elaborate designs is trump. 
Ten counters are placed between the players, one of 
whom tosses the dice : when t^o men or two women 
fall face up he wins one counter ; when the trump 
falls face up and all the others face down, or vice 
versa, he wins two counters. The game is won by the 
player who gets all the counters. 

Dr C. F. Xewcombe writes : 

In this game the C'layoquot mark two of the teeth 
with circular dots, o o o, and two with incised cross 
lines. X X X or # ^ jf. 

One of the dotted teeth is also marked liy a circular 
black band, and this is called the man. and the other 
the woman. 

Of the incised teeth, the one with more detinitc or 
stronger marks is the man, and the other the woman. 

The game is called a. isyEk. No specimens were seen, liut the information 
was obtained from '"Annie," the daughter of Atliu. a well-known chief of the 

KwAKiTJTL, Dsawadi, Knight's inlet. British Columbia. 

Dr C. F. Newcombe describes the beaver-tooth dice game at this 
place under the name of midale. They say it came from the Stick 
Indians (Tahlkan). It is now obsolete. It was a woman's gambling 

game, TVHien all four come ^ 

up alike they count 2. 

Vancouver island. 

British Columbia. 
Dr Franz Boas " de- 
scribes these Indians as 

Pig. 258. Beaver-teeth dice: 

length, 2 to 21 inches; Clayo- 
quot Indians, Vancouver 
island, British Columbia: 
cat. no. 501 ji American Mu- 
seum of Natural History. 

Fu;.2.59. Wooden 
die: Kwakiutl 
Indians, British 
Columbia: from 

Fig. 260. Beaver-teeth dice; length, 

2 to 2^ inches; Makah Indians, 
Neah bay. Washington; ''at. no. 
23351, United States National Mu- 

using wooden dice (figure 

259) in a game called ei- 

bayu. " The casts count 

according to the nari'ow- 
ness of the sides." The dice collected by liim were in the World's 
Columbian Exposition. 

- Hixth Report on the Indians of British Columbia. Report of the Sixty-sixth Meeting 
of the British Association for the .Vdvancement of Science, p. 578. London. 189G. 




Dr C. F. Newcombe informs me that after very careful inquiry 
he is unable to find this game among the Kwakiutl. The name 
eibayu is similar to libaiu. that of the stick game. 

Makah. Neah bay, Washington. (Cat. no. 23351, United States 

Xational Museum. ) 
Seven beaver teeth, probably part of two or more sets. Two, right 
and left, apparently from the same animal, are similarly marked 
on the flat side with chevron pattern (figure 260, a, b). 
Two, also apparently from the same animal, are marked with 
circles and dots (figure 260 c, d). Two teeth, right and left, are 
marked with three chevrons, and one odd tooth has ten circles. 

The following account of the game is given by the collector, Mr 
J. G. Swan : " 

Four teeth are used : one side of each has marks and the other is plain. If all 
four uiarlied sides come up or all four plaiu sides, the throws form a double ; if 
two marked and two plain ones come up. it is a single: uneven numbers lose. 

He states also that this game is usually played by the women, and 
that the beaver teeth are shaken in the hand and thrown down.' 

Neah bay, Washington. ( Cat. no. 37378, Free Museum of 

Science and Ar, University of Pennsylvania.) 

Fig. 26.3. 

Pig. 261. Beaver-teeth dice; length, 2 inches: Makah Indians, Washington; cat. i o. 37378, Free 

Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 
Pig. 262. Counters for beaver-teeth dice; length, 4i inches; Makah Indians, Washington; cat. 

no. 37378, Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 
Pig. 263. Charm used with beaver-teeth dice; Makah Indians, Washington; cat. no. 37378, Free 

Museum of Science and Art. University of Pennsylvania. 

Four beaver-teeth dice (figure 261), two with incised chevrons on 
one side and two with circles with center dot ; reverses plain ; 

"The Indians of Cape Flattery. Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge, n. 220, 
p. 44. 1.S70. 

" The Northwest Coast, or Three Years' Hesidence in Washington Territory, p. 158, 
Xew York, 1S57. 



length, 2 inches. One tooth, marked with circles, is tied with a 
string around the middle. 
Thirty small bones (figure 262), 4| inches in length, accompany the 
dice as counters, katsaiac. Collected by the writer in 1900. 
The set is contained in a cotton-cloth bag. in which also was the 
charm (figure 263), or medicine, koi, used to secure success. This 
consists of a dried fungus, which is rubbed on the hands, and the 
tooth of a small rodent. 

Dr George A. Dorsey " describes the following game : 

Ehis This is the well-knowu game of the beaver-teeth dice, and is played l>y 
women througliout the extent of the Northwest Territory. Of this game three 
sets were collected, one of which is imperfect. There are four teeth in each full 
set, two of which, usually the lower, are decorated with incised lines, chihlichi- 
cotl, which refer merely to the markings. The other pair are variously deco- 
rated with a single row of circles or circles arranged in groups. These are 
known as culUotlith, dotted teeth. In two of the sets, one of the dotted dice is 
further distinguished by means of a band of black yarn about the center. This 
is known as quisiiuis. or snow. The teeth are thrown from the hand upon the 
ground or upon a blanket. When the marked sides of all four teeth lie upper- 
most the count is 2 and is known as dhabas or all down. When the four plain 
sides lie uppermost the count is also 2 and is known as tascoas or without 
marks. When the two dotted dice fall face down, and the cross-hatch dice fall 
face uppermost, then the count is 1, chilitchcoas or cross-hatch dice up. The 
exact reverse of this also couuts 1, and is known as kulcocoas or dots down. 
When one of the teeth is further distinguished by being wrapped with a black 
band the count is somewhat difi'erent : all the marked sides uppermost, counting 
4 ; while the wrapped tooth up with three blank teeth, count 4, also. The 
remaiuing counts are as before described. 

NooTKA. Vancouver island, British Columbia. 
1487, Berlin Museum fiir \'(Jlkerkunde.) 



Fig. 294. Fig. 265. 

i'ta. 264. Bone dice; length, 2 inches; Nootka Indiana. Vancouver island, British Columbia: cat. 

no. IV A 14»", Berlin Mus -um fiir Volkerkunde. 
Fig. 265. Bone dice; length, 1} inches; Nootka Indians, Vancouver island, British Columbia: 

cat. no. TV A 1487, Berlin Museum fiir Volkerkunde. 

" Games of the Makah Indians of Neah Bay, The American Antiquarian, v. 23, p. 72, 

ccLiN] DICE games: cocopa 199 

Set of four flat curved pieces of bone, 2 inches in length, imitations 
in form of beaver teeth ; two marked on one side with spots and 
two with chevrons (figure 264), the opposite sides plain. Col- 
lected by Mr Samuel Jacobsen. 
It is described by the collector under the name of todjik as a 
woman's game. The counts are as follows: Four marked sides up 
count 2; four blank sides up, 2; two hole sides and 2 blank up, 1; 
one hole side and three blank up, 0; two line sides and two blank 
up, 2 ; two line sides, one blank, and one hole side up, 4. The game 
is played on blankets, the count being kept with small sticks. 

Another set of four flat curved bone dice (figure 265). 1-J inches 
in length, similar to the preceding, but with pointed ends, is included 
under the same number. 


AVasiki. Carson valley and Lake Tahoe. Nevada. 

Dr J. W. Htidson describes the following game played by women: 

Twelve small sticks, 4 inches long by three-eighths of an inch wide, of split 
willow (SaUx agrifoUa), bent, and painted red on the flat side, are cast up and 
caught In a winnowing basket. The counts are as follows : All red up count 
6; two red up, 1 : one red up. 2: all plain up. i>. 

The sticks are called itpawkaw. the game, pokowa. and the pebble counters, 
dtek, " stones." 


YuROK. Hupa Valley reservation, California. 

Dr Pliny E. Goddard gave me the Yurok name of the shell dice 
used by the Hupa Indians as tekgorpos. 


Batawat. Blue Lake, California. 

An Indian of 'this tribe who was interrogated by the writer at 
Blue Lake in 1900 recognized the shell dice (figure 91) which he had 
collected in Hupa valley and gave the name as goplauwat; large 
dice, docted; small dice, koshshop; concave sides, tsusarik; convex 
sides, bokshowarish. 

YUMAN stock 

Cocopa. Sonora. Mexico. (Cat. no. 7616.5. United States National 

Museum. ) 
Set of four sticks of willow " wood, 8 inches long, about 1^ inches 
broad, and one-half inch thick (figure 266). Flat on one 

" Salid' amygdaloides. 



side, which is uniformly marked lengthwise in the center with 
a band of red paint about one-half inch in width: opposite 
side rounded and unpainted. Collected by Dr Edward Palmer. 

Fig. 266. Stick dice; length. 8 inches: Cocopa Indians, Sonora, Mexico: cat. no. 76165, United 

States National Mu.seum. 

Havasupai. Arizona. 

Mr G. AVharton James has furnished the writer an account of the 
following game (figure 267) : 

Squatted around a circle of small stones, the circle having an opening at a 
certain portion of its circumference called the yam-se-kyalb-ye-ka, and a large 
flat stone in the center called taa-be-che-ka. the Havasupai play the game called 
hue-ta-qnee-che-ka. Any number of |ilnyprs can pngngo in the .game. 

Fi(i.267. Havasupai Indian girls playing stick dice: Arizona; from photugraph l.y Mr G. 

Wharton .Tames. 

The players are chosen into sides. The first player begins the game by hold- 
ing in his hand three pieces of short stick, white on one side and red on the 
other. These sticks are called tob-be-ya, and take the place of our dice. They 
are flung rapidly upon the central stone, taa-be-che-ka, and as they fall counts 
are made as follows: Three whites up count 10; two whites, one red up. 2; 
two reds, one white up, 3 ; three reds, 5. Tallie.s are kept by placing short 

ciLiN] DICE games: maeicopa 201 

sticks between the stones, hue. that fompdse the circle, one side counting in 
one direction from the opening and the other Iveeping tall.v in the opposite 

Maricopa. Arizona. (Cat. no. 2926, Brooklyn Institute Museum.) 
Four sticks (figure 268), 7 inches in length, one side flat and painted 
red, and the other rounded. Collected in 1004 liy Mr Louis L. 
The collector describes the game under the name of kainsish : 

A joint of cane ijuartered will sen-e instead of the sticlis. The four flat sides 
up count 1: the four round sides up count 2: the other throws, nothing, 
though sometimes they have values agreed upon also. The count is made by 
marking in the dust. The game is for 6 points, or as many as are agreed upon. 

Fig. 268. Stick dice: length. 7 inche.s; Maricopa Indians. Arizona: cat. no. 2926. Brooklyn Insti- 
tute Museum. 

The following abstract of Maricopa mythology, furnished by Mr 
Meeker, refers to the game with four sticks: 

Table of yentiations 

I. First principles : 

Females : Mat. the Earth 

Ulash, the .Moon 
Males : Hyaish. the Sky 

Hlash, the Sun 

II. Offspring (originally hermaphrodites) : 

(1) Terrestrial (of the Earth by the Sky) 
Kokmat. mud 

Kokmat hairk, his brother 

(2) Celestial (of the Moon by the Sun) 
Hatelowish epash, Coyote man 
Quokdsh epash, Fo.x man 

Our man in the moon is Ilatdowish. or Quokosh. The Brother seems to have 
been the first handiwork of Il.itelowish epash. He is also identified with the 
Spider Woman, who spun the web on which the earth was deposited. 

Once, when there was yet no earth, a whirlwind came down out of the sky into 
the turbid water, and they were man and wife. 

Twins came. Winds carried them about during their long infancy, childhood, 
and early manhood. 

At length the elder changed the other into a spider and sent him to stretch 
webs north and south, east and west, and between jioints. Then a close web was 
woven outward from the center, where the lines crossed. On this plant the 
earth was built of sediment dejjosited by the water. The elder brotlier then 
shaped the earth. The sky was so close the sun soon dried and cracked it up 


into mountain ridges and deep canyons. So he put up bis hand and pushed the 
slv.v away to its present position. There are five stars wliere Ids fingers touched 
the sliy. They are called the hand of God. Then he went aliout making green 
things grow, shaping what came forth after subsequent whirlwinds into living 
things and men and women, teaching these how to build houses, and making the 
earth fit for them to live upon. So bis Pima name is Earth Doctor (Che-o- 

The Brother, ceasing to be a sjiider, followed and imitated Earth Doctor, 
Using common clay, he bungled so that misshapen animals were all that he 
could make. 

The man he formed had the palm of his baud e.xtending out to the end of his 
fingers. Earth Doctor rebuked him, so he threw it down hard against the sur- 
face of the water and it swam off in the form of a duck, with a web foot and a 
very flat breast. 

Others were so bad he threw them up against the sk.v, and they remain there. 

One of these is Gopher (Pleiades) : one is Jlountain Sheep ( Orion K farther 
east, and one is the Scorpion of five stars,* three in the body and one for each 
claw, whose place is west of the (Jopher. go in the sun's path. When 
the Gopher and the Mountain Sheep are east, the Scorpion is west: but when 
the Gopher and Jlountain Sheep are in the west, the Hand is east. Now 
all the things that were made then were of the first generation. The first flood 
came because the Brother made so much trouble and claimed to have more 
power than Earth Doctor, who at length drove him off the earth. 

Changing again to a spider, he took refuge in the sky. which he spun the 
web of the milky way. Earth Doctor took water into his mouth and spurted it 
rpward at the Spider, but it fell in a spray and remaine<l on the web making a 
river of the milky way. He took dust in a pouch, and. .ierking it. tried to make 
it go into Spider's eyes. The dust made a road and lianks along the river, but 
some fell in Spider's eyes. Observing that water did not injure him. even when 
Earth Doctor took handfuls and sprinkled the sky with stars of snow and ice, 
and also that earth, even in the form of dust, did injure him. Spider tried his 
own power over the water, calling upon it to rise up and wash away the earth. 

The waters rose, washing away all except the mountains and the representa- 
tive races and animals that took refuge there. A truce was called : it was 
agreed that Earth Doctor should have power over the eartli, the Brother over 
water. The sun's reflection in water was dipped up with the hand and cast 
toward the sky, and the flt)od subsided.'' 

From the mountains that stood, a stronger earth was built. The broken web 
was mended with strong ropes made of yucca fibers. Eagle feathers were set 
up aroinid the border. Remnants of the first generation were gathered up, 
and the second generation began. 

In the me.mtime the Sun, who is a male, had observed what was done by 
the Sky upon the maiden world of turbid water and visited the Moon in like 
manner. The Moon's twins were Coyote and his companion the Fox. 

When the road and river were complete across the sky along the milky way. 
Coyote and his companion came down upon the earth. Whatever Earth Doctor 
did the imitated, bungling his work as the Brother had done, until at 
length there was strife again. 

" He is known in Maricopa as Kokmat, which may mean mud or middle earth, 

'^Aa this constellation rises in the east about August, the three stars of the hody are 

nearly horizontal. The two claws point toward the south, upward and downward. 

'■ When a rain doctor wants the rain to cease he still does the same. It is obvious that 

there must tirst be a rift in the clouds to get the sun's reflection. 


The Brother met Coyote and palled him brother, hut Coyote would not reply. 
So a flood was sent to destroy Coyote and the earth and all its inhabitants. 
Small numbers were saved by eliuging to trunks of trees that floated on the 
water. Coyote insisted the Brother should address him as Elder Brother. This 
was conceded. Coyote made a ball of mud from the root of the tree on which he 
floated. He stuck in a bunch of grass from the bill of the duck the Brother had 
made. This he cast upon the water to be the nucleus of a new world, and the 
flood subsided. 

Then Earth Doctor proceeded to construct the third generation. Coyote 
helped, or rather hindered. His companion. Fox. made trouble by pranks of 
his own. 

Men increased rapidly. They had no diseases. There were no wars. The 
few deaths were from snake bites or accidents. The earth was crowded. 
There was not food for all. 

Some killed little children for food. One especially had from girlhood a vora- 
cious appetite; as a woman she went from village to village, prowling about 
houses and 'carrying off children for food. 8he had eaten the flesh of all 
animals and the children of all tribes. A council was held in the skies. The 
seats of tliose who were there are in a circle." They agreed to have the great 
flood, so there would not be too many people. 

The cannibal woman was l)ound and carried away. She was burned alive; 
all kinds of wood were used for fuel, and the flames were fed seven years. 
The ashes were then collected, mixed with meal made of all kinds of seeds, and 
the whole was put into an earthen jar for the seed of the fourth generation. 

The flood that followed continued for four years. The Brother, as Spider, 
sat on the northern end of the milky way '' opposite Coyote (the Dipper), who 
tended his fish net. fastened to tlie immovable star. Coyote's companion, intent 
upon some prank, ran along the milky way toward the south and fell off. where 
he may be seen as six stars'- arr.-inged like the seven stars that represent Coyote. 
He is generally seen with his head lower than his tail. But when the Moon is 
full she takes him in her lap. and we can see him tliere as Rabbit (man in the 

Earth Doctor took his seat at the end of the milky way that is south,* on the 
western side, opposite Fox. Only his head may be seen. It is very large and 
grand. His face is looking toward the west. The lower end of his long braid 
of hair is in the milky way. When " the moon is dead " and stars are thick two 
eagle feathers may be seen in liis hair, each coni[)ose(l of three very small stars 
in a row. 

The vessel containing the seed of future generations floated upon the water, 
and. as the waters subsided, touched ground at the highest point; Che-o-tmaka. 
as the Pima call him, the Maricopa Kokmat, crossed over the sky to get the 
vessel. But Coyote was just ahead of him, and took refuge In the joint of a 
great reed that floated upon the water. There were three other joints of reed 
floating by it. and having sealed up his reed with resin from the mesquite 
and chaparral bushes. Kokmat could not tell in which he was concealed. 

Now, the earth was barely dry enough to support one who passed over it rap- 
idly, but if he stopped he would sink. As both Coyote and Kokmat wanted the 
vessel, thoy ran toward it. Coyote coming forth from his reed when it had 
floated to a point on the opposite side of the vessel from Kokmat. Coyote chal- 
lenged Kokmat to exchange places with him and see which could first arrive. 
The offer was accepted. The two were so nearly equally matched that both 
arrived at the same time. They tried again, with the same result. When they 

"Corona Borealis. •■ In Sagittarius (?). 

'Cassiopeia's Chair. '■Scorpio and tUe others (see Hohuleyuks in TOUStellations). 



ran the third time, Coyote being out of lireath, sent Fox in his stead, but Kolvinat 
also sent his brother. Wheu the two chief characters ran again, tliey passed 
together by the vessel containing the seed, and each tried to Ivicli it <in l)efore 
him, so the race ceased and the contest tooli on a different form* When they 
had tried very long and neither had gained any advantage. Fox proposed to cast 
lots with four sticl<s. one each for Kokniat, his brother, Coyote, and Fox. He 
made the sticks half white and half red. and. hiding them, asked Kokmat which 
color were the sticks for himself and bis l)rotlier. purporting to turn the sticks in 
his own favor. But Kokniat made him strike them upward with a stone, to 
count one if all fell white, two if all fell red. and nothing if they fell mixed. 

While they played. Coyote and Fox cheating and quibbling in every conceiv- 
able way, the sticks very seldom fell all of a color; Kokmat meantime had the 
red-headed woodpecker carrying away the seed in his bill to all parts of the 

From the ashes of the woman and the ashes of all the woods and from all the 
seeds that were powdered sprang up the iiresent generation. 

The mortar, stones, and eartbern vessels used were copied by men. Baskets 
and woven mats were patterned after Spider's webs. The games we play rep- 
resent the contests between Kokmat and his Brother (Spider) or Kokmat and 

Each of these four were both male and female, but the female side of Spider 
became the wife of Kokmat, who alone married. 

Mission Indians. Mesa Grande, California. (Field Coliuubian Mu- 
seum. ) 
Cat. no. 62537. Four wooden staves. 12 inches long and 1^ inches 

wide, marked on one face with burnt lines as shown in tigure 




Pip. 269. Pig- 270. 

Fig. 269. stick dice; length, 12 inches: Mission Indians, Mesa Grande, California; cat. no. »2b37. 

Field Columbian Mu.seum. 
Fig. 270. Stick dice and board; length of sticks, 3i inches; length ot board, 9 inches; Mission 

Indians, Mesa Grande. California; cat. no. 625.36, Field Columbian Museum. 

These were collected by Mr C. B. Watkins, who describes them as 
used in the game of can weiso. The sticks are thrown with an over- 
hand movement. The marked sides are counted. The game is played 
in silence. 

Cat. no. 62536. Four wooden sticks, 3| inches in length and seven- 
eighths of an inch wide, round on one side and flat on the other, 
the latter being marked with burnt cross lines as shown in figure 




270 : accompanied b}^ a wooden tablet, 7 by 9 inches, marked with 

holes counting 10 on a side. 
These were collected by JSIr C. B. Watkins, who describes the game 
under the name of serup. Each stick has a value known by the 
marks. The tablet serves to keep the coiuit of the throws. 

Mohave. Arizona. (Cat. no. 10334. United States National Mu- 
seum. ) 
Set of four blocks of cottonwood, 6^ inches in length, 2 inches in 
width, and one-half inch in thickness, section ellipsoidal; one 

Fig. 271. Pig. 272. 

Pig. 271. Stick dice; length. BJ^ inches: Mohave Indinns. Arizona: cat. no. 10334, United States 

National Museum. 
Fig. 272. Stickdice: length, fi inches: Mohave Indians. Lower California (Mexico); cat. no. 24166. 

United States National Museum. 

side painted red. with designs as .shown in figure 271, and the 
opposite side unpainted. Collected by Dr Edward Palmer and 
described as used bj- women. 
In a letter to the writer Doctor Palmer states: 

The game is scored according as tlie plain or painted sides are up, as each 
may choose. Three rounds constitute a game. One sticl^ is laid down to indi- 
cate which side is to count. Tlie paint on the sticlis consists of mesquite gum 
dissolved in water. 


iloHAVE. Lower California (Mexico). (Cat. no. 241()(), United 
States National Museum.) 

Set of four blocks of willow wood," 6 inches in length, H inches in 
width, and five-eighths of an inch in thickness; one side flat and 
painted brown with designs (figure 272) similar to those on the 
preceding, the opposite side rounded and unpainted. Collected 
by Dr Edward Palmer. 

Fig. 273. Fig. 2T4, 

Fig. 273. Stick tlice; length, 5« inclies; Mohave Indiana, Arizona; cat. no. 1(1090, Peabody Mu- 
seum of American Archa^olugy and Ethnology. 
Fig. 274. stick dice; length, ,51 inches; Mohave Indians, Arizona; cat, no. 00265, li026H, Field 
Columbian Museum. 

— Arizona. (Peabodj' Museum of American Archaeology and 

Cat. no. 10090. Set of four gambling sticks, .5| inches in length and 

1|^ inches in width ; marked on one face with designs as shown in 

figure 273 : the opposite side plain. 
Cat. no. 1001)0. bis. Set of four gambling sticks, 3i to S-J inches in 

length and eleven-sixteenths of an inch in width; marked on one 

face with red and l)lack designs, the opposite side plain. Both 

collected by Dr Edward Palmer. 
Fort Mohave, Arizona. ( Cat. no. 602(35, 60266, Field Colum- 
bian Museum.) 
Four wooden blocks, 5f inches in length and 2^ inches in width, 

round on one side, the other fiat and marked with brown paint, 

as shown in figure 274. 

" Salix amygdaloides. 


DICE games: walapai 


Mr Jolm J. McKoin. the collector, describes the game under the 
name of hotan : 

This game is played with four liillets, one side of which is flat. The players 
lay one stick on the ground, flat side down ; then they throw the three remain- 
ing sticks with the hand and let them fall upon the ground. If all fall with 
the same side up it counts one. The game is for 4 or 5 points. The sticks are 
given to difterent players when two sticks fall the same side up. This is a 
gambling game. beds, blankets, ponies, and sometimes w-ives being wagered. 

Walapai. Walapai reservation, Arizona. (Field Cohunbian Mu- 
seum. ) 
Cat. no. 61099. Three wooden blocks (figure 275), 3f inches by 

three-fourths of an inch, one side plain and rounded and the 

other flat with painted red streak. 

Fig. 275. 

Fig. 276. 

Fig. 277. 

Fig. 278. 

Fig. 27.5. Stick dice; length, 3J inches; Walapai Indians. Walapai reservation, Arizona; cat. no. 

HlOyy. Field Columbian Museum. 
Fig. 276. Stick dice; length, 4 inches; Walapai Indians. Walapai reservation. Arizona; cat. no. 

61100, Field Columbian Museum. 
Fig. 277. Stick dice; length. 4i inches; Walapai Indians, Walapai reservation, Arizona; cat. no. 

63206, Field Columbian Museum. 
Fig. 278. Stick dice; length. 4i inches; Walapai Indians, Walapai reservation. Arizona; cat. no. 

63209, Field Columbian Museum. 

Cat. no. fillOO. Three wooden blocks (figure 276), 4 inches by seven- 
eighths of an inch, one side plain and rounded, the other flat, 
with painted designs, two alike and one odd. 

Cat. no. 63206. Three wooden blocks (figure 277), 4| inches by 1 
inch, one side plain and rounded, the other flat and painted with 
brown dots. 

Cat. no. 63209. Three wooden blocks (figure 278). 4^ inches by 
three-fourths of an inch, one side plain and rounded, the other 
flat with painted designs, two alike and one odd. 





These were collected by Mr H. P. Ewing, who gave the following 
account of the game under the name of tawfa : 

The Walapai call this game taw-fa, from the manner of throwing the sticks 

against a stone. The play is as follows : 

Place fifty i^ninll stones in a circle about 4 feet in diameter, arranging them 

close together except at one point in the circle, 
which remains open. Opposite this open space a 
larger stone is placed. These stones are the 
rouiiters. and the game is couuteil l>.v moving the 
stones aroimd the circle. An equal number of 
stones is placetl on each side of the large stone, 
and whichever contestant gets to the large stone 
first wins. In playing the game, one jierson takes 
the little billets of wood, which are three in num- 
ber, rounded on one side and flat on the other, 
and holds them between the thumb and first two 
fingers so that they are parallel. She throws 
them so that the three ends will .strilie on a 
large stone in the center of tlie circle. The count 
is as follows : One flat side up coimts 1 ; two 
flat sides up. ■'i : three flat sides up, 5 ; three flat 

sides down, 10. This game of taw-fa is little played now among the Walapai, 

cards having taken its place. 

Yuma. Fcrt Yuma, Arizona, 
fixr Volkerkunde,) 







Fig. :i7H. Circuit for stick dice: 
Walapai Indians, Walapai res- 
ervation, Arizona; from sketch 
by Mr H. P. Ewing. 

(Cat. no. lY B KiGO, Berlin Museum 





















Fic. S»0. Stick dice; length, 6J inches; Yuma Indians, Arizona; cat. no. IV B 16tiU, Berlin 

Museum fiir Volkerkunde. 

Set of four blocks of wood, ^ inches in length, IJ inches in width, and 

five-eighths of an inch in thickness: one side flat and painted 

with designs, as shown in figure 280, in red: opposite side 

rounded and painted red. 

The collector. Mr Samuel Jacobsen. gives the name as tadak, and 

states that it is a woman's game. 

DICE games: YUMA 


Yuma. Fort Yuma. Saii Diego county. Arizona. (Cat. no. 63429, 
Field Columbian Museum.) 

Four wooden blocks, of inches in length and If inches wide, with flat 
sides decorated with red paint, as shown in figure 281. The collec- 
tor, Mr S. C. Simms. describes them as used in the game of otah. 


Fio. 281. stick dice; length, 5» inches; Yuma Indians, Port Yuma. Arizona; cat. no. KJ429. Field 

Columbian Museum. 

Colorado river, California. 

Lieut. W. H. Emory" says: 
They play another |«;ime] with sticks, like jacUstraws. 

Colorado river. California. (Cat. no. S3(>2. 76, Rijks Eth- 

nographisches Museum, Leiden.) 

Pig. 282. Stick dice; length, 6 inches; Yuma Indians. CaUfornia; cat. no. S362, 76, Eijks 
Ethnogi'aphisches Museum, Leiden. 

Set of four blocks of wood, 6 inches in length and 1 inch in width, 
one side flat and painted with designs, as shown in figure 282, in 
dark brown on a whitened surface. 

» Report on the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey, v. 1, p. 111. Washing- 
ton, 1857. 

24 ETH — ()5 M 14 



These were collected by Dr H. F. C. ten Kate, jr, who gives the 
name as otochei. He refers to this game as played only by women." 

In I'ejoly to my inquiry in reference to the words tadak and otochei, 
given by the collector as the names of the preceding Yuman games, 
Dr A. S. Gatchet writes : 

I have not been able to disco\er any Yinna or Mohave words resenil>lins your 
otoche-i and tadak either in the vocaliuUu-ies in our vaults or in those that I have 
published myself in the Zeitschrift fiir Ethnologie. The term " Yuma " refers to 
a tribe which, during the last forty years, had a reservation at the confluence of 
the Gila and Colorado rivers, who seem to have resided on New river near the 
Mohave desert in California. Yuma is also used at present to coui])rehend all 
the languages or dialects cognate with the Yuma dialect at the above eontiuence, 
under the name of Y'uma linguistic family. Your word otoche-i has pretty nearly 
the ring of an Aztec, or better. Xahuatl word. 


Ztjni. Zuni, New Me.xico. (Cat. no. 20031, Free Musemn of Science 

and Art, University of Pennsylvania.) 
Set of four sticks, 5-J inches in length, in two pairs, each of which 
consists of a length of reed split in the middle. 



Fig. 28.S. 

Fig. 284. 

Fig. 283. Sacrificial cane dice (reversel; Zuni Indians, Zuni, New Mexico; oat. no. 20031, Free 

Museum of Science and Art, Univei-sity of Poiinsylvunia. 
Fig. 2«4. Sacrificial cane dice (obverse); length, 5} inches; Zuni Indians, Zuiii, New Mexico; 

cat. no. 200.31, Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

The inner sides of the reed are painted as shown in figure 283. and 
the opposite rounded sides scratched with transverse lines and burnt, 
as shown in figure 284. These were employed, according to Mr 
Cashing, in the game of sholiwe, canes, one of the four games '' which 
are sacrificed to the twin War Gods, Ahaiyuta and Matsailema. 
These particular canes were not made to play with, but for the pur- 
pose of sacrifice. 

" Reiien en Onderzoekingen in Noord Amerika. p. 114, Leiden, 1885. 
'' In addition to sho'liwe there were Iflpochlwe. fe.ither dart ; i'yankolowe, hidden ball, 
and m6tikawe, kicked stick. Compare with the four Sia games described on p. 123. 

ciLiN] DICE games: zuni 211 

ZuNi. Zuni, New Mexico. (Cat. no. 69289, United States National 

Museum. ) 
Two sets, each of four sticks, one 7f inches and the other 7 inches 
in length; made in pairs, like the preceding, of split reed. 
The inner sides of the reed are painted like the preceding. The 
outer sides of the longer set are unmarked, while those of the shorter 
set are marked, as shown in figure 285. 

i:^_ - 7S5^. 

Fig. 285. Sacrificial cane dice (obverse ); ZuBi Indians, ZuSi, New Mexico; cat. no. 69289, United 

States National Museum. 

Mr Gushing informed me that these two sets were used together, 
also for sacrificial purposes, the longer one being offered to Ahaiyuta 
and the shorter to Matsailema." 

New Mexico. (United States National Museum.) 

Cat. no. 69277. Set of four sticks, 6^ inches in length and one- 
half inch in width, made of split cane; the inner sides painted 
like the preceding, ;.nd the rounded sides scratched with cross 
marks, as shown in figure 286. Collected Ida' Col. James Ste- 

^an- L ~^^i^ 


i^^ ^^c ^ 

/// /m 

Fig. 286. Fig. 287. 

Fig. 386. Cane dice (obverse): length, 6J inches: Zuiii Indians, Zuiii, New Mexico; cat. no. 

69277, United States National Museum. 
FlQ. 287. Cane dice ( obverse i; length, 6 inches; Zuni Indians, ZuSi, New Mexico; cat. no. 69278, 

United States National Museum. 

Cat. no. 69278. Set of four sticks, 6 inches in length and one-half 
inch in width, made of split cane; the inner sides painted like 
the preceding, and the rounded sides marked with cuts, as shown 
in figure 287. 

° Matsailema is somewhat shorter in stature than his twin brother, and aU of his 
things are made somewhat shorter. He always wears a shorter war club and a shorter 
bow (Cushing). 


These sets were intended for actual use and are made of heavy cane, 
witli the inside charred at the edges, unlike the sacrificial sets, which 
consist of common marsh reed. 

Pro. 288. Cane dice; length, ti! inches; showing methud of tying in bundle: Zuiii Indians, Zuni, 
New Mexico: cat. no. 32593, Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

ZuNi. Zuiii, New Mexico. (Cat. no. 22.593, Free Museum of Science 

and Art, University of Pennsylvania.) 
Four split canes, 6| inches in length, marked on one side with cross 
lines and chevrons and on the other with ink. as shown in figure 
288. Collected by the writer in 1902. 

These are bound together in a bundle with string, one inside of the 
other, so that the end of the top cane projects beyond that of the one 
below it, and so on down. The sticks are arranged in the following 
order: Top, black in middle; second, black at one end; third, all 
black ; bottom, black at both ends. 

The figure illustrates one of the ways in which the canes are tied 
Up when not in use. This is one of a number of sets collected in Zufii 
by the writer. The markings vary considerably in detail on the dif- 
ferent sets, but are all essentially the same. In removing the bundle 
of canes from the cloth in which it was wrapped, the owner took up 
each cane in turn and breathed on it. 

New Mexico. (Cat. no. 4984. Brooklyn Institute Museum.) 

Set of four cane dice, 6 inches in length (figure 289). Collected by 
the writer in 1904. 

The etched figures on the dice represent the water bug, gannastepi. 
The drawing below (figure 290) shows the manner in which these 
dice are arranged and bound together when not in use. 

Mr Cushing placed in my hands the following account of sholiwe : " 

The game of sho'-li-we is certainly the most distinctive of any practiced by 
the Zuni Indians. It is not confined to them, but forms of it are found amonfi 
all the more settled of the present Indians in both our own southwest, and in 
northern, western, and central Mexico: while variants of it and derived sanies 
may be traced over well-uigb the whole western lialf of our continent. 

A study of the distinctive marks of the different sticlis or cane slips used in 
this game by the Zuiii would seem to indicate that this peculiar form of it is the 
most primitive. The reason for this will subsequently appear. 

" Mr Owens described sho'-Ii-we in Some Games of the Zuiii (Popular Science Monthly, 
V. :{3. p. 41, 1891). The names of the four sticks he gives as follows: The one whose 
concave side is entirely black, quin, Zuni for black : the one with one black end, path-to ; 
with two black ends, ko-ha-kwa : and one with a black center, ath-lu-a. He fl.^ures two 
of the reeds, and the manner of holding the sticks, which he describes as thrown with 
the right hand against a suspended Ijlanket and allowed to fall on another blanket. 
Two of the pieces belong to each man and are companions. There is a pool with twelve 
markers, and he who wins the markers wins the game. The winner takes the twelve 
markers up into his hands and breathes on them. This is because they have been good 
to him and allowed him to win. It is wholly a game of chance, and horses, guns, sad- 
dles, and everything are staked upon the throw. 


DICE games: zuni 


The niiine sho'-li-we is derivefl from sho'-o-li. arrow, and we, plural ending, 
signifying " parts of." sho'-we being the plural of simple arrows. Sho'-o-Ii, 
arrow, is derived in turn from sho'-o-le. cane, the termination li in the derived 
word being a contraction of li-a. and signifying out of, from, or made of. Thus, 
the name of the game may be translated cane arrows, or cane arrow pieces or 

These parts consist of four slips of cane. From the fact that these slips 
are so split and cut from the canes as to Include at their lower ends portions of 
the joints or septa of the canes, and from the further fact that they are 
variously banded with blaclv or red paint, or otherwise, it may be seen that they 

Pig. 289. Cane dice: length. K inches: Zuni Indians, Zunl. New Mexico; cat. no. 4984. Brooklyn 

Institute Museum. 

represent the footings or shaftments of cane arrows in which the septa at the 
lower ends serve as stojis for the footing or nodiiug-plugs." 

A study of the bandings by which these cane slips are distinguished from 'one 
another reveals the very .significant fact that they are representative of the rib- 
bandings of cane-arrow shaftments. 

I have found that sets of Zuni. as well as the ancestral cliff-dweller arrows, 
were thus ribbanded with black or red paint to symbolize, in the arrows so 
marked, the numerical and successional values of the four quarters, each set, 
especially of war arrows, consisting of four subsets, the shaftments of each 
marked differently. The reasons for this, and for processes of divination by 


b y>// N \\ 

Fig. 290. Cane dice, showing method of tying in bundle: Zuiii Indians. Zuni, New Mexico: cat 
no. 4984. Brooklyn Institute Museum. 

which the members of the different sets among the arrows were determined dur- 
ing their manufacture, I have set forth in a paper on " The Arrow," published 
in the Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 
1895, and also in the American Anthropologist for October of the same year. 

° The canes are split with reference to the notion that one side Is masculine or north, 
and the other feminine or south. This is determined by the direction or character of 
the natural j;rowth. as well as by the presence or absence of the leaf pocket in the joint on 
the one side or the other of that particular section which forms the shaftment of the 
arrow (Cushing). In ancient China, according to the Chow Le (LXii, 37), the arrow 
maker lioated the arrow longitudinally upon water to determine the side which cor- 
responded to the principle of inertia and the side which corresponded to the principle 
of activity. The former sank, while the latter rose. He cut the notch with reference 



111 tlio sei'OiKl part of that paper, the publication of which was delayed bj- my 
Florida explorations, I proceeded to show how these various facts indicated 
quite clearly that the Zuiii game of sho'-li-we. as Its name implied, developed 
from the use of actual arrows for divination ; and I further instanced many 
ceremonial uses of simple or ceremonial arrows in such divinatory processes as 
further demonstrating this claim. 

It may be well for me to preface a description of the four cane slips consti- 
tuting the principal apparatus of the game by a statement or two relative to the 
successional numbers of the four ipiarters as conceived in Zufii dramatography. 
The chief, or Master, region, as well as the first, is the North, designated 
the Yellow ; Ijelieved to he the source of breath, wind, or tlie element of air. and 
the place of winter; hence of violence or war, and therefore masculine. 

The next, or second region is the West, designated the Blue ; believed to be 
the source of moisture or the element water and the place of spring, or renewal 

and fertility ; hence of birth, and therefore 

The next, or third, is the South, desig- 
nated as the Red ; believed to be the source 
of heat or the element fire, and the place 
of sunmier. of growtli and productivit.v : 
hence of fo.stering. and likewise feminine. 
The last, or fourth of the earthly regions 
represented in the ordinary sheaf of arrows 
and in the game, is the East, designated the 
White, and believed to be the source of 
seeds and the element earth, and the place 
of autumn, of new years, and hence of cre- 
ation ; therefore masculine again." 

These various regions and theii' numbers 
Fui. m\. Arrow shaftments of the four »nd meanings are symbolized on the ar- 
directions, showing ribbanding and out rows of the four quarters by differences in 
cock feathers; Zufii Indians, Zuni, New their ribbandings [figvire 291 |. 
Mexi.o: from sketch by Frank Hamilton rpj^^^.^ ^^ ^y^^ j;^,,^,^ ^^.p,.^. characterized 

Gushing. , . , ,.,.,,,. i j., 

by a single medial ribbanding around the 

shaftmont, sometimes of yellow, hut more usually of black, tlie color of death. 

Those of the West were also singly ril>bandod coextensively with the shaft- 
ment, but there was oftentimes a narrow terminal band at either end of this 
broad band, sometimes of blue or green, but usually of black. 

Those of the South were characterized Ity two bands midway lietween the two 
ends and the middle, .sometimes of red, but usually of black. 

Those of the East were characterized by either two narrow bands at either 
end. leaving tlie wliole medial space of the shaftment white, or, more often by a 
single band at the upper end of the shaftment, sometimes composed of two 
narrow black fillets inclosing wliite, but usually merely black and not double. 

In the highly finished arrows the cock or tail feathers were notched and 
tufted to correspond numerically and positionally with the bandings, for mythic 
reasons into which it is not necessary to enter here. 

Bach of the four cane slips was banded to correspond with the ribbandings 
of one or another of these sets of the arrovj-s of the four quarters ; but the paint 
bands TflRure 28.3] were almost invariably black and were placed in the con- 
cavity of the cane slip, not on the perijihery (which was, however, sc-orched, 

° See Outlines of Zuni Creation Myths. Thirteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of 
Ethnology, p. 369, 1S9G. 

ciLiN] DICE games: zvni 215 

scored, or carved to correspond), evidently tf) keep the paint from being worn 
off liy handling and casting. 

Thus the cane slip of the North was banded only at the middle, and was 
called a'-thlu-a, or the all speeder, sender (a, all, and thlu-ah, to run, speed, or 
stiind ready). 

The cane slip of the West was blackened its full length and was called 
k'wi'-ni-kwa, or the Black (medicine), from k'wi'-ua, black, and ak'-kwa. 
" medicine " or " sacred." 

The cane slip of the South was doubly banded, as was the arrow of the South, 
and was called pathl-to-a. or divider divided (bordered, enclo.sed). from pathl-lo. 
border edge. end. and oa. to become, to do. or make to do. 

Finally, the cane slip of the East was banded only at one end, and was called 
ko'ha-kwa ,the white, or the White Medicine (ko'-ha-na, white, and ak'-kwa, 
" metlicine"). 

In addition to the banding and scoring of these cane slips, they were, in 
cases of great importance, as in sets made from the captured arrows of some 
celebrated foeman. notched at the ends, as I have said the cock feathers 
were notched: but this old practice has fallen into disuse to such extent that 
I have seen only one venerated set so notched. In this set. if I observed 
aright, the notches corresponded in number as well as in place, whether at the 
sides or in the middle of the ends with the number and positions of the linndings 
and of the tuftings on the cock feathers of the arrows from which, probalily, 
they were made. The normal numerical value of the cane slips agreed with 
the successional values of the regions they belonged to — that is, the slip of the 
North made one : that of the West, two ; that of the South, three, and that of 
the East, four. But as this gave unequal values, other values or counts were 
added, according as the slips fell concave or convex sides uppermost, and 
especially according to the thrower. 

That this may be understood, the general nature of the game as essentially 
a sacred tribal process of divination must be considered. Formerly sho'-li-we 
was exclusively a game of war divination, and was played only by [iriests of 
the Bow, members of the esoteric society of war shamans. 

These members were, according to their totems and clans, members of the clan 
groups corresponding_ to the several quarters or sacred precints of North, West. 
Soutli, East, Upper, Lower, and Middle regions. But since there were only 
foiu' regions concerned in the waging of war, clansmen of the upper and nether 
regions were relegated to the east and west, since the places of the upper and 
lower regions in the sacred diagram were in the northeast — between the East 
and North, and in tlie southwest — between tlie West and South : while clansmen 
of the middle might, as determined by the casts of their arrow canes, belong to 
any one of the other regions, since the midmost was the synthetic region, the 
all-containing and the all-contained place, either the first, therefore, or the last. 
This war game of the priests of tlie Bow was i)layed semiannually at the festi- 
vals of the Twin Gods of War, Ahaiyuta and Matsailema, patrons of the game 
by virtue of their vanquishment of the creational god of gambling Mi'-si-na. the 
Eagle star god. whose forfeited head now hangs in the Milky Way. and whose 
birds are the god servants of war and the plumers of the canes of war. 

It is played at such times as a tribal divination : a forecast for war or peace, 
for prosperity or adversity, and is accompanied by tribal hazards and gamliling. 
But at other times it is played for the determination of peace or war. of the 
direction or precaution to be taken in defensive or offensive operations or 
preparations. As thus pla.ved. there must be four participants. Each pos- 
sesses his own canes. In the uppermost room of the pueblo (now fallen), 
there was formerly a shrine of the game. Here duriug terrific sand storms or 



Pig. 292. Hide gaming circuit for cane dice: Zuni 
Indians. Zuni. New Mexico; from sketch by Frank 
Hamilton Cushing. 

at uight the players gathered to divine. To the middle of the ceiling was sus- 
pended a jical or large round bowl-basket, over which a deerskin was stretched 
like a drumhead. lumiediately below this, spread over a sacred diagram of 
prayer meal representing the terrace or cloud bed of the four quarters, on the 
floor, was a buffalo robe, pelt side up, head to the east, left side to the north, 
etc. [figure 292]. T'pon this pelt a broken circle was traced either in black 
lines or dots, and with or without grains of corn (forty for each line, the colors 
corresponding to the (juarters as aliove described), and the opening.s (canyons or 
passageways) occurring at the four points opposite the four directions. It 

should be observed that a cross 
( + ) was sometimes painted 
both on the center of the skin 
on the basket drum and on the 
hide beneath, the upper sym- 
bolic of Ahaiyuta. and the 
lower of Jliitsailema, the Twin 
War Gods. 

The four players chose their 
places according to the clan 
groups and directions or quar- 
ters they represented : the 
pla.ver of the North between the 
eastern and northern passage- 
way : the player of the West 
between the northern and west- 
ern passageway, and so on. 
The pla.vers of the East and North represented war. and in other modes of the 
game, masculinity : those of the West and South, peace and femininity. 

Before taking their places they muttered prayers, or rather rituals, clasp- 
ing the playing canes lengthwise between the palms, breathing deeply from, and 
from the close of the prayers, repeatedly upon them, rubbing and shuffling them 
vigorously, from which comes the title of a skilled player or a gambler, shos'-li. 
cane rubber, or cane shulHer. As they took their seats, each placed under 
the edge of the buffalo hide in front of his place the pool, consisting of sacred 
white shell beads, or of little 
tablets representative of va- 
rious properties and thus 
forming a kind of currency, 
since these little symbols 
were redeemable in the iirop- 
erties they represented or in 
commodities of equal value 
by agreement. Each also 
laid down at bis right side 
on the edge of the robe over 
the pool two kinds of count- 
ers, usually a set of count- 
ing straws of broom grass, about six or seven inches long, worn by much use, 
and varying in number according to the proposed game. From ten to forty or 
forty-t\}-o. or from one hundred to one hundred and two. this latter number 
divided at random into four bundles, was selected by each player. The addi- 
tional coiniters were supjilied by beans or corn grains, each set. or the set of 
each pla.ver. being of his ap|iropriate color. Four s|>lints. the moving pieces of 
the game, were laid in their places by tlie left sides of the passageways. 

Fig. 393. Manner of holding cane dice in game of sholiwe; 
ZuSi Indians, Zuni, New Mexico; from sketch by 
Frank Hamilton Gushing. 

cuLiNi DKE games: zuSi 217 

Each player then shuffled his eaue cards back and forth in his palms, as before 
described, as though to smooth and heat them, addressed .them, especially the 
stick of his special quarter, as (for the East) "Now then, white one, come 
thou uppermost 1 " : then laying the all-sender or his special slip as such across 
the two middle lingers and the other three slips upon it inside of one another, 
his thumb pi'essing over their middle, the ends pointed outward over the index 
finger, and the bases held down to the base of the palm by the bent-over little 
finger [figure 2!),'!]. he iiuickly lireatlied or puffed upon them, shouted at them, 
and cast them skillfully ag.-iinst the stretclied skin of the basket, so that they 
rebounded s\\ iftly and fell almost unerringly within the circle on the pe'-wi-ne 
or bed of buffalo hide. Now it was noted which slip lay uppermost over the 
others. If the White man threw, and if the white sticiv la.v uppermost over all 
the others, he uttered thanks and the cast counted him four and gave him the 
privilege of another cast. If. moreover, all three slips <'.vcept his sender lay 
concave sides upward, they counted him ten and gave him a second additional 
throw. If all three fell convex sides up. tlie.v counted him five; if two concave 
sides and one convex side u]). they counted him three, and if two convex sides 
and one concave side ui>. they counted him onl.v one. The player who had the 
largest numlier of l)oth kinds of counts after each liad tried, led off in the game 
and was su]>]iosed to be favored by the gods at the beginning. With but a 
slight change in the system of counting, the game was continued ; that is. the 
double counts were kept if the process included gambling, willingness to sacrifice, 
but onl.v the coinits according to the regions, if the game was purely an arrow 
or war divination. But it is to be noted that in either case an ingenious method 
was resorted to in order to equalize the covuits. Since the North or Yellow man 
could gain only one and a doulile throw if liis slip came uppermost, he gained 
the cimnt of his opi)ouent, the South, if his slip fell uppermost on the Red 
man's slips. The latter thus forfeited alike liis double throw and his appi'o- 
priate mnuber. three. The tally of these purely cosmical counts was kept with 
the bundle of splints ; the tally of the cast-counts or their sums were kept 
with the grains by counting out. and that of the individual by moving the 
iiointer of the passageway as many dots or grain places to the left as the cast 
called for. If a pla.ver of the East or the North overtook a player of the West or 
.South, if his pointer fell in the same space, he maimed his opponent, sent him 
buciv to his passagewa.v. and robbed him of his load : that is. took or made him 
forfeit his counts. 

The completion of the fourth circuit by any one of the players closed the ordi- 
nary game, providing the sum of the cosmical counts had been won by him, and 
the player who, with his partner, had the largest aggregate of both lot and 
cosmical counts was the winner. 

There were many Variants of this game as to counts. Some of these were 
so complicated that it was absolutely impossible for me to gain knowledge of 
them in the short practice I had in the play. I have given here, not very pre- 
cisely or fully, the simplest form I know, except that of the lot and diagram, 
which was quite like that of ta'-sho'-li-we or wood canes, which raa.v be seen 
by tlie above description to be an obvious derivative both in mode and name of 
the older game of canes. It was evidently thus divorced for purposes of 
exoteric play, as it is practiced not only liy men but also by women. 

Mrs Matilda Coxe Stevenson " gives a number of additional par- 
ticulars in reference to sholiwe. and her description of the game, 

"Zufii Games. Americin Anthropologist n. s., v. 5, p. 480, 1903. 




which follows, differs from tlie preceding in the uaines of the canes 
and in the manner in which they are arranged when cast : 

Legend says that it was played for rains by tlie (Jods of War and the AL'- 
shiwanni " soon after coming to this world. The Ali'shivvanni afterward 
thought the reeds used for the game were too long, so their length was measured 
from the ti|> of the thuuil) to the tiii of tlie middle linger, the fingers e.xtended. 

The Ah'shiwauni considered this game .><o elticacious in liringing rains that 
they organized a fraternity, which they called ShoweUwe. .-urow-reed iieople. 
while the Ah'shiwi were at IIiin''hliiiin'kii. for the express purpose of iilaying 

the game for rain. Ten men 
4 3 3 1 were designated by the Ah'shi- 

wauni as the original members 
of the ShoweUwe. The prayers 
of tlie fraternity were sure to 
bring rains. . . . 

Each player takes the side 
of one of the Gods of War, two 
pieees of split reed representing 
the side of the elder God of 
War and two the younger God 
of War, The writer for con- 
veiiienee numbers the reeds 1, 
2. .".. 4 I figure ■2'M \ . 

No. 1, named knin'na, black, 
has the com-ave side of the reed 
colored black, indicating morn- 
ing, noon, and sunset, or the 
whole day. Three sets of lines 
on the convex side denote the 
three periods of the day — 
morning, noon, and sunset. 

No. L'. athluwa, center, has a 
daujp of black midway of the 
reed, concave side, denoting 
midday. The lines on the con- 
vex side al.'io denote noon. 

No. 3, kohakwa, white shell, has 
;i liaul> of hlack paint at either 
end of the concave side, indicat- 
ing morning and evening, or sun- and sunset. Lines on the 
convex side denote the same. 
No. 4. pahlto. m;irk on the 
end, lias a daub of black paint on the joinl end of the concave side, denoting, which to the Zufii is the first light of day. or the white light which 
comes : and the lines on the convex side indicate the same. Three dots 
are sometimes found on the joint of the reed, indicating eyes and mouth 
of the face, which is not delineated. Other reeds have only two dots for 
the eyes. Nos. 1 and 3 are said to belong to the elder God of War. and nos. 
2 and 4 to the Younger God of War. The playei' representing the elder god 
liolds no. 3 concave side up, and slides no 2 into the groove of no. .3. the 

Fio. 394. Split reeds used in sli61iwe: Ziiui Indians, 
Zufii. New Mexico: from Mrs Stevenson. 

" Bain priests. 


DICE games: ZI'NI 


joint of no. - falling below tliat of uo. 3. He then slides no. 4 into that of 
no. 2, also allowing tlie joint to extend below. Xo. 1 is held crosswise, the 
others at an acute angle (the reeds are sometimes crossed at right angles) 
with the grooved side against the corresponding sides of the others, the joint 
to the left, and the opposite end projecting a little more than an ineli beyond tlie 
group [figure 295]. When the representative of tlie .vounger God of War 
plays, he runs no. 3 into the groove of no. 2 and no. 1 into no. 3, and crosses 
them with no. 4. The reed which crosses the others is designated as tlie 
thrower, hut the same reed, as stated, is not used b.v both iilayers. In this 
position the reeds are thrown upward against an inverted basket, lo or 12 
inches in diameter, covered with a piece of blanl^et or cloth and suspended 
from the ceiling. The reeds strike the cloth over the basket and fall to a 
blanket spread on the floor to receive them. If pla.ved out of doors, which is 
seldom the case at present, the basket is suspended aliove the blanket from 
the apex of three poles, arranged tripod fashion, with sufficient space Iieneath 
for the lilanket and players. 

When the representative of the elder (Jod of War throws and the loiuave 
side of no. 1 and the convex sides of the otliers .ire up. the trick is w<in : or if 

Fic. 21t5, Method of placing reeds in jilaying sholiwe: Zlini Indians. Znni, Xew Mexico; from 

Mi's Stevenson. 

no. 1 be convex side uji with the others concave up. the trick is won. If no. 1 
crosses no. 3, or vice versa, convex sides up, the trick is won, ewen should one 
cross the others by but a hairsbreadth. If nos. 2 and 4 should be crossed as 
described, the trick goes to the opponent. If all convex sides are up, or vice 
.versa, the trick is lost. If the convex side of no. 3 is up and the others have 
the concave sides up, the trick belongs to the oiiponent. 

When the representative of the younger (Jod of War plays, the counts are 
reversed. Silver buttons are the favorite chips for the game. Though sholiwe 
is the favorite of tlie lot games <if the elder Ah'shiwi. it lieiiig the game of the 
professional gamblers of the puelilo, there is no thought of personal gain when 
it is played by the Ah'shiwanni for rains. At this time great ceremony is ob- 
served and buckskins are used in place of the cloth covering over the basket and 
the blanket on the floor. The skin on the floor has the head to the east ; a 
broken circle, forming a quadrant, is drawn on the skin. . . . 

There is but little ceremon.v associated with the game when pla.ved liy tlie iiro- 
fessional or other gamblers. The most abandoned, however, would not dare to 
play without first offering pra.vei-s to the Gods of War. invoking their blessing, 
and breathing on their reeds. 



ZrKi. Ziini, Xew Mexico. (United States National Museum.) 

Cat. no. 69285. Set of three sticks of larch wood, 3f inches in length, 
1 inch in breadth, and -i-l^ inches in thickness (fij^'ure 29()) : sec- 
tion rectangular ; one side painted red, the opposite unpainted. 

Cat. no. 69004. Set of three sticks of pinon wood (one missing), 3f 
inches in length, li inches in breadth, and three-sixteenths of an 
inch in thickness; one side flat and Ijlackened, the opposite 
roughly rounded and unpainted: ends cut straight across and 
jiainted black. 

Cat. no. 69355. Set of three sticks rudely shaped from piiion wood. 
54 inches in length, three-fourths of an inch in breadth, and about 
one-fourth of an inch in thiclvuess; section rectanguhir, with both 
sides flat ; one painted black, the opposite plain. 

Cat. no. 69352. Set of three sticks of pinon wood, 5^ inches in length. 
1} inches in bi'eadth, and about one-fourth of an inch in thick- 
ness; one side flat and painted black, the opposite rounded and 
painted red. 

Fig. 296. Fig. 297. 

Fig. 2iK. Stii;k dice: length, 3} inches: Zuiii Indians, Zufii, New Mexico; cat. no. 6928.5, United 

States NatioiKil Museum. 
Fig. 297. Stick dice: length, 4 inches: Zuni Indians, Zuni. New Mexico; cat. no. 1)9287, United 

States National Museum. 

Cat. no. 69284. Set of three sticks of pinon wood, 5i inches in length, 
seven-eighths of an inch in breadth, and about three-sixteenths 
of an inch in thickness; slightly rounded on both sides, one 
being painted black and the other red. 

Cat. no. 69354. Set of three sticks of pinon wood, 5^ inches in length, , 
about If inches in breadth, and three-sixteenths of an inch in 
thickness; painted l)lack on one side, the opposite side unpainted ; 
corresponding ends on one side cut straight across and the oppo- 
site with one corner rounded. 

Cat. no. 69.340. Set of three sticks of pine wood, 6 inches in length, 
l-j\ inches in breadth, and seven-sixteenths of an inch in thick- 
ness; section rectangular; one side marked with triangles of red 
and black paint, the opposite side unpainted. 

Cat. no. 69287. Set of three sticks of white pine, 4 inclies in length, 
three-fourths of an inch in breadth, and three-sixteenths of an 
inch in thickness (flgurc 297); one face flat, with triangles 


DICE GASiES : zrxi 


painted i-ed and black and outlined by incised lines, the opposite 
rounded and unpainted. 
Cat. no. 69281. Set of three sticks of j^ellow pine, o^ inches in length, 
1 inch in breadth, and three-eighths of an inch in thickness (fig- 
ure 298) : one face flat and unpainted, the opposite face rounded 
and painted red and black in triangular designs, the triangles on 
one side being red with a black inner triangle, and vice versa, 
the outline of the larger triangles deeply incised. 
Cat. no. 69003. Set of three sticks of basswood, 4f inches in length, 
If inches in breadth, and five-sixteenths of an inch in thickness 
(figure 299) ; flat and painted light red on one side, opposite side 
rounded and painted in triangular designs in red and black, the 
pattern being double that on numbers 69340, 69287. and 69281. 
The preceding Zunian staves were collected by Colonel James Stev- 
enson. They were all used, as I was informed by Mr Cushing, for 
the game of tasholiwe, or wooden canes, 
which he described to me as follows: 

Ta'-sho'-li-we <• is played according to the 
throws of three wooden blocks, painted red on 
one side and blacli upon the other, around a 
circle of stones placed upon the sand. Two or 
four players engage, using two or four splints 
as marlvers, and advancing, according to their 
throws, around the circle, which is divided Into 
forty parts by pebbles or fragments of pottery, 
and has four openings, called doorways, at its 
four quarters. At the <oniniencement of the 
game four colored splints are arranged at these 
points: At the top (Noi'th) a yellow splint, at the 
left (West) a blue, at the bottom (South) a red, 
and at the right (East) a white splint. The 
blocks are tossed, ends down, on a disk of sandstone placed in the middle of the 
circle, and the counts are as follows : Three red sides up count 10 : three black 
sides up, 5 ; two red and one black, 3 ; two black and one red, 2. 

A count of 10 gives another throw. When four play, the straws of the North 
and West move around from right to left, and those of the South and East from 
left to right. When a player's move terminates at a division of the circle 
occupied by an adversary's straw he takes it up and sends it back to the begin- 
ning. It is customary to make the circuit of the stones four times, beans or 
corn of different colors being used to count the number of times a player has 
gone around. The colors on the wooden blocks or dice symbolize the two con- 
ditions (if men : Red, light or wakefulness ; black, darkness or sleep. 

The si>lints have the following symbolism: At top. yellow, north, air. winter: 
at left, blue, west, water, spring : at bottom, red. south, fire, summer : at right, 
white, east, earth autumn. 

FiQ. 298. Stick dice; lengtb, 5* 
inclies; Zuni Indians, Zutii, New- 
Mexico; cat. no, 69281, United 
States National Museum. 

" Ta'-sho'-li-we was described by John G. Owens in the Popular Scisace Monthly, v. SD. 
1891. He gives the name of the central stone as a-rey-ley and the dice ta-me.v. For 
counting, each player has a horse, or louche. '* The horse is supposed to stop and drink 
at the intervals between the groups of stones. One game whicli I witnessed had loaded 
rifle cartridges for stalies. Each player places his bet within the circle of stones." 



The following is a vocabulary of the game: blocks, ta'-sho'-li-we; literally 
of wood cones : splints, ti'-we : circle of stones, i'-te-tchi-ua kya-a'-we. literally 
from one to another succeeding; doorway, a-wena-a-te-kwi-a, literally doorway, 
all directions of: beans used as counters. a-\vi'-yah-na-kya no'we. literally, for 
keeping count beans. 

Mrs Matilda Coxe Stevenson " gives the counts in this game as fol- 

Three colored sides up coinit l(i : three uncolored sides uj), 5 : two uncolored 
and one colored, 3 ; two colored and one uncolored, 2. The first one around the 
circle wins the game, provided his count does not carry him beyond the starting 
point, in which event he must continue going round until his counter reaches 
the doorway, or spring, as the oi^ening is often called. 

Fig. 300, 

Pig. 299. Stick dice; length, a inches; Zuni Indians, Zuni, New Mexico; cat. no. 69003, United 

States National Museum. 
Fig. 3(W. Stick dice; length, 51 inches; Zuni Indians, Zuni, New Mexico; cat. no. 22591, Free 

Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

Mrs Stevenson .says that the Zuni declare that they adopted this 
game from the Navaho, 

Zuni. Zuiii. New Mexico. (Cat. no. 22591, Free Museum of Science 
and Art, University of Pennsylvania.) 

Four soft wood blocks (figure WO). 5] inches long and 1} inches 
wide, painted black and marked on the rounded side with diag- 
onal lines and chevrons, two and two alike. Collected by the 
writer in 1902. 

New Mexico. (Cat. no. 16531, Free Museum of Science and 

Art. University of Pennsylvania.) 

Reproductions of set of three blocks, originals of pinon wood, 4 
inches in length, 1^ inches in breadth, and five-sixteenths of an 
inch in thickness (figure 301) ; made by Mr Cushing; rectangu- 

<■ ZuSl Games. American Anthropologist, n. s., v, 6, p. 495, 1903. 




lar in section ; one side painted nniformly white and the opposite 
side with transverse bands of color separated by black lines of 
paint, in the following order: yellow, blue. red. variegated, 
white, speckled, and black." 
Mr dishing informed me that these blocks are used in a divinatory 

form of tasholiwe. called tenithlanahnatasholiwe, of all tlie region's 

wood canes. 

In this game the counting grains are named for : North, thlup-tsi Icwa-IvWe, 

yellow medicine seed people: West, thli'-a kwa-kwe. blue "medicine seed people; 

South, shi-lo-a kwa-kwe. red medicine seed iieople ; East, ko'-ha kwa-kwe, 

white medicine seed people ; T'pper region, ku'-tsu-a kwa-kwe. variegated medi- 

I'ine seed people: Lower legion, k'wi'-na kwa-kwe. black medicine seed people; 

Middle or all-eontainiug region. r-to-i)a-nah-na kwa-kwe, of all colors medicine 

seed peoiile. 

Fig. 301. 

Fig. 302. 

Pig. 301. Stick dice; length, 4 inches; Zufii Indians, Zuiii, New Mexico; cat. no. 165.31, Free 

Museum of Science and Art, U!iivei*sity of Pennsylvania. / 
Fig. 302. Stick dice for basket-dice game; length. 4 inches; Zuni Indians. Zuni, New Mexico; 

cat. no. .30:i5. Brooklyn InstUute Museum. 

This game is employed in name divination and prognostication of an indi- 
vidual, usually of :\ youth, the eolors being noted for the purpose of determining 
the rank, and name significant thereof, of the one for whom the divination is 

Mrs Matilda Coxe Stevenson, commenting upon the above game 
(figure 301), says that she has not discovered any such form, but that 
a Zufii will sometimes, when he wishes to play sholiwe, refer to the 
canes as temtlanana sholiwe. literally all grandfathers' arrow reeds, 
i. e., reeds of our forefathers.'' 

Zuni. Zuni. Xew Mexico. (Cat. no. 3035, Brooklyn Institute' 

Museum. ) 

Four very thin flat sticks, 4 inches in length, painted red on one side 

as shown in figure 302. there being two and two alike, the reverse 

plain. Collected by the writer in 1903. 

The Zufii described these sticks as used as dice in the game of tsaspatsawe. 

a woman's game, learned by the Zuni from the Navaho and regarded as a 

"The stick with notches (page 104K used in the Tanoan game, suggests the prohahility 
that these painted sticks replaced others wrapped with colored thread or fabric. 
*Zuiii Games. American Anthropologist, n. s., v. 5, p. 496, 1903. 



Navaho game. The sticks are tossed up iii a small native liasUet. The counts 
are as follows : All painted sides up count -1 ; three painted sides up, 3 ; two 
painted sides up, 2 ; one painted side up, 1. 

ZuNi. Zuiii, New Mexico. ( Cat. no. ^^SOi, Free Museum of Science 
and Art, University of Pennsylvania.) 

Fig. 303. Fig. :<N4. 

Fig. 303. Wooden dice for basket^dice game; length, li inches; ZuSi Indians, Ziini, New 
Mexico; (a,t. no. 22594, Free Museum of Science and Art. University of Pennsylvania. 

Fig. 3114. Basket for dice; diameter, lOJ inches; Zuni Indians, Zuni, New Mexico; cat. no. 23594, 
Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

Five wooden blocks (figure 303), 1 by IJ inches and one-fourth of an 
inch thick, jjainted black and marked with incised lines on one 
side, the other side being left plain, accompanied by a Zuni 
basket, 10^- inches in diameter (figure 304). Collected by the 
writer in 1902. 
The name of the game was given as thlaspatsa ananai: that of the 

basket, tselai. 

Men and womeu play. Two persons engage, and money is bet on the game. 

The counts are as follows : Five black up counts 10 ; five white up, 5 ; four 

white up, 4 : three white up, 3 ; two white up, 2 ; one white up, 1. The game 

is 10. 


Fig. ao5. 
Fig. 305. Wooden dice and tossing instrument; lengths of dice, li and 21 inches; Zuni Indians, 

Zuni, Now Mexico; cat. no. .3044. 3045, Brooklyn Institute Museum. 
Fig. 3IK). Wooden dice; diameter. It inches; Zuni Indians, Zuni. New Mexico; cat. no. .3046, 

Brooklyn Institute Museum. 

New Mexico. (Brooklyn Institute Museum.) 

Cat. no. 3044. Three diamond-shaped pieces of wood (figure 305), 

2J inches long, painted black on one side and red on the other; 

called moiachua tslemmai, star boards. 
Cat. no. 3045. Two flat wooden blocks (figure 305), U Ijy IJ inches, 

painted red on one side and having a black stripe on the other; 

called tslemmai kokslii, good boards. 

cuLiN] UKE games: zuni 225 

These games are played by two men. The boards are put on the end of a flat 
forked stick and tossed in the air. They phiy turn about until one throws all 
red or all black and wins. The throwing board is called tslem-mai kwil-li ka-so-la, 
two-forked board. 

Cat. no. 3046. Four flat wooden disks (figure 306), li inches in 
diameter, black on one side and red on the other. 

They are called tslai-wai i)i-so-li, round boards, and are used like the preceding, 
except that the boards are thrown by hand. 

All of the above-mentioned specimens were collected by the writer 
in 1903. 

24 ETH 0.5 M 15 


Stick Games 

The implements for the stick games are of two principal kinds. 
The first, directly referable to arrow shaftments, consists (a) of 
small wooden cylinders, painted with bands or ribbons of color, simi- 
lar to those on arrow shaftments, employed by the Indians of the 
AthajDascan, Chimmesyan, Chinookan, Copehan, Koluschan, Sali- 
shan, Skittagetan, and AVakashan stocks of the Pacific coast; (h) of 
fine sjjlints, longer than the jirecediiig, of which one or more in a set 
are distinguished by marks, emialoyed by the Indians of the Athapas- 
can, Lutuamian, Shastan, Weitspekan, and Wishoskan tribes near the 
Pacific coast; (c) of sticks and rushes, entirely unmarked, employed 
by the Indians of the Algonquian, Iroquoian, Kulanapan, Siouan, 
and Washoan tribes. The marks on the implements of the first sort 
are imderstood as referring to various totemic animals, etc., which 
are actually carved or painted on some of the sets. 

In the second form of the game the sticks are replaced by flat disks, 
variously marked on the edges. In this form the game is played by 
Indians of the Chinookan, Salishan, Shahaptian, and Wakashau 
stocks, and is confined to the Pacific coast. 

The number of sticks or disks varies from ten to more than a hun- 
dred, there being no constant number. The first operation in the 
game, that of dividing the sticks or disks into two bundles, is invari- 
ably the same. The object is to guess the location of an odd or a par- 
ticularly marked stick. On the Pacific coast the sticks or disks are 
usually hidden in a mass of shredded cedar bark. On the Atlantic 
coast the sticks are commonly held free in the hands. In one instance 
it is recorded that the guesser uses a pointer to indicate his choice. 
The count is commonly kept with the sticks or disks themselves, the 
players continuing until one or the other has won all. 

On the Northwest coast the sets of sticks are almost uniformly con- 
tained in a leather pouch, sometimes with the inner side painted, with 
a broad flap to which a long thong is attached, passing several times 
around the pouch, and having a pointed striji of bone, horn, or ivory 
at the end. The latter is slipped under the thong as a fastening. 
The identification of these sticks with arrow shaftments is aided by 
comparison with the banded shaftments of actual arrows, as, for 
example, those of the Hupa (figure 307). Figure 308 represents a 
cut shaftment of an actual arrow, still bearing bands of red paint, 




found among the debris of a cliff-dwelling in Mancos canyon. Colo- 
rado, which Mr dishing regarded as having been intended for a 
game in the manner of the sticks. In this connection the following 
account of the tivotipi of the Dakota, by Stephen R. Riggs." will be 
found of interest : 

The exponent of the phratry the tiyotipi, or soldier's lodge. Its meaning 
is the lodge of lodges. There were placed the bundles of black and red sticks 



Fig. 3{yr. Arrow sliaftment sliowing ribliand n^; Hupa Indians, California; cat. no. 126517, 
Unit>ed States National Museum. 

of the soldiers. There the soldiers gathered to talk and smoke and feast. There 
the laws of the encampment were enacted. 

Describing the lodge, he says: 

A good Are is blazing inside, and we may just lift up the skin door and crawl 
in. Toward the rear of the tent, but near enough for convenient use. is a large 
pipe placed by the symbols of power. There are two bundles of shaved sticks 
about G inches long. The sticks in one bundle are painted black and in the 
other red. The black bundle reiiresents the re.-il men f>f the camp — those who 

Fio. 308. Cut arrow .shaf tment; length, B inches; cliflE-dwellin;;, Mant-os canyon, Colorado; Free 
Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania 

have made their mark on the warpath. The red bundle represents the boys 
and such men as wear no eagle feathers. 

Again, he says : 

Then of all the round-shaved sticks, some of which were painted black, and 
some painted red, four are especially marked. They are the four chiefs of the 
tiyotipi that were made. And these men are not .selected at random for this 
place, but men who have killed many enemies and are most able are chosen. 

" Dakota Grammar. Texts and Ethnography, edited by .lames Owen Dorsey. Contribu- 
tions to North American Ethnology, v. S). p. 19.5, -'00, Washington. 1893. 




In conclusion, Mr Riggs adds: 

The special marking of the sticlis is done on the line of personal history. 
Whatever is indicated by the kind of eagle feathers a man is entitled to wear on 
liis head, and by the notches in them, this is all hieroglyphed 
on his stick in the tiyotipi. Then these bundles of sticks are 
used for gambling. The (luestion is "Odd or even?" The 
forfeits are paid in meat for the tiyotipi. 

The gambling mat used in the stick game by the 
Thompson (figure 335) suggests a probable ex^Dlana- 
tion of tlie origin of the long woven head ornament, 
consisting of a strip or net made of native hemp (fig- 
ure 309) worn down the back by the Hupa in one of 
their dances. From the general resemblance of the 
two objects and the constant use of other gambling 
implements as head ornaments, the writer is inclined 
to connect the Hupa head band witli their common 
game of kin. It may have been used to wrap the sticks 
or as a mat for the game. 


Algonkin. Three Rivers. Quebec. 
Pierre Boucher " says : 

The game of straw (paille) is played with little straws 
made for this purpose and which are divided very unequally 
into three parts, as in hazard. Our Frenchmen have not yet 
been able to learn this game. It is full of vivacy ; and 
straws are among them what cards are with us. 

Chippewa. Turtle mountain. North Dakota. (Cat. 
American Museum of Natural 

Fig. 309. Head or- 
nament; length, 
38 inches; Hupa 
Indians, Hupa 
nia; cat. no. 37263, 
Free Museum of 
Science and Art, 
University of 

Eleven sticks (figure 310), painted saplings, 18 inches 

long. These were collected in 1903 by Dr William Jones, who 
described them as u.sed in a game called agintakurianatiwinani, 
stick counting. 
Two men play. One takes the sticks, five in one hand and six in the other. 

Fig. 310. Stick game; length of sticks, l.S inches; Chippewa Indians, Turtle mountain. North 
Dakota; cat. no. iffr, American Museum of Natural History. 

his opponent guessing which hand held the odd stick, touching the hand he 
selects. The division and guess are effected with great rapidity. 

" Histoire Veritable et Naturelle des Moeurs et Productions du Pays de la Novelle 
Prance, ch. 10, Paris, 1664. 



Cree. Wind River reservation, Wyoming. (Cat. no. 37027. Free 
Museum of Science and Art, Universitj' of Pennsylvania.) 
Twenty-nine peeled willow twigs (figure 311), 18 inches in length. 

These were collected in 1900 by the writer, for whom they were 
made by a Cree of Eiel's band, who gave the name as tepashgue ma- 
tun and said the game was derived from the Salish. 

Phiyed by two persons. One takes the bundle and rolls the sticks in his hands 
and divides them into two parts, throwing one bundle to the other player, who 
guesses which contains the even number of sticks. If the bundle designated is 
odd, the guesser loses. Sometimes the sticks are divided into two bundles and 
held crosswise, the other then guessing. They do not sing at this game. 

Pig. 3U. 

Stick game: length of sticks, 18 inches; Cree Indians, Wyoming; cat. no. :i7027. Free 
Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

Muskowpetung reserve, Qu'appelle, Assiniboia. (Cat. 
61987, Field Columbian Museum.) 


Btmdle of twenty -five slender willow splints (figure 312), 19 inches 
in length. 

They are used in the game of counting sticks, ahkitaskoomnah- 
mahtowinah, and are described as follows by the collector, Mr J. A. 
Mitchell : 

Played by both men and women or by either separately. Players are dividea 
into two parties, seated opposite each other. Stakes of money, clothing, etc., 
are then put up in a common lot. The person inviting the players begins the 
game by secretly dividing the bundle 
of twenty-five sticks into two lots, 
holding one bundle in either hand. 
If his opponent chooses the bundle 
containing the even number of 
sticks, he wins ; if the odd bundle, 
he loses, and the play passes to the 
next couple. Play is kept up until either one or the other party desires to 
stop, when the wagered articles are taken possession of by the party having 
made the most points and are divided among all that party. The game is 
sometimes kept up for several days and nights. 

Illinois. Illinois. 

Mr Andrew' McFarland Davis" states: 

I am indebted to Dr Trumbull for information that a MS. Illinois dirtionai-y 
(probably compiled by Gravier, about 1700) gives many of the terms used in 
the games of straws and dice. 
Mas.sachtjset. Massachusetts. 

William Wood, in his New England's Prospect says: 

They have two sorts of games, one called puira, the other hubbub, not much 
unlike cards and dice, being no other than lottery. Puini is fifty or sixty 

Fig. 3ia. Stick game; length ot sticks, 19 inches; 
Cree Indians, Assiniboia; cat. no. 6U187, Field 
Columbian Museum. 

<■ Bulletin of the Essex Institute, v. 18, note p. 177, Salem, 1886. 
' London, 1634 ; Reprint, p. 90, Boston, 1898. 

ccLiN] STICK games: piegan • 231 

small hents of a foot long which they divide to the number of their gamesters, 
shuffling them first between the palms of their hands ; he that hath more than 
his fellow is so much the forwarder in his game: many other strange whim- 
sies be in this game : which would be too long to commit to paper : he that 
's a noted gambler, hath a great hole in his ear wherein he carries his puims 
in defiance of his antagonists. 

Miami. St. Joseph river. Michigan. 
P. de Charlevoix " says : 

That day the Pottawatomi had come to play the game of straws with the 
Miami. They played in the hut of the chief, and in a place opposite. These 
straws are small, about as thick as a wheat sti'aw and 2 inches long. Each 
player takes a bundle of them, usually containing two hundred and one, always 
an uneven number. After having well shaken them about, making meanwhile 
a thousand contortions and invoking the spirits, they separate them, with a 
sort of thorn or pointed bone, into parcels of ten. Each one takes his own, 
haphazard, and he who has chosen the parcel containing eleven wins a certain 
number of points, as may have been agreed upon. The game is 60 or 80. 
There were other ways of playing this game which they were willing to explain 
to me. but I could understand nothing unless it was that sometimes the number 
9 wins the game. The.v also told me that there is as much skill as chaiire in 
this game, and that the savages are e.xtremely clever at it. as at all other games ; 
that they give themselves up to it and spend whole days and nights at it ; that 
sometimes they do not stop playing until they are entirely naked, having 
nothing more to lose. There is another way of playing, without stakes. This 
is purely a pastime, but it has almost always bad consequences for morals. 

Narraganset. Ehode Island. 

Roger Williams, in his Key into the Language of ^Vmerica." says: 

Their games (like the English) are of two sorts; private and public; a game 
like unto the English cards, yet instead of cards, they play with strong rushes. 

In his vocabulary he gives the following definitions : 

Akesuog : they are at cards, or telling of rushes ; pissinneganash : their play- 
ing rushes ; ntakesemin : I am telling, or counting ; for their play is a kind of 

NoRRiDGEWocii. Norridgcwock, Maine. 

In the dictionary of Father Sebastian Kasles,'" as pointed out bj* 
Mr Davis,"* one finds corresponding with pissinneganash, the word 
pesseniganar, defined as "-les pailles avec quoi on joue a un autre jeu." 

PiEGAN. Montana. 

Mr Louis L. Meeker writes : « 

A game, described as straws or Indian' cards, is pla.ved with a number of 
unmarked sticks. Piegan pupils at Fort Shaw. Montana, used lead pencils for 

" Journal d'un Voyage clans TAm^rique Septentrionnale, v. 3, p. 318, Paris, 1744. 
^ Loudon, 1643. Collections of the Rhode Island Historical Society, v. 1, p. 145, Provi- 
dence. 1S27. 

'' Memoirs American Academy of .\rts and Sciences, u. s.. v. 1. p. 472. Cambridge, 1833. 
■! Bulletin of the Essex Institute, v. 18. p. 176. Salem. 1886. 
' In a letter to the author. 


the purpose. An odd number was separated into two portions by one player. 
The other chose one portion. If the number was odd, he won. 

Powhatan. Virginia. 
William Strachey " says : 

Dice play, or cards, or lots they know not, how be it they use a game upon 
rushes much like primero, wherein they card and discard, and lay a stake too, 
and so win and lose. They will play at this for their bows and arrows, their 
copper beads, hatchets, and their leather coats. 

In his vocabulary Strachey gives : " To play at any game, mamantu 

Roger Beverley '' says : 

They have also one great diversion, to the practising of which are requisite 
whole handfuls of little sticks or hard straws, which they know how to count as 
fast as they can cast their eyes upon them, and can handle with a surprising 

Satjk and Foxes. Iowa. (Cat. no. -jffj, American Museum of Nat- 
ural History.) 
Bundle of one hundred and two peeled willow sticks (figure 313), 12 
inches in length, and a pointed stick (figure 314), with a red- 
painted tip, 13^ inches in length. 
These were collected by Dr "William Jones, who describes them as 
implements for the counting game, agitci kanahamogi. The name 

means to count with an agent ; agi- 
tasowa. he counts; agitasoweni, count- 
Dr Jones informed me that the stick game; length of sti.ks, j j played, but, from 

12 inches; Sauk and Fox Indians, Iowa; & t^ 1 J ? ? ^ 

cat. no. jif,, American Museum of the coDstaut reference to it in stories. 

Natural History. ^j^^ j^^^^^j^ .^^.^ ^jj f^j^^Jliar with it and 

made the above-described implements according to their tradition. 

In playing, the entire bundle is held together in the hands and allowed to fall 
in a pile, which is then divided with the pointed stick, called the dividing stick. 

—''"''- iirTniinr^ 

Fig. 314. Dividing stick for stick game; length, i;ij inches; Sauk and Fox Indians, Iowa; cat. 
no. tJJ,, American Museum of Natural History. 

The object is to separate either 9, shagjiwa ; or 11, metaswi neguti, or l.S, 1.5, 17, 
or 19,c but the player must call out which of these numbers he attempts to 
divide before putting down the dividing stick.- If he succeeds he scores 1 point, 
but if he fails the turn goes to another player. 

" Historie of Travaile into Virginia Britannia, p. 78 ; printed for the Hakluyt Society, 
London, 1849. 

* The History and Present State of Virginia, p. .53, London. 1705; p. 175, Richmond, 
^a.. IS.-,.-,. 

' Or 21, 31, 41 ; 23, 33, 43 ; 25, 35, 45 ; 27, 37, 47 ; 29, 39, 49, etc. 




Another set of implements for the same game in this collection 
(cat. no. -jfyy) consists of fifty-one sticks (figure 315). 9i inches in 
length, and a finder, a foriced twig 18 inches in length. Another 
name for the game is ateso'kaganani. from ateso 'kiiwa, he tells a 
story — that is, a myth. 

Fig. 31R. Stick game; sticks and finder: length of sticks. 9i inches: length of finder, 18 inches; 
fcittuk and Fox Indians, Iowa; cat. no. g^w, American Museum of Natural History. 


Ataakut. Hupa Valley reservation, California. (Cat. no. 12G905, 

United States National Museum.) 
Set of thirty-one sticks, 8| inches in length and tapering to the ends, 
one having a band of black paint near the middle (figure SKi). 

These were collected by Lieut. P. H. Ray. U. S. Army, who de- 
scribes the game under the designation of kinnahehih : 

This game is played by any nuuiber that wish to engage in betting. Two deal- 
er.s sit opposite each other on a blanliet, each baclved by two or more singers and 
a drummer, and the game commences by one of the dealers taking the sticlvs in 
both hands, about equally divided, and holding them behind his bacli, shuf- 
fling them from hand to hand, after which he l)rings them in front of his body 
with both hands extended and the sticlis grasped so the players can not 

Fto. 316. Stick game; length of sticks, 8} inches; Ataakut Indians, Hupa Valley reservation, 
California; cat. no. 126905, United States National Museum. 

see the centers. The opposite dealer clasjis his hands together two or three 
times and points tow-ards the hand which he thinks holds the stick with the 
black center. Should he guess correctly, he takes the deal and holds it until 
his opponent wins it back in like manner. For each failure a forfeit is paid, 
and one is also demanded when the dealer loses the deal. Friends of each party 
make outside bets on the dealers, and each dealer's band plays and sings as long 
as he holds the deal.a 

Hupa. Hupa Valley reservation, California. (Free Museum of Sci- 
ence and Art, University of Pennsylvania.) 

° See Prof. Otis T. Mason, The Ray Collection from Hupa Reservation. Report of the 

Smithsonian Institution for 1886, pt. 1, p. 234, 1889. 


Cat. no. 37201. Set of one hundred and six fine wooden splints, 

eight marked in the center with black: length, 8i inches; tied 

with a thong. 

It was explained by the maker of these sticks that it was customary to put four 

sticks, aces, niarlved with blacli. in a paclv. although but one is actually used in 

guessing. The count is kept with tl twigs. Two people play. The starter takes 

5 and the other iilayer G. and the game continues until oue or the other has the 11 

twigs. The name of the game is kifi. meaning stick. This and the similar sets 

following are called ho-tchi-kin, ho-tchi being explained as meaning correct. 

Cat. no. 37202. Set of sticks for kin, hotchikiil. Fiftv-tliree coarse 
splints, one marked with black; length. 10 inches. 

Pig. 317. Counting sticks for stick game; length, 7 iuclies; Hupa Indiaus. California: cat. no. 
:i72(K>. Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

Cat. no. 37203. Set of one hundred and ninetv-threo fine splints, 

four marked with black ; length, Sf inches. 
Cat. no. 37204. Set of forty-three fine splints, three marked with 

black ; length, 9 inches. 
Cat. no. 37205. Set of one hundred and thirty-nine fine splints, 

five marked with black; length, 9j inches. Twenty-four splints 

have spiral ribbons of red the entire length, said to have been 

added to make the sticks more salable for the white trade. 
Cat. no. 37200 (figure 317). Set of eleven counting sticks for kiii, 

called chittistil; half sections, with bark having three spiral 

lines cut across; length, 7 inches. 
A Crescent City Indian whom the writer met at Areata, Cali- 
fornia, gave the names of the sticks used in kiii as tchacti, and the 
trunip as tchacwun. 

Fig. 318. Stick game: length of sticks, 4i inches; Hupa Indians, California; cat. no. 37208, Free 
Mu-seum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

Cat. no. 37208. Set of game sticks, missolich (figure 318). Fifteen 
small sticks of hard polished wood, 4f inches in length. 

Seven of these have three bands around and three ro\vs of dots or 
points at each end; seven have only three bands and one, two bands. 
The last is regarded as the ace, or stick which is guessed, hauk. 

All collected bv the writer in 1900. 




Htjpa. Hupa Valley reservation, California. (United States Na- 
tional Museum.) 
Cat. no. 151673. Set of ninety-eight slender pointed sticks. 8^ inches 

in length, two marked with a band of black near the middle: 

collected by Lieut. Robert H. Fletcher, U. S. Army. 
Cat. no. 21314. Set of sixty-two slender pointed sticks, 93 inches in 

length, three marked with black band near the middle. 
Cat. no. 2131G. Set of fifty-one slender sticks (figure 310). 9f inches 

in length, thicker than the preceding and not pointed: three 

marked with a black band near the middle. 

Fig. 319. Stick game: length of sticks, 9^ inches; Hupa Indians. California; cat. uo. 3W16, 
United States National Museum. 

Cat. no. 2131.5. Ninety-three slender pointed sticks, 8f inches in 
length, and two about 8^ inches in length, possibly parts of two 
or more sets; four marked with band of black near the middle, 
one carved near the middle, and one carved near the end. as shown 
in figure .''20. 

Pig. 330. Stick game; length of sticks, 8^ inches; Hupa Indians. California; cat. uo. 31315, 
United States National Museum. 

The foregoing specimens from cat. no. 21314 were collected by 
Mr Stephen Powers, who describes the game as follows : 

Kin, one hundred gambling sticks, four of them marked black around the 
middle. The player holds up two, and his adversary guesses in which hand is 
the marked one. If he is unsuccessful with this one, he takes another one of 
the marked ones ; if unsuccessful with all of the marked ones in the bunch, he 
tries another bunch, or scarifies the outside of his legs, cutting them with shal- 
low cross lines. A company, sometimes a hundred people, surround the jjlayers, 
and a drum is beaten with a stick, to which is attached a rattle of deer hoofs, 
while chanting is kept up. 

Hupa Valley reservation, California. ( Cat. 
United States National Museum.) 

no. 126906, 

Set of eight cylinders of wood (figure 321), 4f mches in length and 
five-sixteenths of an inch in diameter, made of twigs. Seven 



have a band of black paint at both ends and in the middle, while 
the eighth is i^ainted only in the middle. 
These were collected by Lieut. P. H. Ray, U. S. Army, who de- 
scribes them under the name of kiiinahelah : 

The game is essentially the same [as that from the Ataakut] except in the 
use of a smaller number of sticks and the joker 
being l)Iaekened only in the center, while the balance 
are blackened at both ends and center. Both games 
are called kin. 


Siletz reservation, Oregon. A. W. Chase" 

Captain Tichenor played several native games of 
cards for us, the " pasteboards " being bundles of 

Sekani. Sicanie river, British Columbia. 
(Cat. no. G88, Peabody Museum of 
American Archseologv and Ethnol- 

FlG. :ttl. Stick game; length 
of sticks, a inches: Hupa 
Indians. Hupa Valley reser- 
vation, California; cat. no. 
126906, United States Na- 
tional Museum. 

Ten sticks of 




wood, 4f inches in length and one-fourth 
of an inch in diameter, marked alike with red lines or rib- 
bons (figure 322) ; collected by J. T. Rothrock, and acquired 
by the Museum in 18(57 with other Ath- 
apascan objects. 
The use of these sticks is explained 
clearly by the following reference by Father 
Morice to the game of atlih. There is an- 
other set of gambling sticks in the Peabody 
Museum, cat. no. 48395, about which noth- 
ing is known, but which from their re- 
semblance to the preceding are probably 
from the same or some adjacent tribe. 
The}' number fifty-one, are marked in four 
different ways with faint black and red 
lines, and are contained in a flat leather 
pouch, open at the top, the sticks standing 
on end. 

Takulli. T^ijper Fraser river, British Columbia. 
Sir Alexander Mackenzie ■ says : 

We all sat down on a very pleasant green spot, and were no sooner seated 
than our guide and one of the party i)repared to engage in play. They had each 
a bundle of about Bfty small sticks, neatly polished, of the size of a quill, and 5 
inches long; a certain number of these sticks had red lines around them, and 


=-—■■■■■■ 111 1.^ - ~- ' 

Fig. 3'J2. Stick game: length of 
sticks, 4i inches'. Sekani Indi- 
ans, British Columbia; cat. 
no. 6H8. Peabody Museum of 
American Archeeology and 

" The Overland Monthly, v. 2, p. 4.3,3. San Francisco, 
» Voyages from Montreal, p. 311, London, 1801, 



as many of these as one of tbe players migbt find convenient were curionsly 
rolled up In dry grass, and according to the judgment of bis antagonist respect- 
ing their number and marlvs be lost or won. Our friend was apparently the 
loser, as he parted with his bow and arrows and several articles which I had 
given him. 

Taktjlli. Stuart lake, British Columbia. 

The Reverend Father A. (i. Morice " refers to a game — 

atlih, which In times past was passionately pla.ved by the Carriers, but is now 
altogether forgotten except by a few elder men. It necessitated the use of a 
quantity of finely-polished bonesticks. perhaps 4 or .5 inches long. 

Father Morice de.scribes atlih as the original counterpart of the 
modern netsea, or hand game. In a general sense, the name of the 
game may be translated gambling. The bones were called alte. 

Father Morice * gives also the following legend of the game : 

A young man was so fond of playing atlih that, after he had lost every part of 
his wearing apparel, he went so far as to gamble away his very wife and chil- 
dren. Disgusted with his conduct, his fellow-villagers turned away from liini 
and migrated to another sjiot of the forest, taking along all their belongings. 
and carefull.v extinguishing the fire of every lodge so that he might perish. 

Now. this happened in winter time. Reduced to this sad fate, and in a 
state of complete nakedness, the young man searched every fireplace in the hope 
of finding some bits of burning cinders, but to no purpose. He then took the 
dry grass on which his fellow villagers had been resting every night and roughly 
weaved it into some sort of a garment to cover his nakedness. 

Yet without fire or food he could not live. So he went off in despair without 
snowshoes, expecting death in the midst of his wanderings. 

After journeying some time, as he was half frozen and dying of hunger, he 
suddenl.v caught sight in tlie top of tlie tall spruces of a glimmer as of a far-off 
fire. Groping his way thither, he soon iierceived sparks tiying out of two col- 
umns of smoke, and cautiously approaching he came upon a large lodge covered 
with branches of conifers. He peeped through a chink and saw nobody but an 
old man sitting by one of two large fires burning in the lodge. 

Immediately the old man cried out. " Come in. my son-in-law 1 " Tlie .voung 
man was much astonished, inasmuch as he could see nobody outside but himself. 
"Come in. my son-in-law: what are .von doing out in the cold?" came again 
from the lodge. Whereupon the gamltler ascertained that it was himself who 
was thus addressed. Therefore he timidly entered, and. following his host's 
suggestion, he set to vfarm himself l).v one of the fires. 

The old man was called Ne-,v9B-hwolluz.<' because, being no other than Yihta."* 
he nightly carries his house about in the course of his travelings. " You seem 
very miserable, my son-in-law ; take this up," he said to his guest while putting 
mantlewiseon the young man's shoulders a robe of sewn marmot skins. He next 
handed him a pair of tanned skin moccasins and ornamental leggings of the same 

" Notes on the Western Dto&. Transactions of the Canadian Institute, v. 4, p. 78, 

Toronto. 1895. 

» n)id., p. 79. 

'■ Literally, "He-carries (as with a sleigh >-a-house." The final hwolluz is proper to 
the dialect of the Lower Carriers, though the tale is narrated by an Upper Carrier, 
which circumstance would seem to indicate that the legend is not. as so many others, 
borrowed from Tsimpsian tribe. 

'' Ursa Major. 


material. He then called out, " My daughter, roast by the fireside something 
to eat for your husband : he must be hungry." Hearing which, the gambler, 
who had thought liiniself alone with Xe-y9E-hwoIluz, was much surprised to see 
a beautiful virgin a emerge from one of the corner provision and goods stores and 
proceed to prepare a repast for him. 

Meanwhile the old man was digging a hole in the ashes, whence he brought 
■out a whole black bear cooked under the Are with skin and hair on. Pressing 
with his lingers the l)rim of the hole made by the arrow, he took the bear up to 
his guest's lips, saying. " Suck out the grease, my son-in-law." The l.itter was 
so exhausted by fatigue that he could drink but a little of the warm liquid, 
which caused his host to exclaim, " How small bellied my son-in-law is ! " 
Then the old man went to the second fireplace, likewise dug out therefrom a 
whole bear, and made his guest drink in the same way with the same result, 
accompanied by a similar remark. 

After they had eaten. Xe-yaR-hwolluz showed the gambler to his resting 
place and cautioned him not to go out during the night. As for himself, he was 
soon noticed to leave the lodge that and every other night ; and as he came 
back in the morning he invariabl.v seemed to l)e quite heated and looked as one 
who had traveled a very great distance. 

The gambler lived there happily witli his new wife for some months. But his 
former passion soon revived. As spring came back he would take some alte in 
an absent-minded way and set out to play therewith all alone. Which seeing his 
father-in-law said to him, " If you feel lonesome here, my son-in-law, return for 
a while to your own folks and gamble with them." Then, handing him a set of 
alte and four tetquh,* he added : " When you have won all that is worth win- 
ning throw your lat(|uh up over the roof of the house and come back immedi- 
ately. Also, remember not to speak to your former wife." 

The gambler then made his departure, and was soon again among the people 
who had abandoned him. He was now a handsome and well-dressed young man, 
and soon finding partners for his game he stripped them of all their belongings, 
after which he threw his tatquh over the roof of the lodge. He also met his 
former wife as she was coming from drawing water, and though she entreated 
him to take her back to wife again he hardened his heart and did not know her. 

Yet. instead of returning immediately after he had thrown his tat(iuh over 
the roof, as he had lieen directed to do, his passion for atlili betrayed him into 
playing again, when he lost all he had won. He was thus reduced to his first 
state of wretched nakedness. lie then thought of Xe-yaR-hwolluz, of his new 
wife, and his new home, and attempted to return to them, but he could never 
find them. 

TuELDiNG. South fork. Trinity river. California. 
Mr Stephen Powers says : *" 

The Kailtas are inveterate gamblers, either with tiie game of guessing the 
sticks f)r with cords, and they have a curious way of punishing or mortifying 
themselves for failure therein. When one has been unsuccessful in gaming he 
frequently scarifies himself with flints or glass on the outside of the leg from the 
knee down to the ankle, scratching the skin all up crisscross until it bleeds freely. 
He does this for luck, believing that it will appease some bad spirit who is 
against him. The .Slabs, on Eel river, have the same custom. 

*> Sak-9sta, " She sits ap.irt." 

'' .\ long throwine i-od which serves to play another game. 

'The Overland M mthly, v. 9, p. 16.S. San Francisco. 1872. 



TuTUTNi. Siletz reservation. Oregon. (Cat. no. fi860<i. Field Colum- 
bian Museum.) 
A bundle of one hundred and sixty-nine wooden splints (figure 323), 
pointed at the ends. 12 inches in length, two with black bands in 
the center, and the remainder plain white; twelve willow count- 
ing sticks (figure 324:), pointed at the ends, Oj inches in length; 
a tubular wooden pipe (figure 325), 10 inches in length. 
These were collected by Mr T. Jay Bufort, who furnished the fol- 
lowing description of the game under the name of tussi : 

This game is played very much the same as the bone hand game, the only 
difference being that the reeds are held in the hands behind the back and there 

Fig. .325. 

Fig. 323. Stick game; length cif .splints. 12 inches: Tututni Indians. .Siletz reservation. Oregon; 
cat. no. 636U6, Fiekl Columbian MusL^um. 

Fig. 324. Counting sticks for stick game; length, 9i inches; Tututni Indians. Siletz reservation, 
Oregon; cat. no. 6.3fi<)6, Field Columbian Museum. 

Fig. 325- Wooden pipe used in stick game; length, 10 inches; Tututni Indians. Siletz reserva- 
tion. Oregon: cat. no. 63606, Field Columbian Museum. 

shuffled and divided, part in each hand. The hands are then held, one beside 
each leg, and the opposite' jiarty guesses by pointing and loses if he indicates the 
hand holding the marked stick. Tally is kept by means of twelve counters. 

Whilkut. Humboldt county. California. (Free Museum of Sci- 
ence and Art. University of Pennsylvania.) 
Cat. no. 3724.5. Set of forty-five fine splints (figure 326), one marked 
with black; length, 8 inches. 

Flo. 326. Stick game; length of splints, 8 inches; Whilkut Indians, California: cat. no. 3724.5. Free 
Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

Cat. no. 37246. Set of sixty-six coarse splints, three marked with 

black; length, 8J inches. 
Cat. no 37247. Set of one hundred and twelve fine splints, three 

marked with black: length. 8J inches. 
These were collected by the writer in 1900, and are all designated 



XiSKA. Xass river. British Columbia. 
Dr Franz Boas" describes the game: 

Qsan : Guessing game played with a number of maple sticks marked with red 
or black rings, or totemic designs. Two of these sticks are trumps. It is the 
object of the game to guess in which of the two bundles of sticks, which are 
wrapped in cedar-bark, the trump is hidden. Each pla.ver uses one trum[) only. 

TsiMSHiAX. British Cokmibia. (American Museum of Natural 

Cat. no.J-^j. Set of sixty-one wood gambling sticks, Oy\ inches in 
length and six-sixteenths of an inch in diameter, in leather 
pouch; three plain, others j^ainted with red and black rib- 
bons; four inlaid with small disks and rectangles of abalone 
shell : ends nipple-shaped and inset with disks of abalone shell. 
Collected by Dr Franz Boas. 


Chinook. Shoalwater bay, Washington. 

James G. Swan" describes the game of la-hul as follows: 

A mat is first placed on the floor, with the center raised up so as to form a 
small ridge, which is kept in its place by four wooden pins stuck through the 
mat into the ground. Two persons play at this game, who are seated at each 
end of the mat. Each player has ten disks of wood, 2 inches in diameter, and a 
little over an eighth of an inch thick, resembling the men used in playing back- 
gammon, but much larger. The only distinguishing feature about these men, or 
wheels, is the different manner the edges are colored. There are but two pieces 
of value : one has the edge blackened entirely around, and the other is per- 
fectly plain, while the others have different qiiantities of color on them, varying 
from the lilack to the white. These disks are then inclosed in a quantity of the 
inner bark of the cedar, pounded very fine, and called tupsoe. The player, after 
twisting and shuffling them up in all sorts of forms, separates them into two 
equal parts, both being enveloped in the tupsoe. These are tlien rapidly moved 
about on the mat from side to side, the other player keeping his eyes most 
intently fixed upon them all the time. He has bet either on the black or the 
white one, and now, to win, has to point out which of the two parcels contains 
it. As soon as he makes his selection, which is done by a gesture of his hand, 
the parcel is opened, and each piece is rolled down the mat to tlie ridge in the 
center. He can thus see the edges of all. and knows whether he has lost or won. 

Alexander Ross <" says : 

When not employed in war or hunting, the men generally spend their time in 
gambling. The chief game, chal-e-chal, at which they stake their most valuable 
property, is played by six persons, with ten circular palettes of polished wood, 
in size and shape resembling dollars. A mat .3 feet broad and 6 feet long is 
spread on the ground, and the articles at stake laid at one end, then the parties 

' Fifth Report on the Indians of British Columbia. Report of the Sixty-fifth Meeting 
of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, p. 582, London, 1S9.J. 
'The Northwest Coast, p. ].")7. New York. 1857. 
' Adventures of the First Settlers on the Oregon or Columbia River, p. 90, London, 1849. 


seat themselves, three on each side of the mat, facing one another : this done, 
one of the players takes up the ten palettes, shuffling and shifting them in his 
hands, when at a signal given he separates them in his two fists, and throws 
them out on the mat towards his opponent, and according as the palettes roll, 
slide, or lie on the mat when thrown, the party wins or loses. This he does 
three times successively. In this manner each tries his skill in turn, till one 
of the parties wins. Whole days and nights are spent in this game without 
ceasing, and the Indians seldom grumble or repine, even should they lose all that 
they ix>ssess. During the game the players keep 
chanting a loud and sonorous tune, accompanying the 
different gestures of the body just as the voyageurs 
keep time to the iiaddle. 


WiNNIMEN. California. (Cat. no. 19338. Fig.327. SticTgame; length 

United States National Mnsenni.) of sticks, 3i inches: win- 

... . ^ -,-\ ,-1 ■ nimen Indians, California: 

Ten willow twigs (figure 320. '^l inches lU cat. no. 19SiS, United states 

length, nine with bark entire length and National Museum. 
one with hand ot bark removed in the middle. 
Collected by Mr Livingston Stone, who describes them as used in 
a woman's game. 


Huron. Ontario. 

Nicolas Perrot " says of le jeu des pailles: 

The savages lose at the game of straws not only their own property, but also 
the property of their comrades. To play the game, they procure a certain 
number of straws or twigs of a certain plant, which are no thicker than the cord 
of a salmon net. They are made of the same length and thickness, being about 
10 Inches long. Their number is uneven. After turning and mi.xing them in 
their hands, they are plaied <in a skin or blanket rug. and he who plays tirst, 
having an alaine or, more often, a small pointed lione in his hand, contorts his 
arms and body, saying chok I chok I at frequent intervals. These words mean 
nothing in their language, but serve to make known their desire to play well 
and with good luck. Then he pushes the little pointed lione into the pile of 
straws and takes as many an he wishes. His opponent takes those that remain 
on the rug and rapidly counts them by tens, making no errors. lie wlio has the 
odd inimber of straws wins. 

Sometimes they play with seeds which grow in the woods and whicli are a 
little like small haricots. They take a certain number of them each, according 
to the value of tlie goods wagered, which may be a gun, a blanket, or in fact 
anything, and he who at the beginning of the game holds nine straws wins 
everything and takes all that has been wagered. If he finds that he holds an 
odd number less than nine, he is at liberty to increase his bets to any extent he 
pleases. This is why in one part of the game he invests, as he pleases, one 
straw and in another part three, five, or seven, for nine is always sujiposed ; 
it is the number that wins against all the others, and he who at last finds that 
he holds nine straws generally takes everything that has been wagereil. M tlie 

" M^moire sur les Moeurs, Coustumes et Relligion des Sauvages de I'Am^i-iqL;e Septen- 
trionale, p. 46, Leipzig, 1864. 

24 ETH— 05 M 16 


side of the straws on tbe rug are the seeds with which the players have made 
their bets. It should be uoted that more is bet on the nine than all the others. 

When the players have made their bets, he who has been lucky handles the 
straws often, turning them end for end in his hands, and as he places them on 
the rug says chank, which means nine, and the other player, who has the alaine 
or little pointed lioue in his hand, plunges it among the straws and, as said 
before, takes as many as he The other player takes the rest. If the 
latter wishes to leave some of them, his opponent must take them, and, both 
counting by tens, he who has the odd number wins and takes the stakes. But 
if it happens that the winner is ahead by only one straw he wins only the seeds 
that belong to that straw ; for example, three are more powerful than two, five 
than three, and seven than five, but nine than all. If several persons play and 
one of them finds that he holds five, they play four at a time, two against two, 
or less if there are not four players. Some win the seeds bet on five straws 
and the others those bet for three and one. When no one holds the odd number 
of those that remain — that is to say, of one and three — after having carefully 
counted the straws by tens, when he has not nine, the player must increase his 
bet, even when he holds five or seven straws, and the deal does not count. He is 
also obliged to make two other piles ; in one he puts five and in the other seven 
straws, with as many seeds as he pleases. His adversaries draw in their turn 
when he has done this, and then he takes the rest. Some will be fortunate, 
but each player talces only the number of seeds belonging to the number of 
straws, and he who has nine takes only the seeds bet on the nine. When 
another holds seven he draws what remains, for three and one are the same 
thing, but not those numbers which are higher. If a player loses everything 
that he has with him. the game is continued on credit, if the player gives assur- 
ance that he has other property elsewhere, but when he continues to lose the 
winner may refuse him seeds to the extent asked and oblige him to produce 
his effect.s, not wishing to continue the game till he has seen that his opponent 
still has property to risk. To this there is but one reply, and the loser will ask 
one of his friends to bring to him what remains of his goods. If he continues 
unlucky, he will continue playing till he loses all that he owns, and one of his 
comrades will take his place, announcing what he is willing to risk and taking 
seeds according to its value. 

This game sometimes lasts three or four days. When a loser wins back every- 
thing and the former winner loses his all, a comrade takes his place and the 
game goes on till one side or the other has nothing left with which to play, it 
being the rule of the savages not to leave the game until one side or the other 
has lost everything. This is why they are compelled to give revenge to all 
members of a side, one after the other, as I have just stated. They are at 
liberty to have anyone they wish play for them, and if disputes arise — I mean 
between winners and losers, each being backed by his side — they may go to such 
extremes that blood may be shed and the quarrel ended with difficult.v. If the 
winner takes losses calmly, pretending not to notice the sharp pr.-ictice and 
cheating which occur frequently in the game, he is praised and esteemed by all ; 
but the cheater is blamed by everyone and can find no one to play with him, at 
least not until he has returned his ill-gotten gains. 

The game is usually played in the large cabins of the chiefs, which might 
also l)e called the savages' academy, for here are seen all the young iieople mak- 
ing up different sides, with older men acting as spectators of the games. If a 
player thinks he has divided the straws well and that he has drawn an odd 
number, he holds them in one hand and strikes them with the other, and when 
he has counted them by te&s, without saying anything, he lets the others know 


that lie has gained by taking up the seeds wagered, watching out that his 
opponent does not do so. If one of them thinks that the straws were not 
properly counted, they are handed to two of the spectators to count, and the 
winner, without speaking, strikes his straws and takes the stakes. 

All this talies place without dispute and with much good faith. You will 
notice that this is not at all a woman's game and that It is only the men who 
play It. o 

HuROX. Ontario. 

Bacqueville de la Potherie '' says: 

They have another game which consists of a handful of straws, the number 
of which is, however, limited. They separate first this handful In two, making 
certain gestures, which only serve to increase the interest In the game, and in It, 
as in bowl, they strike themselves heavil.v upon the naked skin on the shoulders 
and on the When they have separated the straws, they retain one portion 
and give the other to their companions. One does not easily understand this 
game, your lordship, at sight. They seem to play odd and even. 

Father Louis Hennepin ■■ says: 

They also often play with a number of straws half a foot long or thereabouts. 
There is one who takes them all in his hand : then, without looking, he divides 
Ihem In two. When he has separated them, he gives one part to his antagonist. 
AA'hoever has an even number, according as they have agreed, wins the game. 

They have also another game which is very common among little children 
In Europe. They take kernels of Indian corn or something of the kind; then 
they put some in one hand and ask how many there are. The one who guesses 
the number wins. 

Baron La Hontan "* says: 

They have three sorts of games. Their game of counters is purely numerical, 
and he that can add, subtract, multiply, and divide best by these counters is the 



Chilkat. Alaska. (United States National Museum.) 
Cat. no. 46487. Thirty-four cylindrical wood sticks, part of three 
sets, ten 4f inches, fifteen 5j\ inches, and nine 5^ inches in 
length, all marked with black and red ribbons. Collected by 
Commander L. A. Beardslee, U. S. Navy. 
Cat. no. fiTOOOa. Set of fifty-seven cylindrical bone sticks, 4|| inches 
in length and five-sixteenths of an inch in diameter, with a hole 
drilled near one end for stringing; all engraved with fine encir- 
cling lines. One is set with a rectangular strip of abalone shell 
and one with a I'ectangular piece of ivory, having another hole, 
similarly shaped, from which the ivory has been removed. Six 

"■ Rev. .T. Tailhan. who edited Perrot's manuscript, after referring to Lafltau's statement 
that Perrot's description of this game is so obscure that it is nearly unintelligiljie, says 
that he lias not been mor^ successful than his predecessors, and the game of straws 
remains to him an unsolved game. (Notes to chap. 10, p. 188.) 

^ Histolre de I'Am^rique Septeutrionaie, v. 3. p. 22, Paris, 172.S. 

^A Description of Louisiana, p. .301. New York. 1880. 

■* New Voyages to North-America, v. 2. p. 18, London, 1703. 


others have deep square and triangular holes for the insertion of 
slips of ivory or shell, and twelve are engraved with conventional 
animal designs, of which five have holes for the insertion of 
ivory eyes; ends fiat. 
■Cat. no. 6790nb. Set of thirty-nine cylindrical hone sticks, 4iV 
inches in length and four-sixteenths of an inch in diameter, with 
a hole drilled near one end for stringing; all engraved with fine 
encircling lines. One has two deep rectangular holes for the 
insertion of abalone shell, which has been removed. One has a 
row of three dots and three dotted circles. Four are engraved 
with conventional animal designs. 
The two sets were collected by Mr John J. McLean. 

■Chilkat. Alaska. (Cat. no. ^^-g, American Museum of Natural 

Sixteen maple gambling sticks, 4/jt inches in length and five-sixteenths 
of an inch in diameter, marked with red and black ribbons, and 
six with burnt totemic designs ; ends ovate. AVith the above are 
ten odd sticks belonging to six or seven different sets. Collected 
by Lieut. George T. Emmons, U. S. Navy. 

Stikine. Alaska. (Cat. no. y^l-j, American Museum of Natural 

Set of fifty-three wood gambling sticks, 4^| inches in length and five- 
sixteenths of an inch in diameter, in leather pouch; all marked 
with red and black ribbons, and having each end incised with 
three crescent-shaped marks suggesting a human face; in part 
inlaid with small pieces of abalone shell and small rings of copper 
wire; ends flat. Collected by Lieut. George T. Emmons, U. S. 

Taku. Taku inlet, Alaska. (American Museum of Natural His- 
Cat. no. -^-g. Set of fifty-seven cylindrical polished maple sticks, 
4}-| inches in length, in leather pouch : all marked with red and 
black I'ibbons. 
These were collected by Lieut, (ieorge T. Emmons. U. S. Na\'y, 
who gave the following designations of the sticks: 

Eight are designed as kite, blackfish ; one as tieesh sakh'. starfish ; four as kah. 
duck: ten as liite-la-ta, sea gull; four as nork. sunfish ; four iis shuuko. roiiin ; 
four as heon, fly; three as kur-shish-show, like a dragon fly; three as tseeke, 
black bear ; throe as gowh, surf duck ; four as larkar ; three as yah-ah-un-a, 
South Southerlee [sic] ; three as ihk-ok-kohm, cross pieces of canoe; two as 
kea-tblu, dragon fly : one as tis. moon. 

Cat. no. ^^. Set of sixty-si.x cylindrical polished wood sticks, 4|f 
inches in length, in leather pouch. Twenty-seven of these sticks 
are marked with red and black ribbons ; thirty-eight are plain, of 

ciLixi STICK games: tlingit 245 

which some show old bands, obliterated but not removed, while 
two are inlaid with a small rectangular piece of black horn (plate 
IV, k), and one with a small ring of copper wire. 
These also were collected by Lieutenant Emmons, who gave the 
following description of the twenty-seven marked sticks: 

Three are clesignntetl ns tuk-kut-ko-yar, humming bird (phite iv, a) ; three as 
kark, golileii-eye duck tphite iv, b) : three as dulth. a bird like a heron without 
topknot (plate iv, c) : three as kau-kon. sun (plate iv. d) : four as kite, black- 
fish (plate IV, e) ; three as sarish. four-pronged starfish (plate iv, /) ; three as 
kok-khatete, loon (plate iv. (/ ) : three as ars, stick, tree (plate iv. li) ; two as 
fa-thar-ta, sea gull (plate iv, j). 

Tlingit. Alaska. (American Museum of Natural History.) 
Cat. no. ^f y. Set of forty-three gambling sticks, 5^\ inches in length 
and five-sixteenths of an inch in diameter, in leather pouch ; one 
plain, others marked with red and black ribbon; ends iiipple- 
shajjed. Fort Wrangell. 
Cat. no. -jf ;,. Set of forty-six wooden gambling sticks, 5^\ inches in 
length and five-sixteenths of an inch in diameter, in leather 
pouch; all marked with red and black ribbons. Fort Wrangell. 
Cat. no. ^-j-y. Set of sixty-two polislied maple gambling sticks, 4^\ 
inches in length and one-fourth of an inch in diameter, in leather 
pouch; painted with red and black ribbons, in part inlaid with 
abalone shell ; one carved with head of a man ; ends ovate. 
Cat. no. T^. Set of sixty-seven maple gambling sticks, ,4^ inches 
in lengtli and flve-sixteenths of an inch in diameter, in leather 
pouch ; all marked with red and black ribbons ; ends ovate. 
Cat. no. -ffy. Set of forty-three wood gambling sticks, 4|f inches in 
length and four-sixteenths of an inch in diameter, in leather 
pouch; twenty-two painted with red and black ribbons, others 
plain, ends having small raised flat disk. 
Cat. no. j-^j. Set of forty-nine wood gambling sticks, 3y\- inches in 
length and five-sixteenths of an inch in diameter, in leather 
pouch; all painted with red and black ribbons; ten inlaid with 
small pieces of abalone shell, copper, and horn; ends flat. Fort 
All of the above specimens were collected by Lieut. George T. Em- 
mons, U. S. Navy. The name is given as alhkar. 

In a reply to an inquiry addressed by the writer, Lieutenant Em- 
mons wrote as follows: 

All of the sets of sticks catalogued in my collection in New York were pro- 
cured among the Tlingit people, who inhabit the coast of southeastern Alaska 
from Xass river northward to the delta of Copper river, together with the 
adjacent islands of the Ale.xauder archi])elago, exclusive of Annette and the 


western portion of Prince of Wales Island. The Tlingit are divided into six- 
teen tribal divisions, but these are purely geographical. They are practically 
one people, all Tlingit in language, customs, and manners. Gambling sticks are 
common to all, but are more generally found among the more southern people. 
The same character of stick is found among the three contiguous peoples, 
Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshiau, and I should say e.xtended down the west to the 
extremity of Vancouver island. The Tlingit are the most northeu people who 
use them. I believe the names, which depend upon the sticks, are somewhat 

Dr Aurel Kraiise " says : 

The Tlingit play with round sticks marked with red stripes, about 4 inches 
In length. These are mixed by rolling a bundle of from ten to twenty back- 
ward and forward between the palms of the hands. . . . The sticks are then 
dealt out. together with a piece of cedar bark, which serves to cover the marks. 
It is now the point to guess these marks. Two persons or two sides only jjlay. 

Tlingit. Norfolk sound, Alaska, 
Capt. George Dixon * says : 

The only gambling implements I saw were fifty-two small round bits of wood, 
about the size of your middle finger, and differently marked with red paint. A 
game is played by two persons with these pieces of wood, and chiefly consists 
in placing them in a variety of positions, but I am unable to describe it minutely. 
The man whom T before mentioned our having on board at Port Mulgrave lost 
a knife, a spear, and several toes [toys] at this game in less than an hour : 
though this loss was at least equal to an English gamester losing his estate, yet 
the poor fellow bore his ill fortune with great patience and equanimity of 

Port des Frangais, Alaska. 

J. F. G. de la Perouse " says : 

They have thirty wooden pieces, each having different marks like our dice ; 
of these they hide seven ; each of them plays in his turn, and he whose guess 
comes nearest to the number marked upon the seven pieces is the winner of the 
stake agreed upon, which is generally a piece of iron or a hatchet. This gaming 
renders them serious and melancholy, i 

Sitka, Alaska, 

Otto von Kotzebue "* says : 

Their common game is played with little wooden sticks painted of various 
colors, and called by several names, such as crab, whale, duck, etc., which are 
mingled promiscuously together, and placed in he.aps covered with moss, the 
players being then required to tell in which heap the crab, the whale, etc., lies. 
They lose at this game all their possessions, and even their wives and children, 
who then become the property of the winner. 

" Die Tlinkit-Indlaner, p. 164, Jena, 1885. He gives the name of tlie game in liis 
vocabulary as alchka, katokkftsclia ; that of the stick marked with a red rin.e as nak'- 

'A Voyage round the World, p. 245, London, 1789. 

«A Voyage round the World, in the .vears 1785, 1786, 1787, and 1788, v. 2, p. 150, 
London, 1798, 

"■A New Voyage round the World, v. 2, p. 61, London, 1830. 





PoMo. Ukiah, California. (Cat. no. 3002, Brooklyn Institute Mu- 

Bundle of thirty-five small peeled sticks (figure 328). 4? inches in 
length, and eight counting sticks, split twigs with bark on one 
side, 7 inches in length. Collected \>y the writer in 1903. 

One plnyer takes tlio liundle of sticks, forty or tifty, in his liands, and divides 
them swiftly, and then counts them off in fours, the other player finessing the 
remainder by calling out' yet, pun, ship, (now obsolete. — .j. w. h.K or to, accord- 
ing as he would guess a remainder of one. two, three, or none over. If he 
guesses correctly, he scores and takes one of the eight counting sticks. 

Fig. 328. Fig. 329. 

Fig. 328. Stick game; length of sticks, 4} inches: length of counters, 7 inches; Porno Indians, 

Ukiah, California; cat. no. 3002, Brooklyn Institute Museum. 
Fig. 329. Stick game: length of 'sticks, 25 inches; length of counters, 7 inches; Porno Indians, 

Mendocino county, California; cat. no. 70938, Field Columbian Museum. 

■ Seven miles south of Ukiah, Mendocino county, California. 

(Cat. no. 70938, Field Columbian Museum.) 
Bundle of forty-five sticks (figure 329), 2J inches in length, and six 
counting sticks, 7 inches in length. 
These were collected by Dr J. W. Pludson, who describes them as 

used in a guessing game called witcli. 

Lake county, California. 

(Cat. no. 71010, Field Co- 
lumbian Museum.) 

Bundle of sticks, 5 inches in length 
(figure 330), for match game. 
Collected by Dr J. W. Hudson, 
Avho gave the Porno name for 
the game as haimasol, sticks mixed up. 

Fig. 330. Stick game; length of sticks, 5 
inches; Porno Indians. Lake county. Cali- 
fornia; cat. no. TlOlO, Field Columbian 


Kla.math. Siletz reservation, Oregon. (Cat. no. 63607, Field Co- 
lumbian Museum.) 
Thirteen fine wooden splints (figure 331), sharp pointed at both ends, 
Gi inches in length. Eleven of the sticks have three bands of 


red alternating with two black (burned) bands in the middle, and 
on two the liand in the middle is white. 
These were collected by ^Ir T. Jay Biifort, who furnished the 
following account of the game, under the name of tuckinaw. 

Thi.s game is played on the priuciple of the bone hand game. The sticks are 
divided and a wisp of grass is wrapped around each of the bundles, which are 
laid out in front of the player for the opposite side to guess ; in this game the 
party loses if he guesses the white stick. 

Fig. Sfl. Stick game; length of sticks, 6.V inches; Klamath Indians, Siletz reservation, Oregon; 
cat. no. KMJT, Field Columbian Museum. 


Olamentke and CostIvnoan. San Francisco mission, California. 

Otto von Kotzebue,"* who gives a list of the tribes at this mission, 
comprising Guimen, Olumpali, Saklan, Sonomi, and Utchium, says: 

This being a holiday, the Indians did no work, but, divided into groups, 
amused themselves with various pastimes, one of which requires particular 
dexterity. Two sit on the ground opposite each other, holding in their hands 
a number of thin sticks, and these tieing thrown up at the same time with great 
rapidity they immediately guess whether the number is odd or even ; at the 
side of each of the players a person sits, who scores the .sjain and loss. As 
they always play for something and yet possess nothing but their clothing, 
which tliey are not allowed to stake, they employ much pains and skill on little 
white shells, which serve instead of money. 

Again, he says : '' 

The game is iilayed between two antagonists, at odd or even, with short sticks ; 
an umpire keeps the account with other sticks. 

pujunan .stock 
Olol()i-a. California. 
A. Delano '' says : 

They are most inveterate gamblers, and frequently play away every article 
of value they possess, but beads are their staple gambling currency. They 
have two or three games, one of which is with small sticks, held in the hand, 
which being suddenly opened, some roll on the fingers, when the opposite player 
guesses at a glance their number. If he guesses right, he wins; if wrong, pays 
the forfeit. 

"A Voyage of Discovery (181.'5-18), v. 1. p. 2.S1, London, 1821. 

" U)id, V. 3, p. 44. 

*■ Life on the Plains, p. 307, Auburn, 1S54. 

cLLiNi STICK games: clemclemalats 249 


Bellacoola. British Columbia. (Field Columbian Museum.) 

Cat. no. 18349. Set of fifty-five cylindrical wood sticks, 45 inches in 
length, in leather pouch ; variously fi<>ured. the ends rounded. 

Cat. no. 18348. Set of twenty-four cylindrical wood sticks. 4} inches 
in length, in leather pouch ; twenty-four painted in various ways, 
and three carved to represent the human figure. 

Cat. no. 18350. Set of forty-two cylindrical wood sticks. 4^ inches 
in length, in leather pouch: variously marked with colored rib- 
bons, the ends rounded. 
All collected by Dr Franz Boas. 

British Columbia. ( Cat. no. Tri-sTT? American Museum of 

Natural History.) 
Set of gambling sticks, collected by ^Ir (ieorge Hunt. 
Chilli WHACK. British Columbia. 

Mr Charles Hill-Tout " gives- the following words in his vocabulary : 

Gamble (to), lelahii'l: I gnmhle. loLTliii'l-tcil : Kamhling stick. slEbii'l. 
Clallaji. Washington. 

A Clallam boy, John Raub, described this tribe as playing the 
guessing game with wooden disks, under the name of slahaluni. The 
disk with a white edge is called swaika, man, and that with a dark 
edge, slani, woman. 

Fort Vancouver, Washington. 

Paul Kane '' says : 

Tbo giime is called leliailum, and is played witb ten small cireulnr jiieces of 
wood, one of wbich is maiUed black ; tbese pieces are sbuffled about rapidly 
between two bundles of frayed cedar bark. His opponent suddenly stops bis 
shuffling and endeavors to guess in wbicb bundle the blackened piece is con- 
cealed. Tbe.v are so passionately fond (if this game that they frequently pass 
two or three consecutive da.vs and nights at it without ceasing. 

Clemclemalats. Kuper island, British Columbia. (Berlin Mu- 
seum fiir V(")lkerkunde.) 
Cat. no. IV A 2031. Eleven wooden gaming disks, 2 inches in 

Fig. 3:^2. Wooden gaminj; disk; diameter, U inches: Clemclemalats Indians, Knper island. 
British Columbia; cat. no. IV A 2^:581, Berlin Museum fiir Volkerkunde. 

Cat. no. IV A 2381. Ten wooden gaming disks (figure 332), If 
inches in diameter. 
Both were collected by Mr F. Jacobsen. 

° Report of the Seventy-second Meeting of the British Association for the Advance- 
ment of Science, p. R^H. London, 1003. 

' Wanderings of an Artist among the Indians of North America, p. 220, London, 1859. 


XisQUALLY. Washington. 

Mr George Gibbs " states : 

"Another [game], at which they exhibit still more interest, is 
played with ten disks of hard wood, about the diameter of a Mexican 
dollar, and somewhat thicker, called, in the jargon, tsil-tsil; in the 
Niskwalli language la-halp. One of these is marked and called the 
chief. A smooth mat is spread on the ground, at the ends of which 
the opposing players are seated, their friends on either side, who are 
provided with the requisites for a noise, as in the other case. The 
party holding the disks has a bundle of the fibers of the cedar 
bark, in which he envelops them, and, after rolling tlieni about, tears 
the bundle into two parts, his opponent guessing in which bundle the 
chief lies. These disks are made of the yew, and must be cut into 
.sha])e with beaver-tooth chisels only. The marking of them is in it- 
self an art, certain persons being able by their spells to imbue them 
with luck, and their manufactures bring very high prices. The game 
is counted as in the first mentioned. Farther down the coast, ten 
highly polished sticks are used, instead of disks." 

Pend d'Oreilles. Montana. 

The Dictionary of tlie Kalispel '' gives the following definition: 

Play at sticks, chines zliillioi. 
PuYALLUP. Puyallup reservation, Puget sound, Washington. (Cat. 

no. 55004, Field Columbian Museum.) 
Set of ten wooden disks, 2^ inches in diameter, with raised edge. 

T'his was collected by Dr George A. Dorsey, who has furnished the 
following particulars: 

Name of game, suwextUz ; name of disks. lahalabp; six females, half black 
'and half white; one male, all black: three odd, all white, chatosedn. 

I was told by the Indians from ^v!lom I got the game that there are generally 
fifty counters. 

Tacoma. Washington. 

The Taconui correspondent of the San Francisco Examiner, Mr 
Thomas Sammons. gives the following account in that jiaper, Febru- 
ary 10, 1895: 

The sing gamble is the great contest between two trilies of the Puget Sound 
Indians for the trophies of the year and for such blankets, wearing apparel, 
vehicles, and horses as can be spared to be used for stakes, and sometimes more 
than should be spared. This year the pot at the beginning of the gamble con- 
sisted of 12 Winchester rifles of the latest pattern. 11 sound horses. 7 buggies, 
100 blankets, 43 shawls, an uncounted pile of mats, clothing for men and women 
(some badly worn and some in good condition, but mostly worn), and .$49 in 

"Contributions to North American Ethnology, v. 1, p. 206, Wasblnston, 1S77. 
'A Dictionary of the Kalispel or Flathead Indian Language, comp'iled by the Mission- 
aries of the Society of .lesus. St. Ignatius Print. Montana. 1877-8-9. 


This year the sing gamble was lielrt in the barn of Jalie Tai-ugh. commonly 
koown as Charley Jacobs, whose place is 4 miles from Tacoma. At the begin- 
ning of the sing gamble, 67 old men and women, many of them wrinkled, many 
of them gray-headed, gathered at Jake's big barn, which had been cleared of all 
hay, grain, and other stores. 

On the ground, which serves as a floor, were laid two mats woven from straw 
and weeds and flags. Each of these mats was 3 feet wide and 6 long. Be- 
tween the mats was a space of about 3 feet. Around these squatted the .serious 
gamblers of the ancient races, many of them wearing brilliantly colored 
blankets, others arrayed in combination costumes jiicked up at the reservation 
or in the town. As a necessary preparation to the game, the drummers, one for 
each tribe, took positions in front of their drums, made of horsehide drawn over 
one end of a stout frame 2 feet and 6 inches deep. Beating heavily on these 
drums with sticks, the sound is similar to that from a bass drum, save that it 
is more sonorous, and is readily heard at a distance of half a mile. As the 
drums beat the Indians begin their chants or wails, the men shouting " Hi-ah, 
hi-ah, hi-ah," and the women moaning an accompaniment between the shouts of 
their braves, sounding something like this: " Mm-uh. nim-uh. nim-uh." 

The players gather around the mats, seven being permitted on each side. 
One mat is for the Puyallup, the other for the Black Uivers. The dealer for 
each side sits at the head of his mat, fingering deftly ten wooden chips, about 
2 inches in diameter and a quarter of an inch thick. Nine of these are of the 
same color, but the tenth is different in color, though similar in shape and 
dimensions. The shuffler handles the chips rapidly, like an experienced faro 
dealer playing to a big board. He transfers them from one hand to another, 
hides them under a pile of shavings made from the cedar bark growing close to 
the sap, resembling much the product called excelsior. He divides the chips 
into two piles of live each, and conceals each pile i\nder the shavings. Mysteri- 
ously he waves his hands forward and backward, crosswise, and over and over, 
making passes like the manipulations of a three-card nionte dealer. The drum 
keeps up its constant beat ; the Indians at the mats and those looking on with 
interest clap their hands and stamp and chant in time to the drum. 

Now is the time for the Indian assigned to guess to point to one of the two 
piles. The game is entirel.v one of chance, there being no possible means for 
the closest observer to detect in which pile the dealer places the odd-colored chip. 
It is the custom of the game, however, for the guesser to ponder for some time 
before deciding which pile to select. This adds interest and excitement to the 
speculation. Finally he decides, and with his finger points to one of the piles. 
The dealer rolls the chips across the mat to the farther end. If the guess is 
right the side for which the guesser is acting scores 1 point. If the guess is 
wrong the tribe to which the dealer belongs scores a point and the other side 
takes the innings — that is to say, the deal. John Towallis was captain of the 
Puyallup team, and is now the most pojiular man in the tribe on account of the 
remarkable victory of his side after the session of nearly a month, and also on 
account of the quantity and value of the pot. Captain Jack, the leader of the 
unsuccessful Black liiver team, proved a thorough sport; for, in addition to his 
contribution to the stake of his tribe, he staked and lost his greatest treasure, a 
big knife; his principal decoration, shiny brass rings, all his money (-$60), his 
watch, his rifle and his harness, his buggy, and his horse. He advised his com- 
panions on the team to bet everything they had. except their canoes. He insisted 
that they should keep those in order that they might have some wa.v to get home. 
He was not so careful of himself as of them, for he had to walk when the time 
came. Some of the men and the squaws who paddled home in their canoes felt 



the sLiarpuess of the weather, for shirts anil trousers were exeeediugly scarce 
when the sixtieth stick had gone to the Puyallup end of the board. At the last 
linrt of the gamble the Black Rivers iilunged wildly. The run of luck of the 
Puyallup had been constant, and Captain .Jack announced to his followers that 
this could not continue. Luck nuist turn, and here was a chance for them to get 
every movable thing, except that which belongs to the Government, transferred 
from the Puyallup Reservation over to the Black River Reservation. His men 
were quick to follow his suggestion, and the result is that poverty is intense this 
year at Black River and the Puyallup are having a boom. 

Mr Samiiions has kindly furnished the writer with the diagram 
(figure 333) showing the laositions of the players. 

Four Indians sit on each side of the two mats, making teams of eight on each 
side in addition to the Indian who actually does the playing. The position of 
this Indian is designated A, B. At the time of making the drawing A was 
shuffling the disk, a piece of wood, glass, or stone, half the size of an ordinary 
table saucer. The players two hands rest on the mat, and aliout them is a 
buuch of straw, moss, or anything of a like nature that can be had conveniently 




o o o o 






' ,!.'1V| 1 


1 '' ' '' ■ .r, 


o o o o 

Black River Side 

O u u O 

Pu'T'An.uP Side 

Flu. :«<. Position of players in disk game: Puyallup Indians, Washington; from sketch by 

jlr Tliomas Sammons. 

and used for the purpose of hiding the player's hands and confusing the oppo- 
site team while the disk is being shuffled about. E and F represent tuui-tum, 
or bass-drum, players, who keep up a loud drumming while the shuffling is 
going on. This is done with the hope of confusing the opposite team, much as 
coaching is carried in from the coaching line for baseball teams of the present 
period. A blazing heap of logs at the side warms the warriors and is tended 
by the women. The women during tlie game sing monotonously, as do also 
the four men on each side of the player. The opposing team, who have to do 
the guessing, remain very quiet and watch very closely every move of the 
hider's hands. Should the ojiposing team guess rightly, one stick the size of 
one's thumb and about 6 inches long is added to the team's credit on the tally 
board placed between the drummers. Should the opposing team fail to guess. 
a stick is added to the credit of the team whose captain is doing the shuffling. 
When either side wins all the sticks the game is over, and the cows, horses, 
wearing apparel, dogs, harness, cash, watches, and wagons constituting the 
stakes are delivered to the winners. 

Shuswap. Kamloops, British Columbia. 
I)r Franz Boas" says: 
Another gambling game is played with a series of sticks of maple wood about 

» Second General Report on the Indians of British Columbia. Report of the Sixtieth 
Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, p. 641, London. 1891. 


4 inches long and painted with various marks. There are two players to the 
game, who sit opposite each other. A fisher-skin, which is nicel.v painted, is 
placed between them, bent in such a way as to present two faces, slanting down 
toward the players. Each of these takes a number of sticks, which he covers 
with hay, shakes, and throws down, one after the other, on his side of the skin. 
The player who throws down the stick bearing a certain mark has lost. 

Skokomish. Washington. (Cat. no. li)(J48, Field Columbian Mu- 
seum. ) 
Set of ten wooden disks, 2 inches in diameter and one-fourth of an 
inch thick, periplierv well rounded and sides concave, colored 
light red; accompanied by a rough split cedar board. 3 bv 10 
inches, three-sixteenths of an inch thick, said to go with the 
Collected by llev. Myron Kells. 

Snohomish (0-" Tulalip agency. AVashington. (Cat. no. i:U)!iSl, 

United States National Museum.) 
One hundred and thirty-two wooden disks, part of twenty-three sets. 
Collected Ijy ilr E. C. Cherouse. United States Indian agent, 

The number of sets may be somewhat less than this, owing to some 
of the jneces. although bearing diti'erent nuirks. having been com- 
bined for use. 

The different sets are distinguished 1)y a variety of marks, some of 
which are so minute as to escape all but careful examination. These 
marks consist chiefly of minute holes, like pin holes, in ones, twos, 
and threes, variously arranged on the faces of the disks. Some sets 
have raised rims, with a line of nicks on each face next to the edge; 
others are painted with a dark ring near the edge. The edges are 
either blackened or painted red the entire distance around, or are per- 
fectly plain, or part plain and part i)lackened. this last kind prepon- 
derating. There are but two complete sets of ten disks each in the lot. 
The disks vary from IJ to 2^ inches in diameter, those in each set 
being 2)erfectly miiform and appearing to be cut from the same jiiece 
of wood. 

The collector gave the following account of the game: 

The present casters or trundles are made of a shrub that grows in rich bottom 
lands and is called by the Indians set-ta-chas. The shrub is the genus Vibur- 
num, and I would call it the wild snowball tree. They boil the trundles during 
three or four hours, and when dried the.v scrape them with shave grass until 
they are well shaped, polished, and naturally colored. The common set for a 
game of two gamblers is twenty apiece. Two of the casters are called chiefs 
and are edged with black or white, and the others are slaves, or servants. Fine 
mats are expanded on a level place and fi.xed to the ground by pins made for 
that purpose. The two antagonists, surrounded by their respective partners, sit 
on the ends of the mat, leaving a free space between. Each one keeps his 
casters hidden under two handfuls of stlowi. or dressed bark, the partners sing- 

" It is net possible to deterniiue the tribe exactly. 


ing. The casters are (lividetl. live muler the right hand and five under the left. 

While the counters are running out from the right to the left the opposite 

antagonist points out to the right or the left before they are out. naming the 

chief, and if it happens the chief conies out in accord with the guessing the -^ 

guesser wins the game. If it comes out from a different direction, he loses the 

game. When Indians gamble the.v paint their faces with different colors and 

designs, representing the spirit the.v invoke for success, and they do their utmost 

to deceive each other. 

SoNGiSH. Vancouver islainl. British Coliiiabia. 
Dr Franz Boas " describes the following game : 

SlEha'lEm. or wuqk'"ats. is pl.-iyed with one white and nine black disks. The 
former is called ■" the man." Two players take part in the game. They sit oppo- 
site each other, and each has a mat before him, the end nearest the partner 
being raised a little. The player covers the disks with cedar bark and shakes 
them in the hollow of his hands, which are laid one on the other. Then he 
takes five into each hand ami keeps them wrapped in cedar bark, moving them 
backward and forward from right to left. Now the opponent guesses in which 
hand the white disk is. Each player has five sticks lying in one row by his side. 
If the guesser guesses right, he rolls a stick over to his opponent, who is the 
next to guess. If the guesser guesses wrong, he gets a stick from the pla.ver who 
!^ook the disks and who continues to shake. The game is at an end when one 
man has got all the sticks. He has lost. Sometimes one tribe will challenge 
another to n game of slEhii'lEui. In this case it is called lEhjilEme'latl. or 

Continuing, Doctor Boas says : 

In gambling the well-known sticks of the northei'n triljes are often used, or a 
piece of bone is hidden in the hands of a member of one party while the other 
must guess where it is. 

It is considered indecent for the women tolook on when the men gamble. 
Only when two tribes play against each other are they allowed to be present. 
They sing tluriug the .game, waving tlieir arms up and down rhythmically. Men 
and women of the winning party paint their faces red. 

Thompson Indians. British Columbia. (Cat. no. iiljj, American 

Museum of Natural Histoi-y.) 
Set of si.xteeu willow sticks (Hgure 334). o^^ inches in length and 
three-sixteenths of an inch in diameter, all marked with ribbons 
of red paint, in a small fringed buckskin pouch, stitched with an 
ornamental figure in red and green silk. Collected by ilr James 
The collector gives the following account : '' 

Another game, engaged in almost altogether by the men, was played with a 
number of sticks. These were from 4 to inches in length and about a quarter 
of an inch in diameter, made of mountain-maple wood, rounded and smoothed 
off. There was no definite number of sticks in a set. Some .sets contained only 
twelve sticks, while others had as many as thirty. Most of the sticks were 

" Second General Report on the Indians of British Columbia. Report of the Sixtieth 
Meeting o£ the British Association for the Advancement of Science, p. 571. Loudon. 1S91. 

■•The Thompson Indians of British Columbia. Memoirs of the .\merican Museum of 
Natural History, v. 2, p. 272, New York, 1900. 




carved or jiaiuted, some of them with pictures of animals or birds of which tlieir 
posssessors had dreamed. Each man had his own sticlis and carried them in a 
buckskin bag. Two of the sticks were marked with buckskin or sinew thread 
or with a painted ring around the middle. I do not know e.xaetly the points 
which each stick won. The players kneeled opposite each other, and each 
spread out in front of him his gambling mat [figure 335], which was made of 
deerskin. Each had a bundle of dry grass. The man who played first took one 
of the sticks with the ring, and another one. generally one representative of his 
guardian spirit, or some other which he thought lucky, and put them on his mat 
so tliat tlie other player could see them. Then he took them to the near end of 


Fig. 334. 

Fig. 3X5. 

Fig. 33«. 
Pig. 334. Stick game; length of sticks, o^% inches; Thompson Indians, British Coliunbia; L-at no. 

jif 5, American Museum of Natural History, a and /, ska'kalamux, man; h, screw of ramrod: 

f, snake; c/, wolf; c, otter; g, eagle: ft, grizzly bear; i-h, without names: c. one of fifteen sticks, 

without marks. 
Fig. 335. Gambling mat for stick game; length, 31 inches; Thompson Indians. British Columbia; 

cat no. jJJi,, American Museum of Natural History. 
Fig. 3.31). Pointer for stick game, representing a crane: length, 20 inches; Thompson Indians, 

British Columbia: cat no. ji^. American Museum of Natural History. 

the mat, where his knee was. and where the other man could not see them, and 
rolled each stick up in dry grass until it was completely covered. Then he 
placed the grass-covered sticks down on the mat again. The other man then 
took his pointer [figure S.'iO] and. after tap|)ing each of the grass-covered sticks 
four times with it. moved them around with his pointer four times, following 
the sun's course. Then he separated one from the other by pushing it with his 
pointer to the edge of the mat. Then the other man took up this stick and, 
drawing it back and loosening the grass around it, shoved it back into the center 
of his set of stick.s. Then he took up his sticks and, after shaking them loosely 
in his hands near his ear, threw them down on the mat, one after another. 


After all had been thrown down, and only one trump or ringed stick was found 
among them, then it was known that the other was the one left in the grass, 
and therefore that the other player had left the winning stick. But if both 
trunii>s came out when the sticks were thrown down then it was known that he 
had put aside the winning stick and left the other, and thus lost. Afterwards 
the first player had to guess his opponent's sticks in like manner. The stake 
was valued, according to agreement, at so many counters, and so many counters 
a chance. If a man lost four times in succession, he frequently lost the stake. 
Each player had his own set of sticks, his mat. and his pointei-. The names 
of the designs on the set represented in the figure [."'.lU] are given in the legend 
of the figure. They often accompanied the game with a song. This game has 
been out of use for many years. - . 

TwAXA. Washington. 

Rev. Myron Eells « says they have three methods of gambling — 
with round blocks or disks, with hones, and the women's game (the 
beaver-teeth dice game). He gives a more extended account of these 
games in his paper on the Indians of AVashington Territory.'' Con- • 
cerning the game with disks he says: 

This is the men's game, as a general thing, hut sometimes all engage in it. 
There are ten of these disks in a set. All but one have a white or black and 
white rim. Five of them are kept under one hand of the player on a mat and 
five underneath the other hand, covered with cedar liark beaten fine. After 
being shuffled round and round for a short time, one of the opposite party 
guesses under which hand the disk with the black rim is. He tells this without 
a word, but with a peculiar motion of oue hand. If he guesses right, he wins 
and plays next ; but if his conjecture is incorrect, he loses and the other side 
continues to play. The two rows of players are 10 or 12 feet apart. Generally 
they have six or more sets of these blocks, so that if. as they suppose, luck does 
not attend one set. they can tr.v another. These different sets are marked on 
tlie edges to distinguish them from other sets. Another way of distinguishing 
them is by having them of slightly different sizes. They are made very smooth 
of hard wood, sandpapered, and then by use are worn still smoother. In this 
game they keep tally with a number of sticks used as checks, about 3 inches long. 
The number of these varies according to the amount bet. twelve of them being 
used, it is said, when twenty dollars is wagered. I have never seen more than 
forty used. They begin with an equal nnmlier of checks for each party, and 
then each side tries to win all. one being transferred to the winner each time the 
game is won. If there is a large number used and fortune favors ^ach part.v 
nearly alike, it takes a long time — sometimes three or four days — to finish a 
game. This game is sometimes pla.ved by only two persons, but usually there 
are many engaged in it. In the latter case, when one player becoiues tired or 
thinks lie is in bad luck another takes his place. 

Another form of this game is called the tamanous game. A large number of 
people who have a tamanous. including the women, take part in it. but the men 
oidy shntTle the disks. The difference between this form of tlie disk game and 
the other form consists in the tamanous. AVhile one plays the other mem- 
bers of his party beat a drum. clas|) their hands, and sing; each one. I believe, 
singing his or her own tamanous song to invoke the aid of his special gu.irdian 
spirit. I was lately present at one of these games where forty tally blocks 
or checks were used, and which lasted for fmn- da.vs, when all agreed to stop. 

° BullPtin of the United States (Jeolo^riial Siirve.v. v. .'!. ii. 1. p. .'<S. WasliinKtmi. 1.S77. 
'.Annual Uepurt of tlie Smithsoniau Institution for ISS". |it. 1. p. G48. 1880. 


neither party having won the ^auie. Very seldom do they piny for mere fun. 
There ^s generally a small stake, and sometimes from one hundred to two Jiun- 
dred dollars is bet. 

The Indians say that they now stake less money and spend less time in gaming 
than formerly. It is said that in former years as much as a thousand dollars 
was sometimes staked and that the players became so infattiated as to bet 
everything they had, even to the clothes on their backs. At i)reseiit they sel- 
dom gamble except on rain.v days or when they have little else to do. There 
is no drinking in connection with it. Outside i)artie.s sometimes l)et on the 
game as white people do. There is a tradition that when DoUibatt " came, a 
long time ago, he told them to give up all their bad habits and things, these 
among others ; that he took the disks and threw them into the water, but that 
they came back. He then threw them into the fire, but they came out. He 
threw them away as far as he could, but they returned : and so he threw them 
away five times, and every time they came back : after which he told the people 
that they might use them for fun or sport." 


Klikitat. Washington. (Cat. no. 51845, Peabody Mnsemii of 
American ArchteoIogA' and P^thnology.) 

Set of ten wooden disks, 2 inches in diameter, vsith raised rims and 
incised marks around the inner. edge. T\vo have plain wdiite 
edges, six, edges partly plain and partly burned black, and two 
burned around entire circumference ; " accompanied by four 
wrought copper pins (figure 337), 11 inches in length, said to 
be used in holding down the mat on which the game is plaj'ed. 
Presented by Mr A. A^^ Kobinson. 


M" "i^^^^'^^^^^^ 

Fig. .337. Copper pins used in holding down gambling mat in disk game; leuijth, 11 inches; 
Klikitat Indians, Washington; cat. no. 5184.5, Peabody Mnseum of American Archieologj- and 


AcHOMAWi. Hat Creek, California, (t^at. no. :r|-j-j, American Mu- 
seum of Natural History.) 

Fig. 338. Stick game; length of sticks, 8J inches; Achomawi Indians, Hat Creek, California; cat. 
no. 51x3. American Museum uf Natural History. 

Nineteen slender sticks (figure 338), about 8i inches in length. 

Collected in 1903 by Dr Roland B. Dixon, who gave the name a; 

".\s usual, the disks are marked with small punctures. The arrangement is as fol- 
lows : Two with three marks on each side; three with three marks on one side, two on 
reverse ; two with two marks on each side ; three without marks. 
24 ETH — 05 M 17 


Shasta. Siletz reservation, Oregon. (Cat. no. ^f 1^ , American Mu- 
seum of Natural History. 
Fourteen sticks (figure 339). 7 inches in length, two plain and twelve 
painted in the middle with a 

_ ,„ - In-oad brown band and black 

^"'■' i iiii i hiiiiii bands outside. Collected in 

■ '"" ■ — 1903 bv Dr Roland B. Dixon. 


■ [)llll[|iI1illlM 


■ ^IHlfflllllllllllM - ■> 

m\mu iii» 

-- i ^ AssiNiBoiN. Alberta. 

- - . Rev. John Maclean " says the 

-"iiiN i i ■- Stonies have the odd and even 

' »" i ' i " i i'i game, which is played with small 

— sticks or goose quills. 

CoNOAEEE. North Carolina. 

Fig. 339. Stick game: length of stic-ks. 7 TIT d . 

inches; Shasta Indians, Oregon; cat. no. 'JOllU l^awson SayS : 

^U, American Museum of Natural His- .p^^, „.„,„pn ,,.g,.^. ^5, f.^,„^^^a 

ill gaming. The iiiinie or grounds of it I 

could not learn, though I looked on above two hours. Their arithmetic was 

kept with a heap of Indian grain. 

Elsewhere.'' presumably referring to the above game, he says: 

Their chiefest game is a sort of arithmetic, which is managed by a parcel of 
small split reeds, the thickness of ;i small bent; these are made very nicely 
so that they part, and are tractable in their hands. They are flfty-one in num- 
ber, their length about 7 inches: when they play they throw part of them to 
their antagonist ; the cut is to discover, upon sight, how many you have, and 
what you throw to him that plays with yo\i. Some are so expert at their num- 
bers that they will tell ten times together what they throw out of their Jiands. 
Although the whole play is carried on with the quickest motion it is possible to 
use, yet some are so expert at this game as to win great Indian estates by this 
play. A good set of these reeds, fit to pl:iy withal, are valued and sold for a 
dressed doeskin. 

Dakota (Teton). South Dakota. 

Rev. J. Owen Dorsey, in Games of Teton Dakota Children.'' de- 
scribes a game played by children or adults of either sex : 

Chun wiyushnan'pi. odd or even. Played at any time by two persons. A like 
number of green switches must be prepared by each player. Sumac sticks are 
generally chosen, as they are not easily broken by handling: hence one name for 
sumac stalks is " Counting-stick stalks," One stick is made tlie odd one. prob- 
ably distinguished by some mark. When they begin, one of the pla.vers seizes 
all the sticks and mixes them as well as he can. Closing his e.ves. he divides 
them into two piles, taking about an equal number in each hand. Then crossing 
his hands, he says to the other player. " Come, take whichever lot you choose." 

' Canadian Savage Folk, p. 26, Toronto, 1896. 

"The History of Carolina, p. 27. London, 1714; p. ,52, Raleigh, N. C, 1860. 

'Ibid., p. 176, London ed. ; p. 288, Raleigh ed. 

" The American Anthropologist, v. 4, p. 344, 1801, 


Both players are seated. The other makes his choice, and then eacli one exam- 
ines what he has. He who has the odd stick wins the game. 

Omaha. Nebraska. 

Rev. J. Owen Dorsey " gives the following description of the stick- 
counting game among the Omaha : 

Ja'-ifilwa, stick counting, is played b,\- any number of persons with sticks made 
of dcska or sidi'ihi. Tliese sticks are all placed in a heap, and then tlic players 
in succession take up some of them in their hands. The sticks are not counted 
till they have been taken up, and then he who has the lowest odd number always 
wins. Thus if one pla.yer had 5, another .■?, and a third only 1, the last must be 
the victor. The number that anyone can have is 9. If 10 or more sticks 
have been taken, those above 9 do not count. With the exception of horses, 
anything may be staked which is playe<l for in bauange-kide. 


Haida. Skidegate. Queen Charlotte islands. British Columbia. 
(Cat. no. 37808, Free Museum of Science and Art, Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania.) 
Set of forty-eight sticks, -i^ inches in .length and three-eighths of an 
inch in diameter, marked witli bands of black and red paint. 
Collected in 1000 by I)r C. F. Newcombe, who describes them under 
the name of sin. or hsin: 

The following is a list of the names of the sticks and the number of each: 
Shadow, hike haut, 3; red fish, skeitkadagun, 3; black ba§s, xasa, 3; mirror (of 
slate, wetted), xaus gungs, 3; sea anemone, xfings kedans, 3; dance headdress. 
djilkiss, 3: puffin, koxana. 3: black bear, tan, ?,: devil fish, nofi kwun, 3; guille- 
mot, skadoa. 3: large housefly, dldun, 3; halibut, xagu, 3; humpback salmon, 
tsitan. 3: dog salmon, ska'gi, 3: centipede, gotamega. 1 : chiefs who kiss. i. e., 
rub noses, skunagesilai, 1 ; supernatural beings of liigh rank, dsil or djil, 4. The 
last are trumps. 

Queen Charlotte islands, British Columbia. (American Mu- 
seum of Natural History.) 

Cat, no.^%. Set of sixty maple gambling sticks, 5 J^ inches in length 
:;iid seven-sixteenths of an inch in diameter, in leather pouch; 
all marked with red and black ribbons. 

Cat. no. ■^%. Set of eighty-eight wood gambling sticks, 5 inches in 
length and five-sixteenths of an inch in diameter, in leather 
pouch; all painted with red and black ribbons; two sticks carved 
at one end with human heads, one having right arm and leg of 
human figure lielow and the other their complement; ends flat; 
a single-pointed paint stick in the pouch. 

Both sets were collected by Dr J. W. Powell. 

" Omaha Sociology. Third Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, p. 338, 1884. 


Haida. Queen Charlotte islands, British Cohimbia. 
Francis Poole " saj's : 

The game was Odd or Even, which is played thus : The players spread a tnat. 
made of the inner bark of the yellow cypress, upon the ground, each party being 
provided with from forty to tifty round i)ins or pieces of wood, 5 inches long 
by one-eighth of an inch thick, painted in black and blue rings and beautifully 
polished. One of the players, selecting a number of these pins, covers them up 
In a heap of bark cut into fine fiberlike tow. Under cover of the baiMv he then 
divides the pin.s into two parcels, and having taken them out, passes them several 
times from his right hand to his left, or the contrary. .While the player shuffles 
he repeats the words i-e-ly-yah to a low, monotonous chant or moan. The 
moment ho finishes the incantation his opponent, who has been silentl.v watch- 
ing him, chooses the parcel \\here he thinks the luck lies for odd or even. After 
which the second player takes his innings with his own pins and the same cere- 
monies. This goes on till one or the other loses all his pins. That decides the 

Ilaida mission, Jackson, Alaska. (Cat. no. T35'2ii. United 

States National Museum.) 
Set of thirty-two carved polished bircii-wood sticks, 4f inches in 
lenirth and eight-sixteenths of an inch in diameter, the ends flat. 
Collected in 1884 by Mr J. Loomis Gould. The designs on eight of 
the sticks are shown on plate v. 

Queen Charlotte islands, British Columbia. 

Prof. George M. Dawson '' says : 

Gambling is as common with the Ilaida as among most other tribes, which 
means that it is the most popular and constantly practised of all their amuse- 
ments. The gambler frequently loses his entire iiroperty, continuing the play 
till he has nothing whatever to stake. The game generally played I have not 
been able to understand clearly. It is the same with that of most of the coast 
tribes and not dissimilar from gambling games played by the natives from 
the Pacific coast to Lake Superior. Sitting on the ground in a cii'cle, in the 
center of which a clean cedar mat is spread, each mm produces his bundle of 
neatly smoothed sticks, the values of which are known by the markings ui)on 
them. They are shuffled together iu soft teased cedar bark and drawn out by 

James G. Swan '' says : 

The Haida, instead of disks, use sticks or pieces of wood 4 or ti inches long and 
a quarter of an inch thick. These sticks are rounded and beautifully polished. 
They are made of yew, and each stick has some designating mark upon it. 
There is one stick entirely colored aud one entirely plain. Each player will 
have a bunch of forty or fifty of these sticks, and each will select either of the 
plain sticks as his favorite, just as in backgammon or checkers the players 
select the black or white pieces. The Indian about to play takes up a handful 
of these sticks and. putting them under a quantity of finely separated cedar 
bark, which is as fine as tow and kept constantly near him, he divides the pins 

° Queen Charlotte Islands, p. .319, London, 1872. 

* Report on the Queen Charlotte Islands. Ceologioal Surve.v of Canada. Report of 
Progress for 1S78 79, p. 129b, -Montrea:. ISSo. 

" Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge, no. 267, p. 8, 1874. 


into two parcels, whieli he \vr;\]is up in tlic Inirlc, and passes them rapidly 
from hand to hand under the tow. and flnall.v moves them round on the 
ground or mat on which the pla.vers are alwa.vs seated, still wrapjied in the 
fine bark, but not covered by the tow. His opponent watches every move 
that is made from the ver.v first with the eagerness of a cat. and finally, l}y a 
motion of his finger, indicates which of the parcels the winning stick is in. 
The player, upon such indication, shakes the sticks out of the bark, and with 
much display and skill, throws them one by one into the space between the 
players till the piece wanted is reached : or else, if it is not there, to show 
that the game is his. The winner takes one or more sticks from his opi)onent's 
pile, and the game is decided when one wins all the sticks of the other. As 
neither of the players can see the assortment of the sticks, the game is as fair 
for one as the other, and is as simple in reality as " odd or even " or any child's 
game. But the ceremony of manipulation and sorting the sticks under the l)ark 
tow gives the game an appearance of as much real importance as some of the 
skilful combinations of white gamblers. 

The tribes north of Vancouver Island, so far as my observation has extended, 
use this style of sticks in gambling, while the Salisb or Flatheads use the disks. 

Dr J. E. Swanton " says under Games : 

The great gambling game of the Haida was the same as that used on neigh- 
boring parts of the mainland. It was pla.ved with a set of cylindrical .sticks, 
four or five inches long. The number of sticks varies in the sets that I lia\e 
seen, one having as many as seventy. Some of the sets were made of bone, but 
the most of .yew or some similar kind of wood. These were finely polished, and 
in many cases elaboratel.v carved or painted, but usually were simpl.v divided 
into sets of from two to four by various lines drawn around them in black and 
red. One of the sticks was left blank, or nearly so, and was called djil [bait]. 
In pla.ving, two men sat opposite each other with their sticks disposed in front 
of them. Then one rapidl.v selected one set of sticks and the d.iil. shuffled 
them up concealed in fine cedar bark, divided the sticks into two parcels, and 
laid them down, one on each side. Sometimes he made three jiarcels. The 
op))onent had now to guess which of these contained the d.iil. If he were .suc- 
ces.sful. the first player did the same thing again with another set. After each 
guess the sticks were thrown out on a piece of hide in front of both players. 
When a player guessed right, he in turn laid out his sticks. It is not so true 
to say that cheating was fair in Ilaida gambling as to say that it was part 
of the game. If one could conceal or get rid of the d.iil temporarily, so much the 
better. The people were very much addicted to gambling, and, according to 
the stories, whole towns were in the habit of giving them.selves up to it ; but the 
chances of choosing the djil were so great that, ordinarily, one could not lose 
ver,v rapidly. I was told that they .sometimes played all day without either 
side winning. On the other hand, stories tell of how whole families and towns 
were gambled away. 

The entire gambling outfit was quite expensive. There were the gambling 
sticks themselves ; the bag in which they were carried and the bag in which sev- 
eral sets were carried, the skin upon which the sticks were laid out, the mat upon 
which the actual gambling was done, a thick piece of hide about a foot square 
upon which the sticks selected by the opponent were thrown so that all could 
see them : pencils used to mark lines on the sticks. A stone receptacle with two 
compartments was used for grinding up red and black paint. 

" Contributions to the Ethnology of the Haida. Memoir.s of the American Museum of 
Natural History, whole series, v. 8, p. 58, New York, 1905. 


I obtained the following account of tlie game from Henry Moody. in.\' inter- 
preter in Slvidegate. 

The two players sat opposite each other, each generally provided with a num- 
ber of sets of gambling sticks, so that if one brought him no luck he might use 
another, .just as white men change packs of cards. The person first handling 
the sticks then laid his set out in front of himself, and rapidl.v selected one set 
of sticks, i. e.. one set having similar markings on them, along with the djil, or 
Irump. He rolled them up in shredded cedar bark and separated them into two 
bundles, which he laid down, one on either side of him. The other player then 
had to guess in which bundle the djil lay; and if successful, it was his turn to 
play. If he was unsuccessful, his oiiponent scored one point, and played as before, 
.selecting a second set of sticks. A very skilful manipulator might divide his 
sticks into four bundles instead of two, in which case the opponent was entitled 
to select two out of them. One man might lose continuall.v and the other gain 
up to seven points, and these points (or some of them) received different names 
•entirely distinct from the ordinary numerals, first, second, third, etc. Thus the 
sixth point was called mii'gAn ; and the seventh, qo'ngu. After one per.son had 
reached qo'ngu an eighth count, called sqAl, had to be scored. The game for this 
score was played in the following manner : Four bundles were made of one stick 
eacli, the djil and three other sticks being used. The guesser was allowed to 
pick out three of these, and the player won only in case the fourth bundle 
-contained the djil. Otherwise, they began all over again : and on this last 
■count the chances were so greatly in favor of the guesser that they are said 
■often to have played all day without either side winning. 

The method of reaching count seven was as follows : After one player had 
made three points the other was obliged to make ten instead of seven — three 
to score off his opponent's points, and the usual seven points besides. And so 
in other cases tlie i)la.ver had to catch up witli his partner before starting to 
make his seven. 

The gambling sticks had separate names, most of them bearing those of 
animals. While many sets are marked exclusively with red and black marks, 
the more elaborate ones are ornamented with representations of the animal 
figures whose names they bear. 

In Miirchand's Voyage " we find : 

Surgeoo Roblet remarked that the natives of Cloak Bay have a sort of passion 
for gaming. They are seen carrying everywhere with them thirty small sticks. 
three or four inches in length by about four lines in diameter* with which 
the.v make a party, one against one. in the following manner; Among the sticks 
there is one distinguished from all the others b.v a black circle. One of the play- 
ers takes this single stick, joins to it another taken from among the twenty-nine 
common ones, mixes the two together without seeing them, and then places- 
them separately under a bit of cloth. That which the adversary chooses, 
merely liy jiointing it out, is mixed without looking at it. with all the others, 
and the adversary wins or loses, if the stick confounded in the mass, in case 
It ha[ipens to be the only stick, is a shorter or longer time in coming 
out. I admit that I do not see the finesse of this game: perhaps it is ill ex- 
plained because it has been ill understood. I presume, however, that it may be 

■■ A Voyage round the World Performed during the Years 1790, 1791, and 1792. b.v 
fitienne Marfhand, v. i, p. 299, London. ISOl. 

'These little sticks are very nicely wrought, perfectly round and of a beautiful polish: 
the wood of which they are made appears to be a species of wild plum-tree. It is hard 
and compact although very light. 


susceptible of various combinations, whicb must have escaped an observer who 
does not understand tbe language spoken by the players. I judge so from an 
assortment of these small sticks which Captain Chaual procured and brought to 
France. On e.xaniining them are seen traced on some, toward the middle of 
their length, three black parallel circles: on others, the three circles, brought 
close to each other, occupy one of tbe extremities. Other sticks bear two. four, 
five. six. or seven black circles, distributed lengthwise, at une<iual distances, and 
it may be conceived that these varieties, in tbe number and disposition of the cir- 
cles which distinguish one stick from the others, may produce several in tbe com- 
binations. Be this as it may. the time and attention which the natives of Cloak 
Bay give to this game prove that it has for them a great attraction, and that it 
warmly excites their interest. 


Bellabella. British Columbia. ( American Museum of Natural 

Cat. no. J{'-^. Set of seventy-two wood gambling sticks, 5^^^ inches 
in length and six-sixteenths of an inch in diameter, in leather 
pouch, all marked with red and black ribbons and burnt totemic 
designs; the ends hollowed: paint" stick in pouch. 

Cat. no. J/^. Set of fifty-four light-colored wood gambling sticks 
about 4|f inches in length and five-sixteenths of an inch in 
diameter, lengths slightly irregular, in leather pouch, all marked 
with red and black ribbons, the ends flat : double-pointed paint 
sticks, one end red, the other black, in pouch. 
Both sets were collected by Dr J. W. Powell. 

KwAKiuTL. Nawiti, British Columbia. 

Dr C. F. Newcombe describes the stick game (called by the Haida 

sin) of these Indians under the name of libaiu : 

The sticks are mostly made of crab apple, yew, vine, maple, and birch. Some 
were inlaid with abalone shell. They are in sets of two. three, or four alike, 
but mostly of two. Tbe same sets of names occur in every village. They were 
not of families, tribes, or crests, nor of animals or birds. The only name 
secured was of one having two diagonal bands, which they call k'elpstaie. twisted 
stalk. There was only one way of playing, and the game was played on small 
eating mats raised in the middle and sloping toward each of the two players. 

British Columbia. (Cat. no. 19017, Field Columbian Mu- 
Set of sixty-five polished wood sticks, -tf inches in length : variously 

colored, ends rounded. Collected by Mr George Hunt. 
Makah. Neah bay, Washington. (Free Museum of Science and 

Art, University of Pennsylvania.) 
Cat. no. 37.380. Ten plain wooden disks (figure .3-l0«). 2 inches in 

diameter, one face painted with from eight to ten dots near the 

edge, the other with a painted ring near the edge. Two have all 

black edges and one all white. 



Cat. no. 373S1. Ten plain disks with hole in center (figure 3-106) ; 
diameter. If inches. Thi'ee have all black edges and one has all 
white edges. 
Cat. no. 37381. Ten disks with raised rim and nicks around the 
inner edge (figure 340c) ; diameter, 1| inches. Two have all 
black edges and one all white. 
Cat. no. 373S2. Ten plain disks (figure 340f/), 2J inches in diameter. 
One has all black edges and two have all white. Accompanied 
by a mass of shredded cedar bark in which the disks are manipu- 
Collected by the writer in 1900. 
Dr George A. Dorsey " thus describes the game : 

Sacts-sa-whaik, rolls far. This is the most common and perhaps the best- 
known game played by the Indians of Washington. It is played with ten disks 

(huliak), while the count is kept with twelve 
sticks (katsake). Four sets of this game 
ivere collected, two of them being made of 
elder, the other two of maple. None of the 
sets have any special markings to distinguish 
them from the ordinary sets of this region, 
except that in one set one side of the disk has 
eight small dots near the edge and a lilack 
band near the edge on the other side. In all 
of the sets seven of the disks have perimeters 
half white and half black. In three sets two 
of the remaining disks have a perimeter en- 
tirely white, while that of the tenth disk is 
entirely black. In the fourth set the peri- 
meter of two of the disks is entirely black, 
while that of the third disk is entirely white. 
In the three sets, where there is a single disk 
with an edge entirely black, it is known as chokope, or man, the disks with 
white borders being known as hayop. or female. In the fourth set. according 
to this nomenclature, there would be one female and two men. I was informed 
by Williams that the object of the game is to guess the location of the female, 
and, as the nomenclature was given him by me, I am at a loss to reconcile the 
fact that in the three sets collected there were two females in each set. It is 
probable that in sets of this sort the black-edged disk may be designated as the 
female, as without question it is the single disk, distinguished from all others 
in the set. which is the one sought for in every instance. . . . This game 
is played only liy men. 

Charlie Williams informed the writer that the Makah play this 
game to the accompaniment of singing and drumming. 

J. G. Swan,'^ under Gambling Implements, says: 

Of these, one form consists of disks made from the wood of a hazel which 
grows at Cape Flattery and vicinity. The shrub is from 10 to 15 feet high, 
and with limbs from 2 to .3 inches in diameter. The name in Makah is hul- 

PiG. 340 n, b, c, d. Gaming disks; di- 
ameters, 2, Ij, li, and 2} inches; Ma- 
kah Indians, Neah bay, Washington; 
cat. nos. I^rsso to 37382. Free Museum 
of Science and Art. University of 

° Games of the Makah Indians of Neah Bay. The American Antiquarian, v. 23, p. 71, 
1901. ' 

* The Indians of Cape Flattery. Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge, no. 220, 
p. 44, 1870. 


li-a-ko-hupt, the disks hul-li;'Uc, anil the game hi-hul-him. The game is common 
among all the Indians of this territory, and is called in the jargon la-hull. 
The disks are circular, like checkers, about 2 inches in diameter, and the fourth 
of an inch thick, and are usually smoothed off and polished with care. They 
are first cut off transversely from the end of a stick which has been selected 
and properly prepared, then smoothed and polished, and marked on the outer 
edge with the color that designates their value. They are used in sets of ten, 
one of which is entirely black on the outer edge, another entirely white, and the 
rest of all degrees from black to white. Two persons play at the game, each 
having a mat before him, with the end next his opponent slightl.v raised so 
that the disks can not roll out of reach. Each player has ten disks which he 
covers with a quantity of the finely beaten bark and then separates the heap 
into two equal parts, shifting them rapidly on the mat from hand to hand. The 
opposing player guesses which heap contains the white or black, and on making 
his selection the disks are rolled down the mat, when each piece is separately 
seen. If he has guessed right, he wins : if not, he loses. 

Pig. 341. Stick game; length of .splints, HJ ini-hes; Yurok Indians. Californiu; cat. no. 37257, Free 
Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 


Washo. Carson valley and Lake Tahoe. Nevada. 

Dr J. W. Hudson describes the following game under the name of 
dtsudtsu : 

A winnowing basket is inverted and held with the left hand while nine small 
sticks, 2i inches long, are held in the right and a number of them hidden under 
it. The opponent guesses whether an odd or even number was hidden. This 
is a man's game. 


YuROK. Klamath river. California. (Cat, no. 37257, Free Museum 

of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania.) 
Set of ninety fine splints (figure 341), stained yellow, four marked 
with black in the center, ten with black spiral in center, and ten 
with black spiral at the ends; length. 9i inches. Eleven plain 
splints in the bundle are 8f inches in length. 
Collected by the writer in 1900. 

The .game is called hauk-tsu, the sticks eis-kok, and the marked stick, or ace, 

Another set, cat. no. 37258, consists of forty-seven coarse splints, two 
marked with black, 9 inches in length. 




Batawat. Humboldt county, California. (Cat. no. 37269, Free Mu- 
seum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania.) ^ 
Bundle of two hundred and fifty fine splints, three with black bands, 
8 inches in length, and two hundred and six fine sjDlints, three 
with black center, two with- black center and ends, sixty-six all 
black, and the remainder plain, 84 inches in length. 
These were collected by the writer in 1900. The sticks are called 

gutsapi, the trump, schowowick, and the 
game, bokoworis. 

Cat. no. 37287. Twelve cylinders of hard 
polished wood (figure 342 ),4f inches 
in length, and five-sixteenths of an 
inch in diameter, painted as follows: 
Five with broad black band in the 
middle, five with band at the end, one 
with bands at ends, and one with two 
bauds nearly midway from the ends. 
These si3ecimens were purchased by the 
writer in 1900 at Areata, California, and 
came from an Indian who was probably 
from Klamath river. A Mad River In- 
dian named Dick, at Blue Lake, Califor- 
nia, recognized these sticks and said it 
was customary to play with six, five alike 
and one odd one. The sticks were con- 
He gave the same vocabulary as that re- 

FlG. 342. Stick game; length of 
sticks, 4J inches: Klamath river, 
California; cat. no. 37287, Free Mu- 
seum of Science and Art, Univer- 
sity of Pennsylvania. 

cealed in Ijundles of grass. 
corded above for the fine sticks. 


ZuNi. Zuni, New Mexico. (Cat. no. 4989, Brooklyn Institute Mu 

Twenty -one small willow sticks (figure 343), 2J inches in length. 

These were collected by the writer in 
1904 and are used in a game called sawi- 
posiwai, sticks mixed up. 

The sticks are first rolled between the hands 
and the bundle divided, with the hands behind the 
bacl<. The hands are then brought forward and 
the other pla.ver, who knows the total number ot 
sticks, tries to guess the number held in the left 
hand by calling out. A stake is put up. and if the pla.ver guesses correctly he 
becomes the winner. The game is no longer played, and was recalled with diffi- 
culty by an old man. 

Fid. 343. Stick game; length of 
sticks, 21 inches; Zuni Indians, 
Zuiii, New Mexico; cat. no. 4989, 
Brooklyn Institute Museum. 

culinj hand game 267 

Hais'^d Gajie 

This game, which T have desig-nated by its common English name, 
is most widely distrilmted, having been found among SI tribes be- 
longing to 28 different linguistic stocks. This extensive distribution 
may be partially accounted for by the fact that, as it was played 
entirely by gesture, the game could be carried on between individuals 
who had only the sign language in common. 

The name is descriptive, referring to the lots being held in the hand 
during the play. The game has been designated also the grass game, 
from the custom in California of wrapping the lots in bundles of grass. 
The lots are of several kinds. The commonest consist of bone cylin- 
ders, some solid, others hollow, between 2 and ?> inches in length. 
They are made in pairs, one or two sets being used. One piece in 
each pair is distinguished from the others by having a thong or 
string tietl about the middle. The unmarked bone is sometimes 
designated as the man and the marked bone as the woman. The 
object is to guess the unmarked one. Instead of bones, wooden 
cylinders, one of each pair tied with cord or having a ring of bark 
left about the center, are used. The Yankton Dakota use two small 
squared sticks, notched differently. In a degenerate form of the 
game the players use little strings of beads or a bullet. Tlie Pinui 
employ three twigs with a finger loop at one encl, and among some of 
the tribes of Arizona and southern California, where the game 
receives the Spanish name of peon, the lots are attached to the wrist 
with a cord fasteiied to the middle. This is done to prevent the 
players from changing them. 

The four bones, two male and two female, like the sticks in the 
four-stick game, probably represent the bows of the twin War Gods. 

The game is commonly counted with sharpened sticks, which are 
stuck in the ground between the players. These are most connnonly 
twelve in number, but, five, ten, fifteen, sixteen, etc., are used. The 
arrow derivation of these sticks is illustrated in the Wichita game, 
page 27(5. The hand game is one for indoors, and is usually played in 
a lodge or shelter. Both men and women play, but usually quite 
apart. The number of players varies from two to any number. The 
opponents seat themselves upon the ground, facing each other, the 
stakes commonly being placed between the two lines. The side hold- 
ing the bones sing and sway their hands or bodies. The guesser 
indicates his choice by swiftly extending his hand or arm. If he 
guesses correctly, the bones go over to his side. 

The bones used in this game are frequently highly valued, being 
esteemed luckv. their owners thinking that their luck would jDass to 
the person who acquired these bones. 



Aeapaho. Wind River reservation, Wyoming. (Cat. no. 61722, 

Field Columbian Museum.) 
Four solid bones. 33 inches in length, smooth and yellow with age, 
two wrapped with cloth, black with dirt, the edges stitched with 
black thread. Collected by Dr George A. Dorsey in 1900. 
Arapaho. Oklahoma. 

]\Ir James !Mooney in his paper on the Ghost-dance Religion " gives 
an account of the gaqutit. or liunt-the-l)utton game: 

This is a favorite winter game with tlie prairie tribes. ;ind was iirolialily more 
or less general throughout the eountrj . It is played both by men and women, but 
never by the two sexes together. It is the regular game in the long winter 
nights after the scattered families have abandoned their exposed summer 
positions on the open prairie and moved down near one another in the shelter 
of the timber along the streams. . . . Freipiently there will be a party of 
twenty to thirty men gaming in one tipi. and singing so that tlieir voices can be 
heard far out from the camp, while from another tipi a few rods away comes a 
shrill chorus from a group of women engaged in another game of the same 
kind. The players sit in a circle around the tipi fire, those on one side of the 
fire playing against those on the other. The only requisites are the button, or 
ga'qaii. usually a small bit of wood, around which is tied a piece of string or 
otter skin, with a pile of tally sticks, as has been already described. Each 
party has a " button," that of one side being painted black, the other being red. 
The leader of one party takes the button and endeavors to move it from one 
hand to the other, or to pass it on to a partner, while those of the opposing side 
keep a sharp lookout, and try to guess in which hand it is. Those having the 
button try to deceive their opi)onents as to its whereabouts by putting one 
hand over the other, by folding their arms, and by putting their hands behind 
them, so as to pass the ga'qaii to a partner, all the while keeping time to the 
rhythm of a gaming chorus sung by the whole party at the top of their voices. 
The song is very peculiar and well-nigh indescribable. It is usually, but not 
always or entirely, unmeaning, and jumps, halts, and staggers in a most 
surprising fashion, but always in perfect time with the movements of the 
hands and arms of the singers. The greatest of good-natured excitement 
prevails, and every few minutes some more excitable player claps his hands 
over his mouth or beats the ground with his flat palms and gives out a regular 
war whoop. All this time the opposing players are watching the hands of the 
other or looking straight into their faces to observe every tell-tale movement 
of their features, and w-hen one thinks he has discovered in which hand the 
button is, he throws out his ihumb toward that hand with a loud "that!" 
Should he guess aright, bis side scores a oertain number of tallies, and in turn 
takes the button and begins another song. Should the guess be wrong, the 
losing side must give up an equivalent number of tally sticks. So the play 
goes on until the small hours of the night. It is always a gambling game, and 
the stakes are sometimes very large. 

In the story entitled Split-Feather, Dr George A. Dorsey '' relates 
that one day there was an invitation for the Star society to go to the 
head man's tipi to f)lay hand game. 

" Fourteenth .Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, p. 1008. 1896. 
'Traditions of the Arapaho, p. 269, Chicago. 1903. 


Blackfeet. Fort Mackenzie, Montana. 
Maximilian. Prince of Wied." says: 

They have invented many games for their amusement. At one of them they 
sit in a circle, and several little heaps of beads, or other things, are piled np. for 
which they play. One takes some pelibles in his hand, moving it backward and 
forward in measured time, and singing, while another endeavors to guess the 
number of pelil>les. In this manner considerable sums are lost and won. 


Dr Georye Bird (irinnell '' says: 

Another popular game was what with more soutliern trilies is called " hands :" 
it is like "Button, button, who's got the button?" Two small oblong liones 
were used, one of which had a lilack ring aroiuul it. Those who participated in 
this game. nunil)ering from two to a dozen, were divided into two equal parties, 
ranged on either side of the lodge. Wagers were made, each person betting with 
the one directly opposite him. Then a man took the bones, and, by skillfully 
moving his hands and changing the objects from one to the other, .sought to make 
it impossible for the person op|iosite him to decide which hand held the marked 
one. Ten iioints were tlie game, counted by sticlvS. and the side which first got 
the number took the stakes. A song always accompanied this game, a weird, 
unearthly air — if it can be so called — but. when heard at a little distance, very 
pleasant and soothing. At first a scarcely audible nuu'mvu'. like the gentle 
soughing of an evening breeze, it gradually iiuTease<l in volume and readied a 
very high pitch, sank (luickly to a low bass sound, rose and fell, and gradually 
died a\v;iy. to be again repeated. The person concealing the bones swayed his 
body, arms, and hands in time to the air, and went through all manner of grace- 
ful and intricate movements for the purpose of confusing the guesser. The 
stakes were sometimes very high, two or three horses or more, and men have 
been known to lose everything they possessed, even to their clothing. 

Soutliern AJberta, 

Rev. John Maclean <" says : 

Sometimes the hoys and young men of the camp form themselves into a group 
and play a game of guessing. Two or more persons are opposed, each to each, 
or one side against the other. A small article is selected, and one of them, 
passing it from one hand to the other, holds out both hands for his opponent to 
guess the hand containing the article, which he tries to do l)y placing in the 
closed hand, which lie supposes is the right one. a small piece of wood. If he 
has guessed rightly, it becomes his turn to use the article to l)e sought. The 
small sticks are kept as a record of the game, until one of tlie contestants has 
won them all from his opponent. During the whole time of playing the one who 
holds the thing to be guessed sways his body, singing and praying for success. 

Cheyenne. Montana. 

It appears from Dr Grinnell's •* acconnt that the game of hand, as 
played b}^ the Pawnee, is played also by the Cheyenne. 

" Tr.ivels in the Interior of North .\merica. translated by H. Evans Lloyd, p. 254, 
London, 1843. 

" Blackfoot Lodge Tales, p. 184. New York. 1892. 

^ Canadian Savage Folk. p. 56, Toronto, 1S96. 

■< The Story of tlie Indian, p. 2S, New York, 1895. 


Cree. Wind River reservation, Wyoming. (Cat. no. 37028, Free 
Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania.) 

String of eight yellow glass beads in two rows, tied in the middle, 

and a string of small white and blue glass beads in two 

rows, one white and one blue, tied in the middle (figure 

344) ; length, IJ inches. 

These were collected by the writer in 1900 from an Indian of Riel's 

band, who gave the name as gaiinshwashkwak, and said they were 

used in the hand game. Four sticks are used as counters. A ring 

and a cartridge are also employed. 

Muskowpetung reserve, Qu'appelle, Assiniboia. (Cat. no. 

0100.5. Field Columbian ]\Iuseum.) 

A cartridge shell and a small string of large white and black beads 
used in the hand game. 

• These were collected by 'Sir J. A. Mitchell, who gives the following 

account of the hand game under the name of meecheecheemetowaywin : 

No limit as to numbers or sex of players. The object is so to manipulate one 
of the two pieces, i. e.. the marked cartridge shell, as to puzzle the player's 
opponent as to the hand in which it is held. Formerly 
an oblong marked stick was used instead of the cartridge 
shell : the shell is now used almost exclusively. 

This is one of the most common Indian gambling 

games, and is valued very highly. The stake usually 

played for is a pony, or sometimes several of them. The 

Fig. 344. Beads for hand count is kept by means of ordinary pieces of stick, which 

game: length, Umches; ^^^ thrust into the gi-ound as points are won, and added 

Cree Indians, Wyom- 

ing; cat. no. 37028, Free to or subtracted from by each playei-, according as he 
Museum of Science and wins or loses, at each guess. 

Art, University of jj, playing for a horse, the value of the animal is pre- 

^ ^ ° arranged at so many sticks, which are then played for, 

either one at a time, a few at a time, or all at one stake, as the holder of the 

sticks may see fit. Four points usually count for one game. Playing is often 

kept up for days and nights at a time. 

Although the cartridge shell and small string of beads seem of but little value, 
great difficulty is encountered in getting them from the Indians, and then only 
at an exorbitant price, as they have an impression that when they sell a 
game they also part with the right to play that game iu the future, unless with 
the consent of the buyer. 


Rev. H A. Watkins, in his Dictionary of the Cree Language," gives 
the following definitions: 

Michiche nstwatookwuk. they gamble, from niiehiche, hand, and ustwatoo- 
wuk, they bet, referring to the game of hand. 

Grosventres. Montana. (American Museum of Natural History.) 

Cat. no. yifj. String of eleven brass beads and one red glass bead 

(figure 34.5ff) and another of seven green, one blue, and one red 

and orange glass beads (figure 345&), about 1^ inches in length, 

» London, 1865. 




and 12 counting sticks (figure 340), willow twigs painted red, 
18^ inches in length. Collected by Dr A. L. Kroeber in 1001. 
Cat. no. -j-ffj. Two bones, cone-shaped (figure 347), '2 and 2:} inches 
in length, incised with rings (one with twenty-four), painted 
red ; jierforatetl at tlic larger end, through which a tied thong is 
jiassed. Collected in 1001 by Dr A. L. Kroeber, who describes 
them as bone hidinir buttons. 

Fig. 345. 

Fig. :«u. 

Fig. :i47. • Fig. 34S. Fig. »49. 

Fm.'iiii, a, h. Beads for hand game; length, li inches; Grosventre Indians. Montana; 

T7ga. American Museum of Natural Hi--<tor.v. 
Fig. 346. Counting sticks for hand game; length. 181 inches; Grosventre Indians. [Montana; 

cat. no. ^~'^^, American Museum of Natural History. 
Fig. .347. Bones for hand game; lengths, 2 and 2} inches; Grosventre Indians, Montana; cat. no. 

1931, American Museum of Natural History. 
Fig. .34,S. Bone fi)r hand game; length, 2i inches; Grosventre Indians, Montana; cat. no. 

59rT, American Museum of Natural History. 
Fig. .349. Bones for hand game; length, 2^ inche.s; P*iegan Indians, Alberta; cat. no. 159354, 

Field Columbian Museum. 

Cat. no. xItt- Flat oval bone, highly jDolished and painted red and 
incised on one side, as shown in figure 348; length, 2] inches. 
Collected in 1001 by Dr A. L. Kroeber, who describes it as a 
hiding button. 

PiEGAN. Allierta. (Cat. no. 603.54, Field Columbian Museum.) 
Four bones for hand game (figure 340), solid, with rounded ends, 

two with black band at the middle, and two plain; length, 2^ 

inches. Collected by Mr R. M. Wilson. 



Chipewyan. Athabasca. 

Father Petitot " gives the following definition : 

Jeu de mains, udzi. 

This name, lie states, is general to all the dialects. 
Etchareottine. Fort Prince of Wales. Keewatfn. 

Samuel Hearne ' says : 

They have another simple inrloor game, which is that of taking a bit of wood, 
a button, or any other small thing, and, after shifting it from hand to hand 
several times, asking their antagonist which hand it is in. When playing at 
this game, which only admits of two persons, each of them htive ten, fifteen, or 
twenty small chips of wood, like matches, and when one of the players guesses 
right he takes one of his antagonist's sticks and lays it to his own ; and he that 
first gets all the sticks from the other in that manner is said to win the game, 
which is generall.y for a single load of powder and shot, an arrow, or some 
,other thing of inconsiderable value. 

Han KtJTCHiN. Alaska. 

Lieut. Frederick Schwatka," |J. S. Army, figures a pair of bones 
for the hand game as being used by the Aiyan and Chilkat. (See 
p. 288.) 
Kawchodinne. Mackenzie. 

Father Petitot" gives the following definition: 

Jeu de mains, udzi. 

KuTCHix. Alaska and Yukon. 

Father Petitot" gives the following definition: 

.Jeu de mains, odzi. 

Sarsi. British Columbia. 

Rev. E. F. Wilson '' describes the following game: 

Two men squat side by side on the ground, with a blanke't over their knees, 
and they have some small article, such as two or three brass beads tied together, 
which they pass froul one to another under the blanket: and the other side, 
which also consists of two persons, has to guess in which hand the article is 
to be found — very much like our children's " hunt the whistle." 

Takulli. Stuart lake, British Columbia. 
Reverend Father A. G. Morice " says : 

We find the elegantly carved gambling sticks of the West Const tribes replaced 
by simple polished pieces of lynx or other animal's bones without any particular 

" Dictionnaiie de la Langue Dftnfe-Dindji^, Paris. 1876. 

'A Journey from Prince ot Wales's Fori in Hudson's Bay. to the Northern Ocean, p. 
3.'?5, London, 1795. 

*■ Alons .Maslta's Great River, p. 227, New York, 188.5. 

'' Fourth Report on. the North-Western Tribes of Canada. Report of the Fifty-Eighth 
Meeting of the British Association for tlie Advancement of Science, p. 24(i, London. Issil. 

' Notes on the Western Denfe. Transactions ot the Canadian Institute, v. 4, p. 77. 
Toronto, 1S95. 




design, aiul with the mere addition to one of the pair of the sinew wrapping 
necessary to determine the winning stick. The Baliine specimens [figui'e 350] 
are rather large and must prove aw kward in the hand of the gamhler. But they 
have the reputation of being preventive of dishonesty, 
if distinctions between the honest and the dishonest can 
be established In connection with such a pastime as 
gambling. Such of these trinkets as are hollow have 
generally both ends shut with a piece of wood, and con- 
tain minute pebbles and gravel, which produce a gentle 
rattling sound In the nand of the native, much to his 
own satisfaction. 

Fignre 351 represents the TsiiKoh'tin [Tsilkotin] and 
figure 352 the Tse"kchne [Sekani] equivalent of the 
Babine gambling sticks. It w'ill be seen from the 

latter that the Tse'kchne, who are the most primitive and uncultured of the 
three tribes whcse technology is under review, are again the only people who in 
this connection, as with regard to their spoons, have made the merest attempt 
at bone carving. 

The game jilayed with these bone pieces is, I think, too well known to demand 
a description. The jerking movements and passes of hands of the party operat- 
ing therewitli. as well as the drum jjeating and the singing of the spectators or 
partners, are practised among most of the Indian races, es]iecially of the 
Pacific coast, which have occupied the attention of American ethnologists. The 
Abbe Petitot says in one of his latest publications that this game is adventi- 
tious among the Eastern Denes, who have borrowed it from the Crees. This 

Fir;. 35(1. Bones for hand 
game; length, 3 inches; 
Babine Indians, British 
Coinmbia; from Moi*ice. 

Pig. 351. Pig. a52. 

Pig. 351. Bones for hand game; length, 3 inches; Tsilkotin Indians. Britissli Columbia; from 

Pig. 353. Bones for hand game; length, 3 inches; Sekani Indians, British C'olnmljia; from 


remark Is no less apposite with regard to their kinsmen west of the Rocky 
mountains. Although ni> other chance game possesses to-day so many charms 
for the frivolous Western Denes, the old men assure me that it was formerly 
unknown among their fellow-countrymen. That their testimony is based on 
fact the very name of that game would seem to indicate, since it is a mere verb 
in the impersonal mood, nat'saa. "one keeps in the hand while moving,'' and 
is therefore of the fourth category of Dene noinis. The word for " gambling 
sticks," such as used in connectinn with nafsri'a, is na'ta, which is the same 
verb under the potential form, ami me.-ins " that which can lie held in the hand." 
Any of the surrounding races, Tsimpsian, Salishan, or Algonquin, may be held 
responsible for its introduction among the Western Denes, for they are all 
exceedingly fond of it. 

The original counterpart of the modem net'so'a was the atlih," which in times 
was passionately played by the Carriers, but is now altogether forgotten except 
by a few elder men. 

" Ma.v be translated by " gambling " in a general sense. 
24 ETH— 05 M 18 



Elsewhere " Father Morice contrasts the hand game with the stick 
game as being played silentlj', while a tambour- 
ine or some appropriate substitute, such as a tin 
pan, is continually beaten as an accompani- 
ment to the former. 
Umpqtja. Oregon. (Cat. no. 3003, Brooklyn 

Institute Museum.) 
Two hollow bones (figure 353), 3^ inches in 
length and 1^ inches in diameter, both with 
two incised lines near each end and one 
with two bands of leather set in grooves around the middle. 

Fig. 3.>3. Bones for hand 
game ; length, 31- inches; 
Umpqua Indians, Ore- 
gon; cat. no. .3003, Brook- 
lyn Institute Museum. 


Pawnee. Oklahoma. (Field Columbian Museum.) 

Cat. no. 59411. Set of eight sticks of smoothed natural brown wood, 

21 inches in length. 
Cat. no. 59389. Set of ten stick counters, four yellow and four green, 

each with feather tied with thong at top, and two plain sticks; 

all 164 inches in length. 
Cat. no. 59416. Long bone pipe bead, 2^ inches in length, and eight 

counting sticks, 17 inches in length, four painted yellow and 

four blue, feathered like arrows, both series differently (figure 


Fig. 354. Fig.a». 

Pig. 354. Bead and counting sticks for hand game; length of bead, 2i inches; length of i.-ounters, 

17 inches; Pawnee Indians, Oklahoma; cat. no. 51)41ti, Field Columbian Mxiseum. 
Pig. 355. Sticks for hand game; length, 1} inches; Pawnee Indians, Oklahoma; cat. no. 71654, 

Field Columbian Museum. 

Cat. no. 71588. Set of eight sticks, 22 inches in length, copies of 
feathered shafts of arrows, four painted blue and four painted 
red, accompanied with a short slender bow. 

Cat. no. 71654. Set of four sticks (figure 355), If inches in length, 
marked in pairs alike, one pair with six notches on one side 

"The Western P<^n& — Their M.inners and rustoms. Proceedings of the Canadian In- 
stitute, third series, v. 7, p. 154, Toronto, 1889. 


HAND game: pawnee 


and one notch on the other, and the other with incised crosses, 
one on each side of each end of the stick. 
Cat. no. 71650. Two downy crane feathers, one faintly painted red, 
the other green. Mounted on small twigs; total length about 
12 inches. 

Counting sticks for baud game: length, 12 inches; Pawnee Indians, Oklahoma; cat. 
no. THJ47. Field Columbian Museum. 


no. 71647. Set of eight sticks (figure 356), 12 inches in length; 
painted red, with a small cross incised near the top, and each 
having a hoop, 35 inches in diameter, made of a twig, attached 
by a thong. The inner half of each hoop is wrapped with sinew, 
and the hoop is bisected with a thong of buckskin having two 
feathers tied in the middle and one on each side of the rim. 

Cat. no.' 71649. Two wooden pins, each with four cut feathers tied at 
top; total length, 12 inches. 

Cat. no. 71603. Cane whistle. 16i inches in length, covered, except 
near the mouth, with painted buckskin having feathers attached. 

Cat. no. 71648. Set of eight counting sticks, peeled twigs ; 16 inches in 
All the foregoing were collected by Dr George A. Dorsey. 



Pawnee. Oklahoma. 

Dr George Bird Grinnell ° says : • . 

Perhaps no gambling game Is so widespread and so popular as that known as 
" hands." It consists in guessing in which of the two hands is held a small 
marked object, right or wrong guessing being rewarded or penalized by the 
gain or loss of points. The players sit in lines facing each other, each man 
betting with the one opposite him. The object held, which is often a small 
polished bone, is intrusted to the best player on one side, who sits opposite to 
the best player on the other. The wagers are laid — after more or less discus- 
sion and bargaining as to the relative value of things as unlike as an otter- 
skin quiver on one side and two plugs of tobacco, a yard of cloth, and seven 
cartridges on the other — and the game begins with a low song, which soon 
increases in volume and intensity. As the singers become more excited, the 
man who holds the bone moves his hands in time to the song, brings them 
together, seems to change the bone rapidly from hand to hand, holds their 
palms together, puts them behind his back or under his robe, swaying his body 
back and forth, and doing all he can to mystify tlie player who is about to try 
to choose the bone. The other for a time keeps his eyes steadily fixed on the 
hands of liis opponent, and. gradually, as the song grows faster. ben<ls forward, 
raises his right hand with extended forefinger above his head and holds it 
there, and at last, when be is ready, with a swift motion lirings It down to rt 
horizontal, pointing at one of the hands, which is instantl.v opened. If it 
contains the bone, the side which was guessing lias won, and each man receives 
a stick from the opposite player. The bone is then passed across to the oppo- 
site side, the song is renewed, and the others guess. 

In a letter, referring to the hand game, Dr (irrinnell writes: 
It Is popular among all the northern tribes of which I have any knowledge 
and has a wide vogue in the west. I have seen it among the Arikara, Assini- 
boin. Grosrentres of the Prairie, the three tribes of the Blaekfoot Nation, 
Kootenai, Shoshoni, Ute, Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Pawnee. 

Wichita. Oklahoma. (Field Columbian Museum). 

Cat. no. 59316. Set of counting sticks for hand game (figure 357) ; 

Pig. 357. Counting sticks for band game; length, 20 inches; Wichita Indians, Oklahoma: cat. 
no. 59316, Field Columbian Museum. 

» The Story of the Indian, p. 27, New York, 1898. 




twelve unusually ■n'ell-niade arrows about 20 inches in length, 
with sharp points; the feathering regular and of good work- 
manship; six painted blue and six yellow. 
Cat. no. 59355. Half a set of counting sticks (figure 358); six 
arrows, uniformly painted and well made, with sharpened points 
that show evidence of having been repeatedly thrust into the 

Fio. 358. Counting sticks for hand Kami*; length, 2(i inches; Wichita Indians, Oklahoma; cat. 
no. 59;j55, Field Columbian Museum. 

ground. They are well feathered and painted blue for the greater 
part of their length. The portion to the extent of about 2 inches 
nearest to and including the feathering is painted yellow. 
Cat. no. 59346. Set of counting sticks (figure 359); eight unpainted 
arrows, 24J inches in length, which terminate abru^^tly in blunt 


Fig. 859. Counting sticljs for hand game; length, 24; and 14} inches: Wirhita Indians, Oklahoma; 
cat. no. 59346, Field Columbian Museum. 

points; the feathering is well done, but unusually short; also 
four undecorated wooden shafts. 
Cat. no. 59227. Set of eight counting sticks, 20 inches long, with 
blunt points at one end and at the other a bunch of small eagle 
feathers. One half the shafts in this set are jjainted blue and 
the other half red. 




Cat. no. 59288. Set of counting sticks (figure 360) ; eight well-made 
shafts, 18 inches in length, with no trace of feathering or points, 
and four similar shafts, 12 inches in length; all painted dark 
no. 59266. Set of counting sticks (figure 361) ; eight plain 
shafts, 16 inches in length, and four plain shafts, 10 inches in 

length ; one half the 
~ number of each are 

l^ainted blue and the 
other half red. 
The sets were collected 
by Dr George A. Dorsey, 
who described " them as 
they are arranged above, 
as illustrating the grad- 
ual transition of the count- 
ing stick used in the hand 
game from the actual 
practical arrow to the 
simple stick. The four shorter undecorated sticks are explained by 
the collector as each equivalent to eight of the long ones. Doctor Dor- 
sej'^ stated that the bones used in the game most often consist of two 
bone tubes, such as are now purchased from traders for use in tiie 

Fig. 360. Counting sticks for hand game; lengths. 18 and 
12 inches; Wichita Indians, Oklahoma; cat. no. .59288, 
Field Columbian Museiun. 

Fig. 361. 

Fig. 3IK. 

Pig. 361. Counting sticks and beads for hand game; lengths of sticks, 16 and 10 inches: Wichita 

Indians, Oklahoma; cat. no. 59286, Field Columbian Museum. 
Pig. 363. Drum used in hand game; diameter, 16 inches; Wichita Indians, Oklahoma; cat. no. 

59317, Field Columbian Museum. 

manufacture of breast ornaments, and that he was informed that they 
use at times even a bullet or some equally unpretentious object. 
Cat. no. 59317. Small, double-headed drum (figure 362). 4 inches 
deep and 16 inches in diameter, made of two pieces of rawhide, 
carefully and evenly stretched over a circular wooden frame and 
laced along the median line. One head and half the liody are 
painted blue, the other half being painted pink with a large 
blue circle in the center of the head. 

' Ilnnd or Guessing Game among the Wichitas. The American Antiquarian, v. 23. p. 
366, 1!)01. 




This was collected by Dr George A. Dorsey. who states that the 
peculiar manner of painting was due to its being used in two cere- 
monies, the blue side being used in the War dance, while the use of the 
pink side was confined exclusively to the Ghost dance. 
Cat. no. 59362. Large drum (figure 363), constructed similarly to the 
preceding, 8 inches deep and 30 inches in diameter ; accompanied 
by four forked stakes, upon which the drum is suspended at some 
distance from the ground, when in use, by four leather thongs, 
which extend out on the four sides from the center. In addition, 
the drum bears on the upper surface a braided rawhide handle. 
The entire surface of the drum is painted a deep blue, both sides 
containing similar symbols. The center bears a red circle 6 inches in 
diameter, upon which is an unusually 
good drawing of an eagle, the black- 
tipped white wing and tail feathers 
being drawn with great fidelity ; the 
body is of com-se black. Surrounding 
this red sphere is a narrow blue line 
from which radiates a white line 5 
inches in length, which is crossed at 
right angles near the outer end by a 
moon symbol in red. The line termi- 
nates in a five-pointed blue star. Be- 
tween this star and the edge of the 
drum is drawn in white a pipe with 
a short stem. Running diagonally 
across near the outer edge of the 
drum is a yellow star with a pipe in white similar to the one just 
mentioned. The two diagonally opposite sides ai-e occupied, one by 
a red and the other by a green star. This specimen was collected bj' 
Doctor Dorsey, who states that he was informed that this drum was 
used not only in the hand game, but in the so-called War dance. It 
is used also in rain ceremonies, but concerning the latter there was not 
time to get any detailed information. The pipes have special ref- 
erence, of course, to the use of the drum during the war ceremony. 
He gives the following explanation of the symbols: 

The red center symbolizes the earth, its light blue boundary being the firma- 
ment : the white line leading from the firmament to the blue star representing 
the way of life which the spirits of the departed travel in their ,1ourney to the 
west, as blue among the Wichitas is symbolic of the west. The color syml)olism 
of the three remaining stars is north for the green, east for the yellow, and 
south for the red. The deep-blue color of the drum itself represents the 

The following is Doctor Dorsey's account of the game : 

The ceremony about to be described took place on the afternoon of Sunday, 
the 16th of .June, 1901, in a very old Witchita grass lodge, about 7 miles 

Flo. 383. Drum used in hand game; di- 
ameter, 30 inches: Wichita Indians, 
Oklahoma: cat. no. .iSBfK. Field Colum- 
bian Museum. 


north of Anadarko, Okla. This particuhir bouse, by the way, I was informed 
had long been the scene of this and similar ceremonies. Indeed, on the previous 
day 1 had here witnessed the ghost dance. Arriving at the lodge about 2 o'clock 
in the afternoon I found that it was alread.v thronged with people, those of mid- 
dle or advanced age ijredominating. The tloor had been carefully swept, and 
both the east and west doors were open. Just outside of the lodge, exjiosed to 
the full rays of the sun, was suspended the large drum above described, with 
its four supports. I was not able to learn on inquiry whether tlie drum was 
jilaced in this position ceremonially or whether it was simply for the purpose 
of tightening the heads through the action of heat. From the use of the drum, 
however, later in the ceremony, I am inclined to believe that this first exposure 
to the sun was ceremonial in character. AVithin the lodge the occupants 
assumed positions — some on one side, others on the other — leaving a large 
open space about the fire hearth in the center. Two old women assumed a posi- 
tion halfway between the hearth and the western side of the lodge, and to one 
of them was passed the bundle of counting sticks previously described under 
no. 59288. A number of meu then gathered to their left, wheu the large drum 
was brought in and placed in their midst, and the smaller drum was placed 
in the hands of one of their number. The drummers then began a slow and 
measured beating, all at the same time joining in a sort of chant. This, I 
was informed, was a supplication to the sun that the game might proceed 
quietly and orderly, and that whichever side lost should bear no ill will toward 
the winning side, and that at the conclusion of the ceremony all might be 
happy. That this, however, does not represent the full meaning of the song 
is entirely probable. The old women then came forward toward the center of 
the floor, one of them bearing in her hands two small bone cylinders, around 
one of which was fastened a black thong. With arms outstretched aloft she 
turned toward the sun and uttered a prayer which lasted over a minute, all 
the others in the lodge keeping profound silence. She then passed the cylinders 
to an old man sitting on the north side of the lodge, who immediately placed 
one in each hand and began to wave his arms back and forth in front of the 
body, the members on his side beginning to sing to the accompaniment of the 
beating of the two drums. After several passes he signified that he was ready, 
when the other of the two women occupying the center of the lodge guessed at the 
location of the unmarked cylinder. Her guess proved to be correct, and, as 
she represented the faction sitting on the south side of the lodge, a red arrow, 
symbolic of the south, was thrust into the ground in front of and between the 
two tally keepers. The cylinders were then passed to one of the members of 
the opposite side, who repeated the performance just described, when the 
woman who represented the party of the north side hazarded a guess. Before 
she did this', however, she touched the tips of the fingers of both hands to 
the side of the hearth, rubbed her hands in front of her face, and then out- 
stretched them in the direction of the sun. Thus the game was continued with 
varying fortune until about 6 o'clock, at which time the side of the north was 
in possession of all the counters. I w'as prepared from what I had observed 
of this game among other tribes to see some outbreak of joy uiion the part of 
the victors. Instead, however, the game seemed one of intense solemnity. The 
cylinders were passed back to the woman representing the gnesser of the win- 
ning side, who held them aloft as before and uttered a prayer. Next she took 
the bundle of counting sticks and went through the same performance, at the 
termination of which, without any intimation, both sides joined in a song 
accompanied by the low beating of the drum. This song was exceedingly 
beautiful and resembled nothing so much as a subdued but devout hymn of 


thanksgiving, as indeed I was iiifdi-uied that it was. Tlie song lasted for 
lierhaps ten minutes, when those present Ijegan conversing in low tones, which 
^ery soon became more animated, and they Ijegau to leave the lodge and assem- 
ble on the south side of the lodge at a level space cleared of all vegetation, 
where they gathered in one great circle. The large drum was then brought 
out by one of the leaders, who held it toward the sun, uttered a prayer, and 
again all sang a song, which was of the same general character as the one just 
described. The drum was then returned to its former position just outside 
the lodge. Five of the older men now began a disti-ibution of food, consisting 
of meat, bread, and coffee, to all those present, and the ceremony was at an end. 
The contrast between this sedate and dignified performance and the loud, 
boisterous, weird all-night performances, such as are conducted, for example, 
by the Kootenays. was profound, and no one could have witnessed this game 
without becoming convinced that a deej) religious significance underlies at least 
one of the games of the American aborigines. 

AA^'icHiTA. Oklahoma. 

In the story of " The Thunderbird and the Water Monster." as 
related by Dr George \. Dorsey," the hand game is described as the 
great gambling game of the people of these times. The wagers were 
generally large, people sometimes betting their lives and weapons, 
in the former case the winners taking the lives of the losers. 


XiSKA. Xass river. British Columbia. 

Dr Franz Boas " describes the following game : 

Leha'l : the guessing game, in which a bone wrapped in cedar-bark is hidden 
in one hand. The player must guess in which hand the bone is hidden. 


Chinook. Shoalwater bay. Washington. 
James G. Swan " says : 

Another game is played by little sticks or stones, which are rapidly thrown 
from hand to hand with the skill of experienced jugglers, accompanied all the 
while by some song adapted to the occasion, the winning or losing the game 
depending on being able to guess correctly which hand the stick is in. This 
game can be played by any number of jiersons and is usually resorted to when 
the members of two different tribes meet, and is a sort of trial of superiority. 
Before commencing the game the betting begins, and each article staked is 
put before the winner, and whoever wins takes the whole pile. 

Chinook. Xear Fort Vancouver. Washington. 

.Paul Kane '' says : 

The one most generally played consists in holding in each hand a small stick, 
the thickness of a goose quill and about an inch and a half in length, one plain 

- The Mythology of the Wichita, p. 102. Washinston. 1004. 

" Fifth Report on the Indians of British Columbia. Report of the Sixty-fifth Meeting of 
the British .Association for the .Advancement of Science, p. 582, London. 1S95. 

■• The Northwest Coast, p. 158, New York. 1857. 

''Wanderings of an .Artist among the Indians of North America, p. 189, London, 1S59; 
also the Canadian Journal, v. iii, no. 12, p. 2TG, Toronto, July, 1S53. 


and the other distinguished by a little tliread wound round it, the opposite party 
beiug required to guess in which hand the niarl;ed stitlc is to be found. A 
Chinooli will play at this simple game for days and nights together, until he has 
gambled away everything he possesses, even to his wife. 

Chinook. Columbia river, Oregon. 
John Dunn "^ says : 

One of their usual games is this : One man takes a small stone, which he 
shifts from hand to hand repeatedl.v, all the while hninming a low, monotonous 
air. The bet being made, according as the adversary succeeds in grasping the 
hand which contains the stone he wins or loses. The game is generally played 
with great fairness. 

Ross Cox " says : 

Their common game is a simple kind of hazard. One man takes a small stone, 
which he changes for some time from hand to hand, all the while humming a 
slow, monotonous air. The bet is then made, and according as his adversary 
succeeds in guessing the hand in which the stone is concealed, he wins or loses. 
They seldom cheat, and submit to their losses with the most philosophical resig- 

Clatsop. Month of the Cohimliia river, Oregon. 
Lewis and Claris;'' give the following account: 

The games are of two kinds. In the first, one of the company assumes the 
office of banker and plays against the rest. He takes a small stone about the 
size of a beau, which he shifts from one hand to the other with great dexterity, 
repeating at the same time a song adapted to tlie game, which serves to divert 
the attention of the company ; till, having agreed on the stake, he holds out his 
hands, and the antagonist wins or loses as he succeeds or fails at guessing in 
which hand is the stone. After the banker has lost his money, or whenever he 
is tired, the stone is transferred to another, who in 
turn challenges the rest of the company. 

Wasco. Hood river, Oregon. (Cat. no. 

60471, Field Columbian Museum.) 

Four bone cylinders (figure 364), from leg 

bones, yellow and polished fi-om use and 

age, 3 inches in length; two wrapped in 

Fig. 364. Bones for hand two places bv a buckskin thong in a groove 

^o tH^s:'^^::. ^hich has been cut in for the reception of 

cat. no. 60471. Field Coium- the band. On each end of the marked 

bian Museum. i c ^ i ... 

bones are five deep, sharp incisions. 
These were collected in 1900 by Dr George xV. Dorsey, who says: 

The game is tlukuma. The unmarked bone is cola, " man." and the marked 
bone, skaguilak, " woman." The marks on the end of bones are yakimutema. 
The counters, wowuk. were burned upon the death of the owner's brother. 

" The Oregon Territor.v, p. 93, Philadelphia, 1845. 
'The CoIiimbi.T River, vol. 1. p. W2. London. 1S31. 

"" History of Ihe Expedition under the Command of Lewis and Clarli, v. 2, ii. 7S4, New 
York, 1803. 

Li lis] 


2 S3 


\ViXTUN. Califoruia. (Cat. no. ^^ , American Museum of Natural 
History. ) 

Four bones (figure 305). 21 inches in length, two tied in the middle 
with cord and two plain. Collected in 1902 
by Mr Howard Wilson, who gives the name (" ^^== 
as dam. 


EuMSEN. Monterey. California. 
J. F. G. de la Perouse « says : 

The other game.* named toussi. is more easy ; they 

play it with four, two on each side; each in his turn 

hides a piece of wood in his hands, whilst his partner 

malces a thousand gestures to take ofif the attention 

of the adversaries. It is curious enough to a stander-by 

to see them s(iuatted down oi)i)OSite to each other, keep- 
ing the most i)rofound silence, watching the features 

and most minute circumstances which may assist them 

in discovering the hand which conceals the piece of 

wood; they gain or lose a point according to their guess- 
ing right or wrong, and those who gain it have a right to hide in their turn; 
the game is 5 points, and the common stake is beads, and among the independent 
Indians the favors of their women. 

Fig. :^'i. Bonesforhand 
game; lengrt^h, 2i inches; 
Wintun Indians. Cali- 
fornia: cat. no. jjq-, 
American Museum of 
Natural History. 


Eskimo (Labrador). Ungava. 

Mr Lucien M. Turner " says : 

The yonng girls often play the game of taking an object and secreting it 
within the closed hand. Another is called upon to guess the contents. She 
makes inquiries as to the size, color, etc., of the object. From the answers she 
gradually guesses what the thing is. 


Calapoota. Siletz reservation. Oregon. (Cat. no. 63605. Field Co- 
lumbian Museum.) 

Four bones (figure 366). 3J inches in length and 1 inch in diameter 
at ends, two with a leather band around the middle and two 
plain. Ten counting sticks of willow. 8f inches in length, 
pointed at one end, with a black burned band at top. 

° a Voyage round the World in the years 1785. 1786, 1787. and 1788, v. 2, p. 224, 
I^ondon. 1798. 

"See p. 472. 

'Ethnology of the Ungava District. Eleventh Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnol- 
ogy, p. 255, 189-J, 



[ETH. ANN. 24 

These were collected by T. Jay Biifort, who gives, under the name 
of ithlacum, the following account of the game : • 

Any number of players come together, at which time two captains choose 
sides. Then the captains ilivide the bones, each talking one white and one 
marlied bone. The players sit facing each other with the counting sticks lying 

between tbem. By lot they 
decide which side sliall play 
first. The successful man will 
talie a In me in each band, 
holding them in front of him, 
and will exchange them so 
rapidly that the bystanders 
are supposed not to know 
which hand has the marked 
bone. Then holding l>oth 
hands still in front of him, 
exposing the ends, an opposite 
man makes a guess by point- 
ing at the hand which he 
thinks contains the white 
bone. The hands are then 
opened, exposing tlie bones to 
full view. If the gncsser has 
pointed to the marked bone, he loses, and one of the markers is inunediately 
placed to the credit of the player. If be guesses the white l)one, he wins, and 
one of the markers is placed to his credit. Then he proceeds to shuffle the bones 
for the opposite side to guess. 

The amount of the stake played for is generally arranged on a series of 
12 games, each side putting up the amount collectively, and the winning side 
dividing at the end of the game. This does not prohibit anyone, however, from 
betting on a single game or on one band, which is often done as the game 

Kiowa. Oklahoma. 

Mr James Mooney " 
follows : 

Pig. 366. Bones and counting sticks for hand game; length 
of bones, 3i inches: length of sticks, 81 inches; Calapooya 
Iu4ians, Siletz reservation, Oregon; cat. no. 63605, Field 
Columbian Museum. 


lescril)es tli<' liaiid yanic of the Kiowa as 

The name do-a signifies the tiiii game; from do, tipi or house, and "a," a 
game, because, unlike most of their games, it is played inside the tipi, being 
essentially a game for the long nights when the whole trilie is assembled in the 
winter camp. A similar game is found among nearly all our wild tril)es ; it is 
played by both sexes, but never together. In its general features it resembles 
our game of " hunt the button." the pla.vers forming a circle around the fire of 
the tipi, one-half of them playing against the others, sitting facing tliem on the 
opposite side of the fire. The leader of one party then takes the k'fiibo, or 
button, a short piece of stick wrapped around the middle with a strip of fur, 
and small enough to be concealed in the hand. Tutting his closed hands 
together, he raises his arms above his head, clasps them across his chest, or 
lints them behind his back, endeavoring to pass the k'lilbo from one hand to 
iinother, or from his own hand to that of his next partner, without being per- 

" Calendar Hlstor.y of the Kiowa Indians, 
American Ethnology, p. 348, 1898. 

Seventeenth Annual Report of the Bureau of 


ceived by any of the opposite party, all tlie while keei>inf!; time to the luoveiuents 
of his hands with one of the iiecuiiai' <l6-a songs, in which the members of his 
party join. 

When the opposing player thinlvS he has detected in which hand the other 
has concealed the stick, he indi<'ates it with a peculiar .lerk of his tlunub and 
index finger in that direction, with a loud Tsoq ! (Comanche for "That!") ; if 
he has guessed correctly, he scores a certain number of points, the account being 
kept by means of a bundle of greeu-painted tally sticks. He then takes the 
k'lilbo and begins a similar set of movements In time to, another song, in which 
his partners join ; so the game goes ou far into the night, until the contest 
is decided and the stakes won by one side or the other. It is a most animated 
and interesting game, of which they are very fond, and frequently at night in 
the winter camp the song chorus nia.v be heard from several games in progress 
simultaneously, tlie high-pitched voices of the women in one tipi making a 
pleasing contrast to the deeper tones of the men in another. 

Mr Mooney gives a picture of the doa game from a Kiowa calendar 
[figure 3(JT], which lie describes as follows: 

Winter 1881-82. Imdadoil-de Saia. 'Winter when they played the do-A. 
medicine game." This winter is noted for a great do-S game played under the 
auspices of two rival leaders, each of whom claimed to 
have the most powerful "medicine" for tlie game. The 
game was played in the winter camp on the Washita, near 
the mouth of Hog Creek, the Kiowa leader being Pa-tepte, 
" Buffalo-bull-coming-out," alias Diitekan. now dead, . . . 
while bis opponent was tlie Apache chief and medicine 
man Diiveko. The Kiowa leader was recognized distinc- 
tivel.v as liaving " medicine " for this game, and it was 
said that he could do w;onderful things with the " button," 
making it pass invisibjy from one hand to another while he 
held his hands outstretched and far apart, and even to 
throw it up into the air and cause it to remain there sus- 
pended invisibly until lie was read.v to put out his hand 
again and catch it : in other words, he was probably an 
expert sleight-of-hand performer. His Apache rival. Dii- 
veko, is known as a medicine man as well as a chief, and Fig. asT. Hand game; 
is held in considerable dread, as it is believed that he can kill ^iowo- Indians. Okla- 
. , a.. . . .,_ t -t ^ ^ -1- ^ . ^ ^. . -, homa: from a Kiowa 

by shooting invisible darts from a distance into the body „„i„„j„„. *,.„„ 

of an enemy. On this occasion he had boasted that his Mooney. 
medicine was superior for the do-ii game, which did not 
prove to be the case, however, and as the Kiowa medicine man won the victory 
for his party, large stakes were wagered on the result and were won by the 
liiowa. It is said that this was a part of Pa-tepte's effort to revive the old 
customs and amusements on a large scale. The game was witnessed by a large 
concourse, all dressed and painted for the occasion. The picture on the Set-fan 
calendar is very suggestive. 


KuTENAi. Bonners Ferry. Idaho. (Cat. no. 51878. Field Columbian 

Two sets of bones (figure 368), one '2i inches in length and the other 
2f inches in length ; both about three-fourths of an inch in diam- 




eter, hollow, and with square ends. In each set one bone is 
wrapped around the middle with a leather band. 
These were collected in 1897 by D.r Cieorge A. Dorsey, who bought 
them from a Kutenai who belongs to a little rene- 
gade band living at Bonners Ferry. Doctor Dorsey 
writes : 

This Indian told me that among the ^Kutenai, or at any 
rate among his people, whenever they played this game 
they always had two .sets, thus obviating the necessity of 
passing the set bacli and forth from side to side, as would 
be the case if they played with but one set. In connection 
with these two Kutenai sets I send you some photographs I 
took of some Kutenai playing this game, taken on the 
Bitter Root river, near Flathead lake, Mont, [figures .369, 
370]. I saw the game played by several different parties among the Flathead 
Indians, with whom this band of Kutnai is more or less intimately associated. 

Kutenai. British Columbia. 

Dr A. F. Chamberlain " says : 

The Lower Kootenays are very much in love with gambling, which vice, through 
the efforts of the missionaries, has been entirely suppressed amongst the Upper 

Fig. 368. Bones for 
hand game; length, 
2j inches; Kutenai 
Indians, Idaho; cat. 
no. .51878, Field Co- 
lumbian Museum. 

F](.. ;^<i'.). Kutenai Indians playing hand game; Montana; from photugl-aph by Dr George A. 


Kootenays. In the gambling dance they chant Hal ya ! hai ya ! hai ya lie, 
repeated an infinite number of times, interspersed with yells of ho ho ! ha ha ! 

» Report on the Kootenay Indians of South-Eastern British Columbia. Report of the 
Sixty-second Meeting of the British .Association for the Advancement of Science, p. ."iGl. 
London, 1893. 




he be bai hail hf- he hai hai ! bn hii I etc. Another gambling refrain is i i i! 
ya e e e '. 

The gambling consists in guessing in wbicli liand one (on wbicli a ring of 
barlj is left) of two sticks of wood is hidden. The players sit in two rows 

Fig. 370. Kutenai Indians playing hand game; Montana; from photograph by Dr George A. 


facing each other, and a number of them keep beating on a log in front of them 
with sticks while the sticks are passed from hand to hand. From time to time 
some of the players sing or contort their limbs in various ways. 


Chtlkat. Alaska. 

Lieut. Frederick Schwatka, U. S. Army," says: 

The gambling game which they called la-hell was the favorite during the 
trip over the Chilkoot trail, although I understand that they have others not 
so complicated. This game requires an even number of players, generally 
from four to twelve, divided into two parties which face each other. These 
" teams " continue sitting about 2 or 3 feet apart, with their legs drawn up 
under them, a la Turque, the place selected being usually in sandy ground 
under the shade of a grove of poplar or willow trees. Each man lays a wager 
with the person directly opposite him, with whom alone he gambles as far as 
the gain or loss of his stake is concerned, although such loss or gain is deter- 
mined by the success of the team as a whole. In other words, when a game 
terminates one team, of course, is the winner, but each player wins only the 

"Along Alaska's Great River, p. 70, New York, 188.5. 


stake put up by his vis-;i-vis. A liiuiilful of willow sticks, 3 or -1 inches long, 
and from a dozen to a score in number, are thrust in the sand or soft earth 
between the two rows of squattint; saniblers. and by means of these a sort of 
runninj;; record or tally of the game is keirt. The implements actually employed 
in f;ambling are merely a coui)le of small bone bobbins, as shown [in lifjure MTIJ. 
of about the size of a lady's penknife, one of which has one or more bands of 
black cut around it uear its center and is called the king, the other being pure 
white. At the commencement of the game one of the pla.vers picks up the bone 
bobbins, changes them rapidly from one hand to the other, sometimes behind 
his back, then again under an .ipnm or hat resting on his lap, during all of 
which time the whole assembly are singing in a low measured melody the 
words, ■■ Oh ! oh ! oh ! Oh. ker-shoo, ker-shoo ! "' which is ke|)t up. with their 
elbows flapping against their sides and their heads swaying to the tune, until 
some player of the opposite row, thinking he is inspired, and singing with 
unusual vehemence, suddenly points out the hand of the juggler that, in his 
belief, contains " the king." If his guess is correct, his team picks up one of 
the willow sticks and places it on their side, or if the jug- 
gler's team has gained, any one of their sticks uuist be re- 

/r j-j gier s team uas gaineu. any one or ineu' sucks umsr ne re- 

IJ O U placed in the reserve at the center. If he is wrong then, the 

. other side tallies one in the same wa.v. The bone " king and 

U y queen " are tlieu handed to an Indian in the other row and 

Fig. 371. Bones for the same ])erformance re]ieated, although it may be twice as 

hand game: length. ]„„„ ,,i. i,.,if ,,<, short, as no native attempts to discern the 

2in(:hes: Chilkat In- , , ^ ^ ^i ,. , ■ ,, x-, , ^ , , i , i_. 

,. . ' , . . whereabouts of the king until he feels he has a revelation 

Schw'atka. t" tl^^t effect, produced by the incantation. A game will last 

anywhere from half an hour to three hours. Whenever the 
game is nearly concluded and one party has gained almost all the willow sticks, 
or at any other exciting point of the game, they have methods of " doubling up " 
on the wagers by not exchanging the bobbins, but holding both in one hand or 
leaving one or both on the ground under a hat or apron, and the guesses are 
about both and count double, treble, or quadruple, for loss or gain. They 
wager the caps off their heads, their shirts off their backs, and with many of 
them, no doubt, their prospective pay for the trip was all gone before it was 
half earned. 

Again, he says: " 

Another article freely orouglit to us was the pair of small bone gambling 
tools so characteristic of the whole northwest country. They have been 
described when speaking of the Chilkat Indians, and I saw no material differ- 
ence in their use by this particular trilie. 

Tlinoit. Alaska. (Cat. no. ^?-j. American Mnseiim of Natural His- 

Set of four Ijones (figure 372) , solid and very old and stained, 1| 
inches in length, not entirely round, hut with a raised strip on 
one side. On two this strip has a fluted edge, ornamented with 
four circles, with interior dots. One of these is plain and the 
others are cut to receive a hand in the middle. One has a plain 
strip with two circles with interior dots and is perforated at one 
end, and the fourth a strip cut awaj' at the sides near the ends, 

"Along Alaska's Great River,/ p. 227, New York, 1885. 


HAXD game: pomo 


with four dots. The latter has two perforations at right angles 
and is cut to receive a band. Collected by Lieut. George T. Em- 
mons, U. S. Xavy, who desci-ibes the specimens as part of the 
paraphernalia of a shaman. 


Bones for hand game: length. 1; inihes: Tlingit Indians. Alaska: cat. no. j^^ 
Museum of Natural HistoiT. 


GuALALA. Sonoma county. California. 
Mr Stephen Powers " says : 

While nnioiig tlieGuahila I h:ul an e.xfellent opportmiitj- of witnessing the gam- 
blint; game of wi and tep, ami a description of the same, with slight variations, 
will answer for nearly all the tribes in central and southern California. . . . 
They gamble with four cylinders of bone about 2 inches long, two of which are 
plain and two marked with rings and strings tied around the middle. The 
game is conducted by four old and experienced men, frequently gray-heads, two 
for each party, squatting on their l<uees on opposite sides of the tire. They 
have before them a quantity of fine dry grass,' and, with their hands in rapid 
and juggling motion before and behind them, they roll up each piece of lx)ue in 
a little bale, and the opposite party i)resently guess in which hand is the marked 
bone. Generally only one guesses at a time, which lie does with the word " tep," 
marked one, " wi." plain one. If he guesses right for both the players, they 
simjily toss the bones over to him and his partner, and 
nothing is scored on either side. If he guesses right for 
one and wrong for the other, the one for whom he guessed 
right is '■ out," but his partner rolls up the bones for an- 
other trial, and the guesser forfeits to them one of the 
twelve counters. If he guesses wrong for both, they still 
keep on, and he forfeits two counters. There are only 
twelve counters, and when they have been all won over to 
one side or the other the game is ended. Each Indian then 
takes out of the stake the article which he or she deposited, 
togetlier with that pbiced on it. so that every one of the 
winning party comes out with double the amount he staked. 


Fig. 3T3. Bones for 
hand game; length. 
2J inches: Pomo In- 
dians, California, 
cat. no.20ll295. United 
States National Mu- 



Hopland, California. (Cat. no. 
United States National Museum.) 
Set of four bones (figure 373). 25 inches in length 
and one-half inch in diameter: interior hollow: two tied with 
thread about the middle and two plain. 

» The Tribes of California. 
Washington. 1.S77. 

Contributions to North American Ethnology, v. 3. p. 1S9, 

24 ETH- 








If ) 


-ii!rr- ■) 

Collected by Mr C. F. Briggs, who states that they are used by the 
Pomo and all other Indians in that part of California. 

PoMO. Ukiah. California. (Field Columbian Museum.) 
Cat. no. 61144. Four cylindrical bones (figure 374) from legs of 
mountain lion, 3 inches in length ; two bound with native twine, 
which passes through the tube and back under 
wrapping on outside of bone. Smooth and 
highly polished. 
The above specimens were collected in 1900 by 
Dr George A. Dorsey, who states that the native 
name is shoduwia. 

Sho equals " east : " du-wi equals " night." The game is 
played by fire light in sweat houses. — (J. W. II.) 

Cat. no. 61192. Four very old and highly pol- 
ished bones ( figure 375), 2^ inches in length, 
from the foot of the mountain lion. Two 
unmarked bones have on the side a row of excavated pits, 9 on 
one, 6 on the other. The other two bones are bound in the middle 
with native cordage, which passes also inside and outside the 
bone. Each of these latter has a circle of black dots near one 
end, one composed of 7 and the other of 9 dots. 
These specimens were collected by Ur J. W. 
Hudson in 1900, who gives the native name as coka, 
eastern. Doctor Hudson informed the Avriter that 
the pits or dots on the bones represent the king- 
fisher, bidama chata, the patron of the gamblers. 

Fig. 374. Bones for 
hand game; length, 
3 inches; Pomo In- 
dians, California: 
cat. no. fill44, Field 
Columbian Museum. 

Ukiah valley, Mendocino county, California. 


Dr J. W. Hudson describes shoka (coka), east- 
ern game, the usual liaiul or grass game. 

The guesser, when calling tep. guesses that the plain 
bone is in the hand in front of the player. If correct he 
takes the bones. When calling \vi, he means the bound 
bone is in the hand in front. This tribe always keep one 
of their hands in front and one behind when juggling the bones. ,\ caller can 
call ko, both, which means that he guesses at both opiiouents, and the hands are 

Fig. 375. Bones for 
band game: length, 
2i inches: Pomo In- 
dians, C'alifornia; cat. 
no. 61192, Field Co- 
lumbian Museum. 



The call tso'-lo-pa, flicker-head band, means 

A " ko," or tso'-lo-pa. if correct, wins both opponents' bones. " Tep," or " wi " 
call refers to the opponent pointed at only, and the other partner must win back 
the bones lost before the game can proceed in the orthodo.x way or lose his play. 
The following archaic calls are very rarely heard in the hand game : 

U'yu equals the high one, the wi bone, or kai-ye' ; or nau-wa-tca-tcim equals 
sit-behind-hlm. Ka-tu'-shel equals the short one, the tep bone. 


PoMo. Nabatel village, Mendocino county. California. (Cat. no. 
54472, Field Columbian Museum.) 

Four highly polished cylindrical bones, 2| inches in length, fi'om 
the foot of the mountain lion ; two bound in the center by ten 
or more wraps of native cord, which there passes in each direc- 
tion and enters the hollow of the bone. 
This is the most highly j^olished set ever seen by the collector, 

Dr George A. Dorsey (1899), who gives the native name as coka, 

eastern. Another set (cat. no. 54473), similar to the above, is 2^ 

inches in length. 

Upper Lake, Lake county, California. (Field Columbian 


Cat. no. 54468. Two bone cylinders (figure 376), 3 inches in length, 
one an eagle bone, wrapped with cordage which jjasses through 
and back outside the bone. The unmarked bone is one from a 
mountain lion's foot. Both bones are highly polished and very 

Cat. no. 54470. Two bone cylinders, 2f inches in length, similar to 

Cat. no. 54469. Two eagle-bone cylinders, 3 inches in length, one 
wrapped with native cordage, nine wraps, which 
passes through and back to center over ends. f) ) 

Cat. no. 54471. Foui' cylindrical bones, 2| inches 

■ in length, from the legs of wildcats. Two '^ *~~ 

'^ , -,, . . . . J. , 4 1, Fio. 376. Bones for 

wrapped with twine in center or bone. All hand game; length, 
highly polished and worn smooth. 3 ii'<=i»e^; P°"o !«■ 

.,,»■,, . ■11 • 1 dians, California: 

All 01 the above-described specimens were col- cat. no. 54468, Field 
lected in 1899 by Dr George A. Dorsey. who gives Columbian Mu- 
the native name as duweka at Ukiah. 

Upper Lake, Lake coimty, California. (Cat. no. 61215, Field 

Columbian Museum.) 
Two Ijones, eagle-wing tubes, each about 3 inches in length, one of 
them wrapped as follows: Eight times around the center with 
native cord, which also passes out to the end of the tube and 
back to the other end, then inside the tube and back to the center 
on the outside. 
These were collected in 1900 by Dr J. W. Hudson from Captain 
Jim Bucknell, a noted Indian character. 


Rlamath. Upper Klamath lake, Oregon. (Cat. no. 37496, Free 
Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsjdvania.) 

Four solid bones (figure 377), 3 inches in length, two wrapped about 
the middle with cord cemented with black gum ; six willow 
counting sticks (figure 378). pointed at one end and painted 



red; length, 7 inches. Collected in I'JOO by Dr Cieurge A. 

Fig. 377. 

Fig. 378. 

Pig. 377. Bones for hand game: leugtli, 3 inches: Klamath Indians, Oregon: cat. no. 37496, Free 

Maseum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 
Pig. 37H. Counting sticks for hand game; length, 7 inches; Klamath Indians, Oregon; cat. no. 

37496, Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

Klamath. Upper Klamath lake, Oregon. (Cat. no. fiUllG, p^ield 
Columbian Museum.) 

Pour solid bones (figure 379), 3 inches in length, and tapering to 
each end. Two of the bones have wound about their centers 
several wrappings of a buckskin thong; all of them are deco- 
rated, the two plain ones having on one side of one end a double 
cross, while the marked bones have at one end an incision 

Pig. 379. Bones for hand game; length, 3 inches; Klamath Indians, Oregon; cat. no. 61616, Field 
Columbian Museum; from Dorsey. 

running around the bones, from which spring two parallel in- 
cised spirals, terminating under the wrappings. The set of 
bones is accompanied with twelve neatly made decorated wooden 
pins, 8J inches long. 
Collected in 1900 by Dr George A. Dorsey, who describes the game 
under the name of loijaas : " 

The two marked bones are known as skfltash, tied around, or hfshuaksh. 
male, while the unmarked bones are solsas. female. The twelve sticks serve 
as counters, kshesh. 

" Certain Gambling Games of the Klamath Indians. American .\nthropologlst, u. s., 
T. 3, p. 22, 1901. 


Continuing, Doctoi- Dorsey says: 

In connection with the hand game there should be mentioned a lozenge-shaped 
stone [figure 3S0], me;isuriiig 2^ inelies lung by li inches in breadth and an 
inch in thicliness. This stone, with several others similar in shape, was found at 
Klamath falls, near the foot of Klamath lake, and was obtained by me from a 
merchant as I was leaving the reservation. The person from whom I procured 
the specimen said that a number of Klamath Indians had seen the stone and 

Fig. 'Ml Stones for hand game; lengths, 1 ! to 2J inches: Klamath Indians, Oregon; cat. no. 61772,. 
Field Columbian Museum; from Dorsey. 

bad unanimously declaretl that it was formerly used in playing the hand game. 
It was not possible for me to verify this .statement, but from the shape of the 
stone and from my inability to see to what other use it could have been put, I 
am inclined to the Ijelief that it had been used in the hand game. 

Modoc. Yainax subagency, Klamath reservation, Oregon. (Cat. 

no. 61814, I-i'ield Columbian Museum.) 
Two slender, tapering wood pins (figure 381), (if inches in length, 
one marked with two burnt bands and the other plain. 


Fig. 381. Sticks for hand game; length, 6} inches; Modoc Indians, Oregon; cat. no. 61814, Field 

Columbian Museum. 

They were collected by Mr R. C. Spink, who describes them as used 
in the hand game under the name of seloogoush and schme. 


YoKUTS. Little Sandy creek, Fresno county, California. (Cat. no. 

70866, Field Columbian Museum.) 
Four hollow bones, 3 inches long, two wrapped with cord about the 
middle and two plain. 


These were collected by Dr J. W. Hudson, who describes them as 
used in the grass game. 

YoKUTS. Tule River reservation, Tulare county, California. (Cat. 

no. 70379, Field Columbian Museum.) 
Four sticks, If inches long and one-fourth inch in diameter, two 
plain and two painted black, with loops for tying to the fingers, 
and ten unpeeled maple counting sticks, 9 inches in length 
(figure 382). 
These were collected by Dr J. W. Hudson, who describes them as 
used in the game called tatat : 

Played by two persons, each of whom has a pair of sticks, one white and one 
blacli ; one player puts his hands behind him and rings two of the four Augers 
on his right hand with the cords attached to the two sticks. He then brings 

Pig. 382. Sticks and counters for hand game; length of sticks, I3 inches; length of counters, 9 
inches: Yokuts Indians, Tule River reservation, Tulare county, California; cat. no. 70379, Field 
Columbian Museum. 

out his hand, covering the fingers with his left hand. The opposite player 
endeavors to guess whether the black or white stick is nearest the thumb or 
whether the two sticks are attached to adjoining or separated fingers. 


Chowchilla. Grant Springs, Mariposa county, California. 

Dr J. W. Hudson describes these Indians as playing the hand 
game under the name of hinawu : 

The bound bone is called ti-yii-u-ni (female) ; the plain, nQng-a (man). 
Ten counting sticks, hO-hO, are used. The call gesture is net, " there ! " 

They also play a game called hu'-sa, in which one guesses which hand hides 
a bidden seed or nut. 

TopiNAGDGiM. Big creek, Tuolumne county, California. (Field 

Columbian Museum.) 
Cat. no. 70216. Four bones (figure 383), 3f inches in length, two 

wrapped with leather thongs and two plain. 
Cat. no. 70217. Three bones (figure 384). ^ inches in length, two 

wrapped with thongs and one plain; incomplete set. 




Cat. no. 70232. Ten counting sticks of peeled wild cherry, sharpened 
at one end, 15 inches in length. 
All collected by Dr J. W. Hudson, who describes them as used in 
the ofrass eame. Each side has ten counting sticks. 

Fig. .383. 

Fig. 384. 

Fig. 385. 

Fig. 383. Bone3 for hand game; length, 3^ inches; Topinagugim Indians, Tuolumne county, 

California; cat. no. 7U21(i. Field Columbian Museum. 
Fig. :fe4. Bones for band game; length, 3^ inches; Topinagugim Indians, Tuolumne county, 

California; cat. no. 70217, Field Columbian Museum. 
Fig. 385. Bones for hand game; length, 2J inches; Topinagugim Indians, Tuolumne county, 

California: cat. no. 70218, Field Columbian Museum. 

Topinagugim. Big creek, Tuolumne county, California. (Cat. no. 

70-218, Field Columbian Museum.) 
Four bones (figure 385), split panther femur, 2| inches in length, 

two bound with thongs. 
These were used by women. They were 
collected by Dr J. W. Hudson. 

Fig. 386. Sticks for peon; length, 
3i inches; Papago Indians, Ari- 
zona; cat. no- 63521, Field Colum- 
bian Museum. 


Papago. Mission of San Xavier del Bac, 
Pima county, Arizona. (Cat. no. 
63521, Field Columbian Museum.) 
Implements for peon game (figure 386), 
consisting of three slender sticks, 3f 
inches in length, painted red, black, 
and yellow, each with a finger loop of colored cloth, the red with 
a black loop, the black with a white loop, and the yellow with a 
red loop. Collected by Mr S. C. Simms. 

Pima. Gila River reserve, Sacaton agency, Pinal county, Arizona. 
(Cat. no. 63300, Field Columbian Museum.) 

Implements for a guessing game (figure 387), consisting of three 
slender round sticks, about 13i inches in length, each with a 
loop of cotton cloth tied to one end, and the other end painted 



black for a distance of -ii inches; accompanied with twenty count- 
ers, fragments of twigs, about 2i inches in length. 
These were collected by Mr S. C. Simms, who gives the name of the 
game as wahpetah. and states that it is jilayed by six persons, three 
on each side. The players on one side conceal the sticks under their 
arms, putting a finger into each loop, the other side guessing whether 
they have the sticks under the right or the left arm. 

Fig. 387. Sticks for wahpetah; length, 13} inches; Pima Indians, Arizona; cat. no. 63300, Field 

Columbian Museiim. 

PiMA. Arizona. 

Dr Frank Russell " describes the following game: 

Viiputta. — Any miinlK'r (jf playtTs may pai-tioipate. hut they ave under two 
leaders who are selected hy toss. Each draws up his men hi line so that they 
face their opponents. A goal about 50 yards distant is inarlied out. and the 
game l)egins. A small oh.lect, usually a circular piece of pottery such as are so 
common about the ruins of the Southwest, is carried around behind the line by 
a leader and placed in the hands of one of his men. The opposite leader guesses 
which man holds the object. If he guesses wrong, the man at the end of the 
line in which the object is held, who stands farthest from the goal, runs and 
jumps over the upheld leg of the man at the opposite end of his line. This 
moves the winning line the width of one man and the length of a jump toward 
the goal. If the first guess is correct the object is passed to him and there is 
no jumijing until a guess fails.'' 


KoNKAU. California. (Cat. no. ^^j, American Museum of Natural 

History. ) 

Four bones (figure 388). hollow, two closed with wooden plugs and 

wound in the middle with cord, the other two plain; length, 2f 

to 3 inches. Collected by Dr Roland B. Uixon. 

Mr Stephen Powers ' relates a myth of the Konkau in which their 

culture hero, Oankoitupeh (the Invincible), overcame Haikutwoto- 

peh at gambling in a guessing game, and won back his grandfather's 

» In a forthcoming memoir to he piililished by the Bureau of American Ethnology. 
'' The object is called rs.'iiki, slave. It is 40 or .jO mm. in diameter, is pitted in the cen- 
ter '• to prevent cheating," and may he of either pottery or stone. 

' Contributions to North American Ethnology, v. 3, p. 298, Washington, 1877. 




tiibe, which the hitter had lost to Haikiitwoto)3eh thruiig:h trickery. 
The original game is described as follows: 

They had four short pieces of bone, two plain and two marlied. They rolled 
them up in little halls of dry grass; then one of the players held up one of 

Pig. 38X. Bones for liand trame: length. 2) to 3 inches; Konkau Indians, California; cat. no. jfSi. 
American Museum of Natural History. 

them in each hand, and the other held up his. If he matched them he counted 
2; if he failed to match them the other counted 1. There were sixteen bits of 
wood as counters, and when one got the sixteen he was the winner. 

Maidu. California. (Cat. no. tuS^q? American Museum of Natural 

History. ) 
Four hones (figure 389), 2i inches in length, two plain and hollow, 
and two tied around the middle with thongs and plugged at the 
ends. Collected by Dr Roland B. Dixon in 1903. 
Dr Dixon refers to the game with bones in his Maidu Myths." and 
describes the adventures of two ^youths, the sons of a girl and Cloud- 
Man, created out of two bunches of feathers, and called Always- 
eating, and Conqueror, or Winner. After a series of exploits, killing 

Fig. 389. Bones for band game: length, 2} inches: Maidu Indians, Califoi-nia: cat. no. jSgj, 
American Museum of Natural History. 

rattlesnakes, wood bugs, elk, and eagles. Conqueror gambles with an 
opponent, who has a passage through his body and can pass the 
gambling bones through this from one hand to the other. Conqueror 
with the help of the Sun closes this passage, and opens one in his own 
body, thus winning back his people, who have been lost to his oppo- 
nent. At the opening of the game the stakes are the players' eyes. 

In another story, a variation of the preceding, the person with 
whom the hero plays is designated as Old-North-Wind. The stakes 
are eyes and hearts. The hero wins as before. 

" Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, v. 17, pt. 2, p. 51, New Yorls, 


Maiuu. Slitters fort, Sacramento valley. California. 
Edwin Bryant " says : 

The game which they most generally play is as follows : Any number which 
may be concerned In it seat themselves crosslegged on the ground in a circle. 
They are then divided into two parties, each of which has two champions or 
players. A ball, or some small article, is placed in the hands of the players on 
one side, which they transfer from hand to hand with such sleight and dex- 
terity that it is nearly impossible to detect the changes. When the players 
holding the balls make a ])articular motion with their hands, the antagonist 
players guess in which hand the balls are at the time. If tlio guess is wrong, 
it counts 1 in favor of the playing jtarty. If the guess is right, then it counts 
1 in favor of the guessing party, and the balls are transferred to them. The 
count of the game is kept with sticks. During the progress of the game all con- 
cerned keep up a continual monotonous grunting, with a movement of their 
bodies to keep time with~lheir grunts. The articles which are staked on the 
game are placed in the center of the ring. 

NiSHiNAM. Mokolumne river. Eldorado county. 1"2 miles south of 
Placerville, California. 
Dr J. W. Hudson describes the grass game playetl hy this tribe 
under the name of helai (hele=maternal cousin) . or tep and wo : 

The bones are made of the ulna of a panther. Jlai'dulv (man I. the liound 
bone; kii'-le (woman), the plain bone; team'-he-lai (maternal third cousins). 
the ten stick counters, each of which represents a value fixed upon them before 
playing. Hat ! the gesture and call. 

In Todd valle}' Doctor Hudson found the game played under the 
same name in the usual manner, but the plain bone was called toloma, 
penis, and the ])ound bone, pekon. vulva. 
■ California. 

Mr Stephen Powers " says : 

The most common mode of gambling (hi'-lai), used by both men and women. 
is conducted by means of four longish cylinders of bone or wood, which are 
wrapped in pellets of grass and held in the hand, while the opposite party 
guesses which hand contains them. These cylinders are carved from several ma- 
terials, but the Indians call tlieni all bones. Thus they have the phrases 
pol'-loani hi'-lai bin. toan'-cni bi'-lai bin. du'-iiem hi'-lai bin. gai'-a hi'-lai Inn, 
which means, respectively, to gamble with buckeye bones, pine bones, deer bones, 
and cougar bones. There is a subtle difference in tlieir minds in the quality of 
the game, according to the kind of bones employed, but what it is I can not 
discern. This game, with slight variations, prevails pretty much all over Cali- 
fornia, and as I had opportunitj' of seeing it on a much larger scale on Gualala 
creek, the reader is referred to the chapter on the Gualala [see p. 2891. 

The su'-toh is the same game substantially, only tlie pieces are shaken in the 
hand without being wrapped in tlie grass. . . . 

The ti'-kel ti'-kel is also a gambling game for two men, played with a l>it of 
wood or a [lebble, which is shaken in the hand, and then the Iiand closed upon it. 
The oi)ponent whicli finger (a thumb is a finger with them) it is under, 
and scores 1 if he hits, or the other scores if he misses. They keep tally with 
eight counters. 

« What I Saw in California, p. 268, New Yoik, 1848. 

'Contributions to North American Ethnology, v. 3, p. 332. Washington, 1877. 

ciLiN] HAND game: nisqualli 299 

Ololopa. California. 
A. Delano" says: 

Another is with two small pieces of bone, one of which is hollow. These they 
roll iu a haudful of grass, aud to.ssiug them in the air several times, accompanied 
with a monotonous chant, they suddenly pull the ball of grass in two with tlie 
hands, and the antagonist guesses which hand the hollow bone is in. They 
have small sticks for counters, and, as they win or lose, a stick is passed from 
one to the other till the close of the game, when he who has the most sticks is 
the winner. They will sometimes play all day long, stopping only to eat. 


Bellacoola. British Columbia. (Cat. no. 18396, 

18397, Field Columbian Museum.) 
Two bones from two sets, S^^ inches in length, 

and three-fourths of an inch in diameter at 

the middle: rounded at ends. Neither bone ^'°- f"- ^on^s for 

hand game; length, 

is marked (figure 390). Collected by Capt. 3^ inches: Beiiacoo- 

SamUelJaCObsen. " la Indians, British 

Columbia; cat. no. 

Clallam. Washington. , 18396 18397 Field Co- 

^ ... lumbian Museum. 

A Clallam boy, John Raub, described this tribe 
as playing the hand game with four bones, under the name of slahal. 

The four bones are used, two plain and two with a black mark around the 
middle. The former are called swai-ka, " man," and the latter sla-ni. " woman." 

NisQUALLi. Washington. 
George Gibbs' says: 

There are several games, the principle of which is the same. In one a small 
piece of bone is passed rapidly from hand to hand, shifted behind the back, etc.. 
the object of the contending party being to ascertain in which hand it is held. 
Each side is furnished with five or ten small sticks, which serve to marlc the 
game, one stick being given by the guesser whenever he loses, and received when- 
ever he wins. On guessing correctly, it is his turn to manipulate. When all 
the sticks are won. the game ceases, and the winner receives the stakes, consist- 
ing of clothing or any other articles, as the play may be either high or low, for 
simple amusement, or in eager rivalr.v. The backers of the party manipulating 
keep up a constant drumming with sticks on their paddles, which lie before 
them, singing an incantation to attract good fortune. This Is usually known as 
the game of hand, or, in jargon, It-lu-kam. . . . Each species of gambling 
has its appropriate tamahno-iis. or. as it is called upon the Sound. Skwolalitud. 
that is, its patron spirit, whose countenance is invoked by the chant and noise. 
The tamahno-us of the game of hand is called by the Nisqually, Tsaik ; of the 
disks, Knawk'h. It would seem that this favor is not merely solicited during 
the game, but sometimes in advance of it. and perhaps for general or continued 

"Life on the Pl.ains. p. 307, Auburn, 1854. 

'Tribes of Western Washington and Northwestern Oregon. Contributions to North 
American Ethnology, v. i. p. ^06, Washington, 1877. 


In his Dictionary of the Nisqualli he gives hihal or slahal as the 
name of both the game of hand and that played with disks. Again, 
olahal, or olahalub, means to play. 

Okinagax. AVashington. 
Capt. Charles Wilkes " says : 

The chief amusement of the Okonagan tribes of Indians in the winter and 
during the heat of the day in summer, ^fhen they are prevented from talking 
saimon, is a game called by the voyageurs " Jeu de main," equivalent to our 

Alexander Ross '> says : 

The principal game is called tsill-all-a-eome, differing but little from the chall- 
chall played by the Chinoolis or Indians along the seasoast. This game is played 
with two small oblong polished bones, each 2 inches long, and half an inch in 
diameter, with twenty small sticks of the same diameter as the bones, but about 
9 inches long. 

The game does not set any limits to the numl)er of players at a time, provided 
both sides be equal. Two. four, or six. as may be agreed upon, play this game; 
but, in all large bets, the last number is generally adopted. When all is ready 
and the property at stake laid down on the spot, the players place themselves 
in the following manner: the parties kneel down, three on one side and three 
on the other, face to face and about S feet apart ; and in this position they 
remain during the game. A piece of wood is then placed on the ground between 
them ; this done, each player is furnished with a small drum-stick, about the 
size of a rule, in his right hand, which stick is used for beating time on the 
wood, in order to rivet attention on the game. The drumming is always accom- 
panied with a song. The jilayers, one and all, muffle their wrists, fists, and 
fingers with bits of fur or trapping, in order the better to elude and deceive their 
opiionents. Each party then takes one of the two small polished bones, and ten 
of the small sticks, the use of which will hereafter be more fully explained. In 
all cases the arms and body are perfectly naked, the face painted, the hair 
clubbed up, and the head girt round with a strap of leather. The party is now 
ready to begin the game, all anxious and on the alert : three of the players on 
one side strike up a song, to which all keep chorus, and this announces the com- 
mencement. The moment the singing and drumming begin on one side the 
greatest adept on the other side instantly takes the little polished bone, con- 
ceals it in one of his fists, then throws it into the other, and back again, and .so 
on from one fist to the other, nimbly crossing and recrossing his arms, and 
every instant changing the position of his fists. The quickness of the motions 
and the mufRing of the fists make it almost impossible for his opponents to 
guess which hand holds the bone, and this is the main point. While the player 
is maneuvering in this manner, his three opponents eagerly watch his motions 
with an eagle's eye, to try and discover the fist that contains the bone ; and the 
moment one of them thinks he has discovered where the bone is, he points to it 
with the quickness of lightning : the player at the same time, with equal rapid- 
ity, extends his arm and opens his fist in the presence of all ; if it be empty, the 
player draws back his arm and continues, while the guesser throws the pla.ver 
one of the little sticks, which counts 1. But if the guesser hits upon the fist 
that contains the bone the player throws a stick to him and ceases playing, his 

" Naii-ative of the United States Esplorins Expedition, v. i, p. 462, Philadelphia, 1.S4.5. 
<• Adventures of the First Settlers on the Oregon or Columbia River, p. 308, London, 




opponent now going through the same operation : every miss counts a stifle on 
either side. It is not the best of tln-ee. i)ut three times running: all the stieUs 
must be on one side to finish the game. I liave seen them for a wliole week at 
one game and then not conclude, and I have known the game decided in six 

It sometimes happens, however, that after .some days and nights are spent in 
the same game, neither party gains : in that case the rules of the game provide 
that the number of players be increased or diminished ; or, if all the players be 
agreed, the game is relinquished, each party taking up what is put down : but 
so intent are they on this favorite mode of passing theij- time, that it seldom 
happens that they separate before the game is finished : and while it is in 
progress every other consideration is sacrificed to it : and some there are who 
devote all their time and means solely to gambling; and when all is lost, which 
is often the case, the loser seldom gives way to grief. 

Penelakut (Lilmalche). Kiiper island, southeast of Vancouver 
island, British Columbia. (Cat no. IV A 2375, Berlin Mu- 
seum f iir Volkerkunde. ) 
Two bone cylinders, 2f inches in length, with incLsed patterns, as 
shown in figure 391; both wrapped with fine cord about the 

Fig. 391. Fig. 392. Fig. 393. 

Fig. 391. Bones for hand game; length, 3i inches; Penelakut Indians. Kuper island, British 

Columbia; cat. no. IV A 237.5, Berlin Museum fiir Volkerkunde. 
Fig. 392. Bones for hand game: length, 2} inches; Penelakut Indians, Kuper island, British 

Columbia; cat. no. IV A 2:i76, Berlin Museum fiir Volkerkunde. 
Fig. 393. Bones for hand game; length, 2) inches; Penelaknt Indians, Kuper island, British 

Columbia; cat. no. IV A 2377, Berlin Museum fiir Volkerkunde. 

Kuper island, southeast of Vancouver island, British Colum- 
bia. (Cat. no. IV A 2376, 2377, Berlin Museum fiir Volk- 
Two sets of bone cylinders : 
Cat. no. 237G. Two cylinders (figure 392), 24- inches in length, with 
incised rings, central dot at the ends, and one incised line around 
the middle. 
Cat. no. 2377. Two cylinders (figure 393), 2f inches in length, both 
with incised rings with central dot at ends, and one with central 
band of similar rings, with incised lines on both sides. 
All these specimens were collected by Capt. Samuel Jacobsen, who 
gave the anme of the game as slahall. 



[ETH. ANN, 24 

PuYALLUP. Cedar river. Washington. (Cat. no. 55923, 55924, 55933, 
5593-1:, Field Columbian Museum.) 

Four .sets of gambling bones of two each (figure 394 a, 6, c, d), 2f 
inches long and an inch in greatest diameter, one in each set hav- 
ing incised lines painted black around the middle, and all 
marked with incised circles painted red and black. Collected 
by Dr George A. Dorsey. 


1 ■"■•;,■ 

;© ■.■■4 
I- .pi 

■■V*J [1.-, I 

o & 

Fig. 394 a, b, c, d. Bones for hand game: length, 2} inches; Puyallup Indians, Cedar river, 
Washington; cat. no. 55923, 359^. 35933. S.W:}!, Field Columbian Museum. 

Shf.swap. Kamloops, British Columbia. 

Dr Franz Boas " says they play the well-known game of lehal. 

SoNGiSH. Near Victoria, British Columbia. 
Commander R. C. Mayne ^ says : 

I liave only seen two games played by them, in both of which the ob.iect was to 
guess the spot where a small counter happened to be. In one of these games 
the counter was held in the player's hands, which he kept swinging backwards 
and forwards. Every now and then he would stop, and some one would guess in 
which hand he held the counter, winuing, of course, if he guessed right. The 
calm intensity and apparent freedom from excitement with which they watch 
the progress of this game is perfect, and you only know the intense anxiety they 
really feel by watching their faces and the twitching of their limbs. 

The other game consisted of two blankets spread out upon the ground, and 
covered with sawdust about an inch thick. In this was placed the counter, a 
piece of bone or iron about the size of half-a-crown, and one of the players 
shuffled it about, the others in turn guessing where it was. These games are 
usually played by ten or twelve men. who sit in a circle, with the property to be 
staked, if, as is usual, it consists of blankets or clothes, near them. Chanting is 
very commonly kept up during the game, probably to allay the excitement. I 
never saw women gamble. 

Thompson Indians. British Columbia. 

Mr James Teit <" says : 

Another very common game, played principally by men, was the " guessing 
game " (known to the whites as " lehal "' I. Many Spences Bridge women used to 
play it, and had a dilferent song for it from that of the men. Lower Thompson 

° Sixth Report on the Northwest Tribes of Canada. Report of the Sixtieth Meeting of 
the British .\ssociation for the Advancement of Science, p. 641, London. 1891. 

'' Fcmr Yciirs in British Columbia and \'ancouver Island, p. 275. London. 1862. 

' The Thompson Indians of British Columbia. Memoirs of the American Museum of 
Natural History, v. 2, p. 275, New York, 1000. 




Pig. 395. Bones for hand 
game; length, 3 inches; 
Thompson Indians, British 
Columbia; cat. no. rh^t, 
American Mu.seum of Natu- 
ral History. 

women seldom or never played this game. The players knelt in two rows, 

facing one another. Each side had two short bones [figure .395], one of which 

had a sinew thread tied around the middle. The side playing passed these 

bones through their hands, the opposite side having 

to guess the baud of the player which held the plain 

bone. The side playing sang a " lehal " song to the 

accompaniment of drums. They generally kept 

time by beating sticks on the floor or on a board. 

Sometimes neither drums nor sticks were used, but 

they simply sang. Many of the players wore over 

their knuckles pieces of weasel or other skin, from 

which bung many thin strips of buckskin [figure 

39(j]. Some of these skin covers reached up to the 

wrist, where they were fastened. Other players used 

strings set with fawn's hoofs around the wrists to 

make a rattling noise. This game is still often pla.ved by the young men. 

A note continues : 

The stake was generally valued at 12 counters, which were represented by 
12 sticks. Each party had 6 of these counters. When one party guessed wfong 
they forfeited a counter, which was thrown over to the party opposite. When 
one uf the parties guessed right, the gambling bones were thrown over to them, 

;ind it was their turn to sing and to hide 
the bones. When one party won all the 
counter.-i. the game was at J'.n end. When 
:i large numlier of gaml)lers toi>k part in 
the game, two pairs of gambling bones 
were used. 

Mr Charles Hill-Tout '■ says : 
Gambling was also a favorite pastime 
here as, elsewhere. The game known 
as rtplq was that commonly practiced. 
Much betting went on among the pla.vers. 
and all bets were made and " booked ' 
lief ore the game commenced. The method 
of " booking " was primitive. The ob- 
jects staked were simply tied or fastened 
iiame was over, the winner then taking his 

Fig. 396. Knucklt'-cuvering for hand-game 
players: length. 6 inches; Thompson In- 
dians, British Columbia; cat. no. jjl^. 
American Museum of Natural Historv. 

together and set on one side till the 
own and his opponent's property. 

TwANA, Washington. (Cat. no. 19T48, 19749, Field Columbian 

Set of two bones (figure 397). 2J inches in length and 1^ inches in 
diameter at the middle, the ends flat. The hollow interior of 
the bones is plugged with wood. One has a line of incised dots 
encircling it at each end, and the other (the marked one) similar 
lines of dots at the ends and three lines of dots around the mid- 
dle. On one side the head of an animal is incised on the opposite 
sides of the line. Collected by Rev. Myron Eells. 

" Notes on the N'tlaka'pamuq of British Columbia. Report of the Sixty-ninth Meeting 
of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, p. 507. London, 1900. 


Mr Eells" describes a game among the Twana jilayed with one or 
two small bones as follows : 

The young men and older boys play this most. The players sit opposite each 
other about C feet apart, from one to six or more on a side, each party in front 

of a long pole. Then one person takes one or 
both of the bones in his hands and rapidly 
changes them from one hand to the other. One 
person on the opposite side guesses in yhlch 
hand one is. If only one bone is used, he 
guesses which hand it is in. and if both are 
used, he guesses in which hand a certain one is. 
If he guesses aright, he wins and plays next; 
but if not. he loses, and the other continues to 
Fig. 397. Bones for hand game; ^ y^.^^^^^ ^.^^^ ^^^ j^ playing, the rest of 

length, 3t inches; Twana Indians, 

.Washington; cat. no. 19748, 19749, '"* P^'^^i' t'eat with a small stick upon the 
Field Columbian Museum. larger one in front of them, and keep up a 

regular sing-song noise in regular time. Small 
sums are generally bet in this game, from 50 cents to $1.50. Different ones 
play according as they are more or less successful. Sometimes they grow so 
expert, even if the guess is right, that the one playing can change the bone to the 
other hand without its being seen. 

Elsewhere ^ Mr Eells says : 

The tally is usually kept by two of the players, one for each side, with sticks 
8 or 10 inches long, sharpened at one end and stuck in the ground. These 
sticks are moved according to the success of either party. A modifietl form of 
this game is played by using two larger bones or pieces of wood. One of these 
is marked in some way, either with a string tied around the middle of it, a 
carved circle, or if it be of wood the bark may be removed except in the middle, 
where a zone is left. When the small bones are used, it is optional whether 
one or two be employed, but when they play with the larger ones it is neces- 
sary that both be used, for if the player has but one it would plainly be seen 
in' which hand it was. 


Nez Perces. Idaho. 

It is related by Lewis and Clark : "■ 

The Indians divided themselves into two parties and began to play the game 
of hiding a bone, already described as common to all the natives of this country, 
which they continued playing for beads and other ornaments. 

Cai^t. B. L. E. Bonneville '' gives the following account : 
The choral chant, in fact, which had thus acted as a charm, was a kind of 
accompaniment to the favorite Indian game of " Hand." This is played by two 
parties drawn out in opposite platt)ons before a blazing fire. It is in some 
respects like the old game of passing the ring or the button, and detecting the 
hand which holds it. In the present game the object hidden, or the cache as it 

° Bulletin United States Geological and Geographical Survey, v. 3, p. 89, Washington, 

'The Twana, Chemakum. and Klallam Indians of Washington Teriitor.v. Annual Report 
of the Smithsonian Institution tor 1887, p. 648, 1889. 

*■ History of the Expedition under the Command of Lewis and Clark, v. 3, p. 1008. 
New York. 1893. 

** The Adventures of Captain Bonneville, V. S. A., by Wasliiugton Irving, p. 376, New 
York, 1860. 

cuLix] HAND game: UMATILLA 305 

is called by the trappers, is a small splint of wood or other diiiiinntivo article. 
that may be concealed in the closed hand. This is passed backwards and for- 
wards among the party " in hand," while the party " out of hand " guess where it 
is concealed. To heighten the excitement and confuse the guessers, a number of 
dry poles are laid before each jjlatoou, upon which the members of the party " in 
hand " beat furiously with short staves, keeping time to the chural chant already 
mentioned, which waxes fast and furious as the game proceeds. As large bets 
are staked upon the game, the excitement is prodigious. Each part.v in turn 
burst out in full ch<irus, beating and yelling and working themselves up into 
such a heat that the perspiration rolls down their naked shoulders, even in the 
cold of a winter night. The bets are doubled and trebled as the game advances, 
and all the worldly effects of the gamblers are often hazarded upon the position 
of a straw. 

Nez Perces. Lapwai reservation, Idaho. (Cat. no. 60-147, Field 
Columbian Museum.) 

Four bones (figure 398), 3 inches in length, highly polished and 
yellow with age, two with a leather band one-half inch wide. 
The bones are hollcw and resemble a shaft of a human fenuir. 
These were collected by Dr George A. Dorsey, who gives the native 

name as lokhom. 

Southern Alberta. 

Rev. John Maclean " says : 

The Xez Perces have a game which I have oftentimes seen played among the 
Blackfeet. although not in the same fashion, which is guessing with a small 
piece of wood. Instead of a single pair, as among the 
Blackfeet, the Nez Perces arrange themselves in two 
parties, sitting opposite to each other, and a small 
piece of wood is passed from hand to hand of the 
other party, the members of which guess, until when 
rightly guessed, they become the possessors of the 
article. While the game is in motion, the parties and 
those not engaged in the game are betting, and some 
of these bets are quite large. Meanwhile the contest- 
ants sing a weird chant, beating on any article with 
short sticks which will produce a noise. Singing, ^^ 398. Bones for hand 
beatmg time, guessing, rolling and swaying the body, game; length, 3 inches; Nez 
in a continual state of excitement, the game proceeds Perce Indiana, Idaho; cat. 
until the one party defeats the other members op- ""• ^^''' ^^"^^ Columbian 
posed to them. The onlookers, whites and Indians, 

become deeply interested in the game, and share in the excitement, watching it 
eagerly, and animated by the furious motions of the parties in the game. 

Umatilla. Umatilla reservation, Oregon. (Cat. no. 37536, 37537, 
Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsyl- 

Four bone cylinders (figure 399), three-fourths of an inch in diam- 
eter and 3 inches in length, slightly tapering to ends, two 

" Canadian Savage Folk, p. 42, Toronto, 1896. 
24 ETH— 05 M 20 



wrapped with a thong in the niitklle. Twenty willow counting 
sticks (figure 400), jjointed at one end, 10 inches in length. 
These were collected by the writer in 1900. 

The bones are called tsko-ma ; the marked one wa-laki-ki, and the unmarked 

The game was observed by the author at the Fourth of July camp 
on the Umatilla reservation in 1900." 

In the center of the open space was a large square pavilion Imilt on posts, 
covered with green boughs, and sheltertd on one side from the sun by .voung 
evergreen trees stuck in the ground. . . The women sat in two rows facing 

each other, up and down one side of the lodge, the remaining space being occupied 
by groups of men playing cards and by spectators. The stakes, consisting of 
blankets, silk handkerchiefs, sti-ings of glass beads, and money in considerable 

Fig. am. 

Fig. 4IK). 

Fig. ;^99. Bones for hand game; lengtli, '^ inches: Umatilla Indians. Umatilla reservation, 
Oregon: cat. no. 37.586, Free Museum of Science and Art. University of Pennsylvania. 

Fkj. 4<)(). Counting sticks for hand game; length, 10 inches; Umatilla Indians, Umatilla reser- 
vation, Oregon: cat. no. 87.5.37, Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

amounts were deposited in a pile between the rows. There were 12 women on 
each side. Four bones, about 3 inches long, two having a black band around the 
center and two plain, were manipulated by one of the youngest and most vigor- 
ous of the women who occupied the center on each side. The side holding the 
bones would sing and sway their arms and hands rhythmically in unison. The 
two sides sang different and not alwa.vs the same one. The refr:iiii was 
very pleasing. . . . The object seemed to be to guess which player along the 
line had the lioncs. the oiiposite side leader indicating her choice by a sudden 
sideway motion of her hand. The counts were kept with 20 sticks, each side 
having 10. which were stuck in the ground in two rows before the princip;)! 
player. .\11 the participants bet on the result, and at the close of the game, one 
or the other side having gained the entire 20 sticks, the winner would divide the 
winnings according to the indi^-idual bets. The game seemed interminable, first 
one side winning and then the other, and throwing over one or more willow 
counting-sticks. The men card players used small sticks as counters. 

°A Summer Trip Among the Western Indians. Bulletin of the Free Museum of Science 
and Art. v. 3. p. 100. Philadelphia, 1901. 

ciLiN] HAND game: bannock 3U7 

Yakima. AVashingtoii. 

Jack Long informed the writer that the Yakima call the hand 
game paliote, and that the Klikitat use the same name, while the 
Dalles Indians call it pesoguma. The Yakima call the marked bone 
walakaki and the white one plush, while the Klikitat call them 
gouikiha and tgoj^e, respectively. 

Pandosy " gives the following definition : 

To play with the hand, pa-li-osha. 


AcHOMAWi. Hat creek, California. (Cat. no. yxfi, American Mu- 
seum of Natural History.) 
Four very small sticks (figure 401) about 1-J inches in length, one 

plain and the other three marked with very fine lines in the 

These were collected in 1903 by Dr Roland B. Dixon, who gives the 
name as yiskukiwa, and says they are used the same as the bones or 
sticks in the regidar grass game. Dr J. W. Hud- 
son gives the name of the hand game played by 
these Indians as ishkake, and describes the game as 
played with one plain bone and three marked bones. 

Fall river, Shasta county, California. _ ,„, _.. , , 

' • Pio. 401. sticks fop 

Dr J. W. Hudson describes the following game: hand game; length, 

U inches; Achomawi 

An ovoid stone (bam, stone), .3 inches long, is hidden in Indians, Hat creek, 

the hand behind the bacl< b.v either of two men, and the California; cat. no. 

location in one of the four hands is guessed at by the *■"■ American Mu- 
™. . . . ,,.,.,. . , seum of Natural 

opposing side. This stone is used to juggle m the air, and History 

is also considered an amulet of great power. The game is 

played by men. In every male grave eairn is found one or more sets of these 

stones. Women are afraid of them. 


Bannock. Rossfork agency, Idaho. 

Mr Thomas Blaine Donaldson in a letter '' to the writer described 
the Bannock playing the game of hand, as witnessed by him on 
Thanksgiving Day in 1890. 

You may see the willow-sticli counters and the betares, or " beaters," with 
which the.v marked time on the sai)l!ngs liefore them as they chanted a song 
when the time came for the selected Indian to guess the " right hand " of his. 

Fort Hall reservation, Idaho. (Cat. no. 37062, Free Museum 

of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania.) 

" Grammar and Dictionary of the Yakama Language, New York, 1862. 
» February 25, 1901. 

w= — "- 





- I 




9 - 

- — 

- > 



Four bones (figure 402), 1 inch in diameter and 3 to 3{ inches in 
length; two wrapped with a broad leather band. 

Cat. no. 37064. Twenty willow sticks (figure 403), pointed at one 
end, 14 inches in length, used as counters. 
These were collected by the writer in 1900. The bones are called 


Fig. 403. 

Fig. 403. 

Fio. 402. Bones for hand game; length, 3 to 3i inches; Bannock Indians, Idaho; cat. no. 37062, Free 

Musetun of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 
Pig. 403. Counting sticks for hand game; length, 14 inches; Bannock Indians, Idaho; cat. no. :i70(i4. 

Free Mu-senm of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

Ban NOOK. Fort Hall reservation, Idaho. (Cat. no. 60926, Field 
Columbian Museum.) 

Four solid bones, 4| inches in length, beautifully polished from long 
use and yellow with age; two wrapped in the center with a 
piece of calico, black with dirt, and sewed with black thread. All 
the bones, near one end, have a constriction as the result of exca- 
vation when they were fashioned. At each end are two incised 
bands, like the cut of a sharp instrument. Accompanied with 
a long buckskin pouch case, with drawstring and fringe, the 
drawstring long enough to be fastened in belt. Collected by 
Dr George A. Dorsey, who gives the native name as niowin. 
Another set in the same collection (eat. no. 60925) consists of 
four leg bones, 2J inches in length and 1 inch in diameter. The 
bones are cut off square and much worn and polished. Two 
are wrapped in the middle with a piece of buckskin, black from 


usage. Acconijjaiiied by twenty uiidecorated counting sticks, 

made of cottonwood, three-eighths of an inch in diameter and 

13 inches long. 
Bannock and Shosiioni. Fort Hall agency, Idaho. (Cat. no. 

22284, United States National Museum.) 
Set of two bones (figure 404), 2J inches in length, solid and tajiering 

at ends, one wrapped with thread for a length of 1^ inches. 

Collected by W. H. Danilson, Indian agent. 

Comanche. Texas. 

Robert S. Neighbors" says: 

Their principal game is the same as all the northern 
bands, called " bullet." " button," etc., which consists 
in changing a bullet rapidly from one hand to the 
other, accompanied by a song to which they keep time 
with the motion of their arms, and the opposite party p,c 404 Bones for baud 
guessing which hand it is in. They sometimes stake game; length, 2} inches; 
all they possess on a single game. BannockandShoahoni In- 

dians, Fort Hall agency. 

Col. Richard Irving Dodge'' describes a ^^<^^°' "^^t- ""■ ^284, 

1 1-1 1 -1 1 1- ■ 1 • . United States National 

game somewhat like hide-the-slipper, in which Museum. 
an almost unlimited number may take part : 

Two individuals will choose sides, by alternate selection among those who 
wish to play, men or women. All then seat themselves in the parallel lines 
about 8 feet apart, facing each other. The articles wagered are piled between 
the lines. All being ready, the leader of one side rising to his knees holds up 
the gambling bone, so that all may see it. He then closes it in the two hands, 
manipulating it so dexterously that it is impossible to see in which hand it is. 
After a minute or more of rapid motion he suddenly thrusts one or generally 
both hands, into the outstretched hands of the person on the right and left. 
This marks the real commencement of the game, no guess of the other wateh- 
ing-side being permitted until after this movement. He may pass the bone 
to one or the other, or he may retain it himself. In either case, he continues 
his motions as if he had received it : passing or pretending to pass it on and on 
to the right and left, until every arm is waving, every hand apparently passing 
the bone and every player in a whirl of excitement. All this while, the other 
line is watching with craned necks and strained eyes for the slightest bungle 
in the manipulation, which will indicate where the bone is. Finally some 
one believes he sees it and suddenly points to a hand, which must be instantly 
thrust out and opened palm up. If the bone is in it the watching party wins 
one point, if not it loses. The other side then takes the bone and goes through 
the same performance. If during the manipulations the bone should be acci- 
dentally dropped, the other side takes a point and the bone. The game is usually 
21 points, though the players may determine on any number. 

" Schoolcraft's Information respecting the History. Condition, and Prospects of the 
Indian Tribes of the United States, pt. 2, p. 1.33, Philadelphia, 1852. 
" Our Wild Indians, p. 329, Hartford, 1882. 



Kawia. Indio, Riverside county. Califoniia. ( Cat. no. 63591, 

Field Columbian Museum. ) 
Four bones (figure 405), 3 inches in length, carved with inci'^ed 
lines, and four pieces of asphaltiun of similar size, all having 
thongs of deerskin with a loop, attached at the end. 
Collected h\ Mr S. C. Simms. who describes them as used in the 
game of peon. 

Pig. 405. Bones and sticks for peon; Kawia IndiaQS, Indio, Riverside (■<.>unty, California: cat. no. 
6.S591. Field Columbian Museum. 

Mono. Hooker cove, Madera county, California. (Cat. no. 71-143, 

71444, Field Columbian Museum.) 
Two sets of four bones each, in one set 3 inches and in the other 3^ 
inches long, with two bones in each set plain and two with bands 
of asphaltum. 
Collected by Dr J. AV. Hudson, who describes them as used in the 
grass game, hana. 

Big Sandy creek, Fresno comity, California. ( Field Colum- 
bian Museum.) 
Cat. no. 71227. Four willow wood cylinders (figure 4(»(i). 2J inches 
in length ; two with black cloth strip in middle. 

Pig. 4i»i. Pig. 407. 

Fio. 4()*i. Stick.s for hand game: length. 21 inches: Mono Indians, Fresno county, California: cat. 

no. 71Ji27, Field Columbian Museum. 
Fiu. 407. Beads and counters for hand game: Mono Indians. Fresnn county, California: 

711H0, Field Columbian Museum. 

Collected by Dr J. AV. Hudson, who describes them as used in the 
grass game, and says that they call the marked bone male, contrary to 
the usual custom in California. 

cfLix] HAND game: paiute 311 

Cat. 110. 71180. Two strings of glass beads, one of five beads, four 
wliite and one blue, and the other of six beads, four white iiud 
two blue, with ten counting sticks (figure 407). 
These specimens were collected by Dr J. W. Hudson, wlio described 

them as used only by women in a game called niiiikwibi, the object 

being to guess which hand contains the beads: 

One string is held by each of the two partners. The beads are called o-\ve'-a, 
literally, "' excitement." Originally dyed acorns were nsed. 

Paiute. Pyramid lake, Nevada. (Cat. no. 37154, Free Museum of 

Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania.) 
Four bones of mountain slieep (figure 408), 3^ inches in length and 
three-fourths of an inch in diameter: two wound with black 
Collected by the writer in 1900. The bones are called quoip. mean- 
ing ■■ mountain sheep." The game is called tuipo. 

Fig. 4n». Fig. 4(19. 

Fig. 408. Bones for hand game; length, 3^ inches; Paiute Indians, Pyramid lake. Nevada: cat. 

no. 371.54, Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 
Fig. 409. Bones for hand game: length, 3^ inches: Paiute Indians, southern Utah; cat. no. 

10982. United States National Museum. 

Pyramid lake, Nevada. (Field Columbian Museum.) 

Cat. no. ()14!)0. Four billets of elk antler, 3f inches in length, pol- 
ished and worn smooth ; two bound in the center with a band of 
black leather one-half of an inch wide. 

Cat. no. (il504. Four solid bones, 4 inches in length, beautifully pol- 
ished with use: two bound with a black leather band. 

Cat. no. ()150('). Four solid bones, 'i^ inches in length; similar to 
next preceding. 

Cat. no. (>lol4. Eight sliarpened cottonwood counting sticks, 1-2 
inches long and one-half of an inch in diameter. 
All the above specimens were collected in 1900 by Dr George A. 

Dorsey, who gives the native name of the game as nayukpui and that 

of the counting sticks as semewawak. The players guess for the 

white lione (sumuyu). 

Southern Utah. ( Cat. no. 10956, 10959, 109Ci2, 10963, 10968, 

10969, 10970, 10975, United States National Museum.) 

Sets of bones of two each (figure 409), from 2^ to 4 inches in length, 
the ends sharply pointed: one bone in each set wrapped with 
sinew or buckskin. 
These were collected b}^ Maj. J. W. Powell. 



Mr J. K. Hillers. who was a member of Major PowelPs expedition.^ 
has furnished the writer the following account of the game played 
with the above-mentioned bones and counters: 

It is called ne aiig-puki, meauing to kill the bone (pu-ki means to kill ; aug 
or ong being the bone, and ne probably a personal prefix for my. the whole 
name being equivalent to " my bone to kill "). The " banker '" takes two bones, 
one with a string wound round the middle and the other plain, and places his 
hands behind his back. His side then chants for a minute or two, durin? which 

Fig. 410. Paiute Indians playing hand game; southern Utah; from photograph by Mr .1. Z. 

Hillers. a 

time he shifts the bones from one hand to the other. On " call." he brings 
both hands to the front, and crosses them on his breast. The callers now 
begin their chant. Suddenly one will extend his arm and point to the hand in 
whi<h he thinks the banker holds the marked bone, at the same time hitting his 
breast with the (jther hand. If the guess is correct, the guesser takes the bones 
after the " rake down." and the game continues until one side or the other has 
all the counters. 

" Reproduced (fig. 4t»t without text reference in .\Iaj. J. W. Towell's Exploration of the 
Coioradf^i liivei- of the West. Washington. 1875. 




Sabuba. California. (Cat. no. 61939, Field Columbian Museum.) 

Four hollow bones (figure 411), 2f inches in length, each having a 

cord, with a loop at the end, attached to a hole in the middle, 

and four pieces of charred twig, with similar cords tied around 

the middle. 

Collected by Mr Edwin Minor, who describes them as used in the 

game of peon : 

Peon is a very exciting game, played by four, six, or eight men, seated in two 

<iI)|X)sing lines. Eacb line holds a blanket in front. 

usually in the players' teeth, to hide the hands and the 

manipulation of the cylinders. Each player has looped 

lo each hand one bone and one wood cylinder. The game 

is to guess in which hand the bone cylinder is fixed. 

When a correct guess is made the cylinder must be 

passed over to the one guessing. When all the bone 

f-ylinders are secured by one side the game is won. 

All the men who are being guessed at keep up a con- 
tinual noise and make hideous grimaces to mystify their 

manipulations. Interested women stand by and sing 

fanta.stic and weird songs to encourage their friends. 

This game is often continued all night before either side 



Fig. 411. Bones and sticks 
for peon; Saboba In- 
dians, California; c-at. 

■ no. 6193H, Field Colum- 
bian Museum. 

Shoshomi. \\ ind River reservation, Wyoming. 
(Cat. no. 60751. Field Columbian Mu- 
Four solid bones, 5 inches in length, much used 
and yellow with age. two wrapped with 
coarse black thread ; also twenty counting sticks of cherry wood. 
18 inches long, with one end cut square off and the other 
sharpened to a long tapering point. 
These were collected in 1900 by Dr George A. Dorsey. who gives 
the name of the game as tenzok; of the marked bone as peganata. tie 
with string: of the unmarked bone, tesaivik, white one: of the coun- 
ter, tohok. 

Wind River reservation. Wyoming. (Free Museum of Science 

and Art. University of Pennsylvania.) 

Pig. 412. Bones for hand game; length, 3] mt lies, Shoshoni Indians, Wyoming; 36871, 
Free Museum of Stuence and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

Cat. no. 36869. Two polished bones, one covered in the middle for a 
third of its length with a band of buckskin; length, 3J inches. 

Cat. no. 36871. Two polished bones (figure 412). one wrapped in 
the center with a leather thong: length, 3f inches. 



Cat. no. 36872. Set of twenty counting sticks (figure -413), peeled 

willow twigs. 18i inches in length, sharpened to a point, with 

the bark left at the toiD for a distance of 4 inches. 

All these were collected in 1900 by the writer. The name of the 

game is tinsok; to play the hand game, nyahwint: the white bone, 

tonatat : the marked bone, 
tosabit. The counting sticks 
are called tohuc. 

Shoshoni. Idaho. 

Granville Stuart " gives un- 
der the term for " gamble or 
gambling," nyawitch : 

They take two pieces of bone 
made for the purpose, about 2J 
iiicbes loug and a fourth of an inch 
in thickness, one of which is cov- 
ered with some dark skin, except 
about half an inch at each end. 
Each jiarty then takes a certain 
number of short pieces of willow 
sharpened at one end, which they 
stick in the ground and use to count 
the game. They take the pieces of 
bone one in each hand and shift 
them about rapidly with various 
contortions :nid twisting about, ac- 
companied witli a kind of monoto- 
nous song which they sing in chorus, 
while some of them generally beat 
time with a stick on a dry pole. 
The opposite party (it is played by any number, seated in two rows facing each 
other) guesses which hand contains the black bone (or the white one as they 
agree at the commencement of the game). If they guess right, they get the 
bones, and wrong they give the other side a stick, who keep hiding the bones till 
It is guessed, when the ojiposite party takes it. and goes tlu'ougli the same proc- 
ess : whoever wins all the sticlvs wins the game. 

ToBiKHAR ( (tabrielenos ) . Los Angeles county, California. 
Hugo Ried '' says: 

Few games, and of a gambling nature. The principal one was called chur- 
ehflrki (or peon. Spanish). It consists in guessing in wliich hand a small piece 
of stick was held concealed, by one of the four persons who composed a side who 
sat opposite to each other. They had tlieir singers, who were paid by the victo- 
rious party at the end of the game. Fifteeen pieces of stick were laid on each 
side, as counters, and a person named as umpire, who. besides keeping account, 
settled the debts and i)revented cheating, and held the stakes. Each person 

" Montana as It Is. p. 71. New York. 1865. 

' Hugo Ried's Atcount of tlie Indians ol Los Angeles Co., C'al. Bulletin of the Essex 
Institute, V. 17, p. 17. Salem, 1885. 

Fig. 413. Counting sticks for hand game; length, 
18i inches; Shoshoni Indians, Wyoming: eat. no. 
36872. Free Museum of .Science and Art, Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania. 

CDLis] HAND game: YAMPA t'TE .315 

had two pieces of wood, oue black and one white. The white alone countetl. the 
black being to prevent fraud, as they had to change and show one in each hand. 
The arms were crossed and the hands hidden in the lap : they kei)t changing 
the pieces from one hand to the other. Should they fail to guess right, he lost 
his peon and counters allotted to the otliers. and so on until the corners were 
gone or all the peons killed, when the others had a trial. They bet almost 
everything they possess. The umpire provided the fine and was i)aid by the 

Uinta Ute. "UTiite Rocks, Utah. (Cat. no. 37113. Free Museum of 

Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania.) 
Four slender, highly polished bones (figure 41-1). 3i inches in length. 

Two bound with a strip of leather in the middle. Collected by 

the writer in I'JOO. 

Flii. 414. Bones for hand gami' : length, 31 inches: Uinta Ute Indians. White Rocks. Utah ; cat. 
no. .S711H. Free Mu-seum of Science and Art. University of Pennsylvania. 

Yampa Ute. Northwest Colorailo. 
Mr Edwin A. Barber " says : 

A row of players, consisting of five or six or a dozen men is arranged on either 
side of the tent, facing each other. Before each man is i)hKed a l)undle of 
small twigs or sticks, each fi to 8 inches in length and pointed at one end. 
Every tete-a-tete couple is provided with two cylindrical bone dice, carefully 
fashioned and highly polished, which measure about 2 inches in length and half 
an inch in diameter, one being white and the other black, or sometimes orna- 
mented with a black band. At the rear end of the apartment, opposite the 
entrance, several musicians beat time on rude parchment-covered drums. The 
whole assembly, sitting " Turk fashion " on the ground, then commence opera- 
tions. The pledges are heaped up near the players, and each couple soon 
becomes oblivious of all the rest. One of the gamblers incloses a die in each 
hand. and. placing one above the other, allows the upi)er bone to pass into the 
lower hand with the other die. This process is reversed again and again, 
while all the time the hands are shaken up and down in order to mystify the 
partner in the passing of the dice. The other man. during the iierformance. 
hugs himself tightly by crossing his arms and placing either hand under the 
opposite arm, and. with a dancing motion of the body, swaying to and fro. 
watches the shuffling of the dice with the closest attention. When this has gone 
on for a few minutes the latter suddenly points with one arm at the opijosite arm 
of his partner and strikes himself under that arm with the other hand. Which- 
ever hand of his rival he chooses is to be opened, and if the dice are in it, the 
guesser takes them and proceeds in the same manner. If. however, he misses, 
and the dice are not there, he forfeits one counter, and this is taken from his 
bundle and stuck into the ground in front of the other. Thus the game con- 
tinues until one or the other has gained every stick, when he is proclaimed the 
winner and carries off the stakes. During the entire game the players, as >vell 

"Gaming among the Utah Indians. The American Naturalist, v. 11. p. K51. Boston, 



as the niusioians, keep time to the aecompaniment in their movements, and 
chant tlie while a weird, monotonons tune (?■», which runs in this wise: 

With; agitation. 


^#J^#^ # J "- 


Ab, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah. ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, 




Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah. ah. 

ah, all, 



Ah, ah, 

ah, ah, 

ah, ah, 


\o words are sung. Init the s.yHal)le " ah " is pronounced in a winning, nasal 
tone for every note. The entire part.v Iceep excellent time, and are always to- 
gether, rising and falling in the scale with wonderful precision, since the tune 
itself is so devoid of melody that it is often difficult for a white man to acquire 
it. This monotonous chant is kept up for hours and even days, and the competi- 
tors seem never to grow weary. 


AssiNiBOiN. North Saskatchewan river, near Carlton, Saskatchewan. 
Mr Charles Alston Messiter informs me that the Assiniboin and 
Cree Indians of the Saskatchewan river, during his residence with 
them from 18G2 to 1864, constantly played the game of hand, using a 
bit of wood, pebble, or any small object. The man who held the 
pebble sang, but not those who played against him. Those in the 
audience, however, sang. There was no drumming. The score was 
kept by a row of wooden pegs 2 to 21 inches in length, which were stuck 
in the ground in front of each player. Each peg represented a skin. 
He had seen men lose horses, wife, and children on the game. 

Fort Union, Montana. 

Mr Edwin T. Denig " says : 

Ordinary gambling for small articles, such as beads, vermilion, rings, knives, 
arrows, kettles, etc., is carried on by playing the game of hand, which consists 
in shuttling a pebble from one hand to the other and guessing in which hand 
the pebble is. They all sit in a ring on the ground, each with whatever stake 
they choose to put up before them. Both men and women join in the game, 
and a song is kept up all the time by the whole, with motions of the hands of 
him who holds the pebble, .\fter singing about five minutes a guess is macV by 

° Report to Hon. Isaac 1. Stevens on the Indian Tribes of the Upper Missouri, 
lished manuscript in the library of the Bureau of American Ethnology. 



one of the parties as to which hand the pebble is in, and both bands are opened. 
If the guess has been correct, the one holding the pebble is obliged to pay ail 
the rest an equivalent to the stake before them, but if the baud not containing 
the pebble be picked upon, all the ring forfeit their stakes to him. Either one 
man can thus play against the whole, or he has it in his power to pass the 
pebble to the next, he betting like the others. This is a Tery common game, and 
a great deal of property by it daily changes hands, though seldom such large 
articles as guns, horses, or women. 

Maximilian. Prince of Wied," says : 

Many games are in use among these Indians ; one of these is a round game, in 
which one holds in his hand some small stones, of which the others must guess 
the number or pay a forfeit. The game is known also to the Blackfoot. 

Crows. Montana. 

Mr Charles Alston Messiter '' describes their favorite game of hand : 
The game consists in holding a shell in one hand, then placing both bands 
under a buffalo-robe, which is lying in front of all the players, who kneel in a 
circle, moving the hands about rapidly, changing the shell from one to the other 
and then holding them both up closed, your adversary having to say in which 
of them the shell is, losing a peg if he is wrong. A row of pegs stands in 
front of each man, who either takes one from or gives one to his opponent 
according to his loss or gain. These pegs represent so much, and everything 
an Indian possesses is valued at so many pegs — a wife so many, a horse so many, 
and so on. 

Dakota (Yankton). Fort Peck, Montana. (Cat. no. 37G0.5, Free 

Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania.) 
Implements for hiding game. Two sticks, cut square, If inches in 
length, one painted red, with two notches, the other black, with 
four notches (figure 415) ; accompanied by eight counting sticks 
(figure 416), peeled twigs, 5^ inches in length, painted black, 
one with two and one with four notches, the others plain. 
These were collected by the writer in 1900. 

Fig. 41.5. Fig. 416. 

Pig . 415. Sticks for hand game; length, 1 } Inches ; Yankton Dakota Indians, Fort Peck, Montana; 

cat. no. 37605, Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 
Fig. 416. Counting sticks for hand game ; length, 5J inches; Yankton Dakota Indians, Fort Peck, 

Montana; cat. no. 37605, Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

The game is called han'-pa-a-pe-e-con-pe, that is, " moccasin game." The 
stick with two notches is called non-pa-pa, and the one with four notches, 
to-pa-pa ; the counting sticks, can i-ya'-wa. The sticks are concealed in the 

"Travels in the Interior of North America, translated by H. Evans Lloyd, p. 196, 
London, 1843. 

"Sport and Adventures among the North-American Indians, p. 316. Londou. 1890. 


liands and the players bet on the red stick with two notches. The game is also 
played by concealing the sticks under moccasins. 

The following particulars about this game were furnished by Dr 
George A. Dorsey : 

Name of game, humpapachaiii ; stick with two notches, nnpahopi ; ^stick with 
four notches, topapahopi : general name for both as a .^et, hakenuchkcimi. 

HiDATSA. Fort Atkinson, North Dakota. 

Henry A. Boiler " says : 

Sometimes they gambled, playing their favorite game of Hand, in which they 
would get so excited that time passed unheeded. 


Haida. British Columbia. (Cat. no. 53007, Field Columbian 

Set of two bones (figure 417), 2^ inches in length, oval in section 
(five-sixteenths by nine-sixteenths of an inch), one with a deep, 
incised cut in the middle wrapped with dark-colored thread, and 
the other plain. 
These were collected by Dr George A. Dorsey from a Haida Indian 
at Rivers inlet, British Columbia. Doctor Dor- 
sey writes: 

This is the set of which I have already spoken to you 
as being of the greatest interest, inasmuch as one of the 
bones is so constructed that it can be made to show up 
either white or black. I saw the Haida playing this 
game at Rivers inlet, but I did not see this set in use. 

The false bone is made in two pieces, one of which 

slides on a shoulder over the other. When they are 

_ ,,, „ partly slipped apart, this shoulder, wrapped with dark 

Pig. 417. Bones (one •.'■■! 

false) for hand game; thread is revealed, giving the api)earance of the marked 

length,2s inches; Haida bone. 

Indians, Britisli Cohim- 

wa; cat. no. ij3097, Field Queeu Charlotte islands, British Colum- 

Columbian Museum. u- 

Dr J. R. Swanton ^ describes " doing secretly inside of blankets: " 
K litga' sLlgAfi. — The players formed two sides, stationed some distance 
apart; and the captain of one party, wearing a blanket over liis shoulders so as 
to conceal his movements, passed down his line of players and dropped a wooden 
or stone ball inside of the blanket of one of them. He did this in such a way as 
not to excite the suspicions of his opponents. After that he went away to some 
distance and lay down, so as not to cast suspicious glances at the one who had 
the ball. Then one of the opposite party who was good at reading character 
tried to discover from the players' faces who had it. When he had chosen one he 
said, " You throw that out: " and if he guessed correctly his side got it, and all 
of them cried "A' ga, a' ga ! " If he missed, the same thing was done over again. 

"Among the Indians: EiRlit years in the Far West, 1838-1866, p. 106, rhiladelphia, 

'Contributions to the Ethnology of the Haida. Memoirs of the American Museum of 
Natural History, whole series, v. 8, p. 60, New York, VMir*. 





Clayoqtjot. Vancouver island, British Columbia. (Berlin Museum 

fiir Volkerkunde.) 
Cat. no. IV A 1486. Two bones (figure 418), 3 inches in length, one 

wrapped with thong. 
Cat. no. IV A 1492. Two similar bones (figure 419), 3^ inches in 


Fig. 418. 

Fig. 419. 

Fig. 42(). 

Fig. 418. Bones for hand game; length. 3 ini'hes; Clayoquot Indians, Vanconver island, British 

Columbia; cat. no. IV A 14.%, Berlin Museum fiir Volkerkunde. 
Fig. 419. Bones for hand game; length, 3; inc^hes; Clayoquot Indians, Vancouver island, British 

Columbia; cat. no. IV A 1492, Berlin Museum fiir Volkerkunde. 
FlQ. 43(1, Bones for hand game; length, 3 and 31 inches; Clayoquot Indians, Vancouver island, 

British Columbia; cat. no. IV A 1493, Berlin Museum fiir Volkerkunde. 

Cat. no. IV A 1493. Two bones (figure 420), one flat at ends and the 
other with rounded ends marked with dice eyes, both unwrapped ; 
length, 3 and 3:^ inches. Collected by Capt. Samuel Jacobson, 
who gives the name as zoetjeh. 

KwAKiuTL. Fort Rupert, Vancouver island, British Columbia. 
(Cat. no. 21403. 21404. Free Museum of Science and Art, 
University of Pennsylvania.) 

Fig. 481. 

Fig. 422. 

Fig. 421. Bones for hand game; length, 2i inches; Kwakiutl Indians. Fort Rupert, Vancouver 

island, British Columbia; cat. no. 21403, Free Museum of Science and Art, University of 

Fig. 422. Bones for hand game; length, 2} inches; Kwakiutl Indians, Fort Rupert, Vancouver 

island, British Columbia: cat. no. 21404, Free Museum of Science and Art, University of 


Two sets of bone cylinders, composed of two each, one (21403) 2f 
inches long and If inches in diameter in the middle, rounded 
toward the ends. The orifices of the bone are plugged with wood. 
One is marked with three encircling lines in the middle and the 
other is plain (figure 421), The other set (figure 422, cat. no. 



21404) is of the same length, 1 inch in diameter at the middle, 
and about the same at the ends, and somewhat flat on four sides. 
One bone is wrapped with thread at the middle, where an in- 
cision is provided to receive it, and has thirty-two large incised 
rings arranged in pairs on opposite sides of the bands at equal 
distances around the bone. The other bone has no central band, 
and corresponding pairs of incised rings are arranged around it 
near the ends. 

These specimens were collected by Mr Harlan I. Smith, who gives 
the following account of the game : 

Two rows of players sit facing eacli otlier [figure 42."]. Each side has a 
drnm nnci all sing, to which many lieep time by pounding a board with sticks. 

Fig. 42:3. Kwakiutl liifliaus ]jl;iyiiig band game; Fort Rupert, Vaiieoiiver island, British 
Columbia; from photograph by Mr Harlan I. Smith. 

The latter is done by the row that hides the bones, while the others rest and 
watch. One man shuffles the bones, and at last one of the other side guesses in 
which band he holds the niarlied bone. A correct guess is counted with a 
sharp sticl;, and the other side talies the bones. When the guessers fail to 
guess correctly, I believe they go on without a change. They bet on the game 
a pile of clothes jtlaced in the center. 

Dr Franz Boas " gives the following: i 

A'laqoa. the well-known game of lehal. or hiding a bone; played with twenty 

" Si.tth Report on the Indians of British Columbia. Report of the Sixt.v sixth Meeting 
of the British Association for the .Advancement of Science, p. 578, London, 1896. 

cuLiN] HAND game: makah 321 

KwAKiUTL. British Columbia. 

Dr C. F. New combe gives the name of the hand game as alaxwa," 
of the bones as alaxwaxin. and of the counters as kwaxkhiwi. The 
nuirked bone is called kilgiuiala and the unmarked or winning bone, 

Tlipi'p nre two sides, generally a tribal or family division. Those not manip- 
ulatiiif; tlie bones. Init lielonging to tbe side which is, sing and drum. The 
guessing side is quiet until they win all the bones. Each side chooses a man to 
guess, and be watches the two opponents and endeavors to notify where tbe two 
plain bones are concealed. The following gestures are employed in guessing: 

Two arms rapidly sejiarated means that the plain bones are held in the outer 
hands of tbe pair working tlieni. 

The right hand with tlie forefinger extended, waved to right, means that tbe 
l)lain bones are held in bands toward right of guesser's person, thus — 




Tlic riglit band with forefinger extended waved to left means that tbe plain 
bones are held in bands toward left of guesser's person, thus — 




The right hand with forefinger extended, carried with a downward sweep 
between the two players, means that the plain bones are held in tbe inner 
hands, one in tbe right, and the other in the left hand of the players working 

Seven or ten counters are used. If tbe guesser indicates correctly both 
plain bones, both are thrown to his side, but no markers, and the opposite side 
now does tbe guessing. If be guesses one bone correctly it is thrown to him by 
its iilayer. but tbe guesser has to pay 1 marker for every guess. If he indi- 
cates wrongly both bones, the guesser pays the 2 sticks. The game goes on until 
all the sticks are won by either one side or the other. 

The following note on the Kwakiutl bones was made by Doctor 
Newcombe at Alert bay : 

There is no idea of sex in regard to these bones. That marked with a central 
zone is called kenoiaule. The plainer one is called lutzuianle. 

Makah. Neah bay. Washington. (Cat. no. 37379. Free Museum of 
Science and Art, Univer.sity of Pennsylvania.) 

Two hollow bones (figure 4-24), 3 inches in length and li inches in 
diameter, with decoration consisting of incised rings with ceur 
tral dot painted red, in two rows of 14 each at both ends. One 

" Ale = seek : xwa = gamble (with bone) ; xak = bone. 
24 ETH— 05 M 21 



bone is wrapped with u broad band of black leather. Collected 
by the writer in 1900. 
Dr George A. Dorsey " describes the game as follows : 

Soktis. — This is the well-liuovvn hand or grass game, 
of which two sets were collected. One set consists of 
four bone cylinders 2* inches long and three-quarters of 
an inch in diameter. Two of them have a groove about 
the centpr, one-half inch in width, which has been tilled 
with nian.v wrappings of black thread. The other set con- 
sists of two bones, the same length as those in the pre- 
ceding set. l)Ut with a diameter not quite as great. Both 
of the bones of this set are plugged at the end with a 
piece of wood, while into the other a rifle cartridge has 
been thrust. One of the bones has two grooves one- 
quarter of an inch in width and situated from each other 
about three-eighths of an inch. The center of the bone 
l.ving between these grooves is occupied by a l)and of 
nine circles, each one having a hole in the center. This 
set is beautifully polished from long handling and is 
yellow with age. The marked pieces in the Makah game 
are known as chokope or men, the unmarked being hayop 

or female. In playing they always guess for the female. The count is kept 

with twenty sticks (katsak). 

NooTKA. British Columbia. 

Dr Franz Boas * says : 

A guessing game is frequently played between two parties, who sit in two rows 
opposite cacli otlicr. One party hides a stone, the men ])a'ssing it from liand to 
hand. The other party has to guess where it is (t'ef et Ek'tlis). The following 
song, although lielimging originally to Cape Klattcry. is used all along the west 
coast of Vancouver island in pla.ving the game lehnl: 

Pig. 424. Bonesforhand 
game; length, 8 inches; 
ilakah Indians, Neah 
bay, Washington: eat. 
no. 37370, Free Museum 
of .Science and Art, 
University of Pennsyl- 










la wia 
la wia 

la - wia - 6 a 
as - qo - dak a 

la - will 
la - wia 


4b — ^-" =^^ 1 — N^ ^^^F^^**^ 








a - la - wia - 6 a 
Nac - wi - to - ah a 

a - la - wia - o a - la • wia - 6 a - la - wia - 6. 
a - la - wia - 6 a - la - wia - 6 a - la ■ wia. - Or 

I.e., I, Nacwitoah, have missed it. 


Washo. Carson valley and Lake Tahoe, Nevada. 

Dr J. W. Hudson says: 

The hand game, hi-nai-yau-kia, is played by any number, generally six to a 
side. The plain bone is called tek-ye'-e'-mi, and the bound bone ta-tai'-i-ta. 

" Games of the Makah Indians nf Neah nay. The American Antiquarian, v. 23, p. 71, 

"Second Oeneral Report on the Indians of British Columbia. Report of the Sixtieth 
Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, p. 590, London, 1891. 

cuLiN] HAND game: diegiteno 323 

Each side has five counters, me'-tem. The only signal is ha! and is directed to 

the opponent's hand, which is supposed to hold the telv-ye'-e'-nii, or plain l)one. 

Ta-tai'-i-ta, the male bone, is merely negative, being fumbled with the plain bone 

only to confuse the guesser. At the beginning both pairs of bones are held on 

one side, who begin to sing and slap sticks 

(their assistants and partners do the latter) 

on a board before them. Two only of the 

group manipulate the bones. The guessing 

opponents are silent, intently regarding the 

singers. At last one of the opponents 

stretches forth an arm and often with sev- 

, , . , . ■ 1 , ii FlO.425. Bones for hand game; length, 

eral frenzied gestures cries ha! at the same gjinehes; Huehnomludians.Eelriver, 
time waving his hand to indicate the location California; cat. no.zi:j94. United States 
of the plain bone. If successful, he takv.s the National Museum. 
bones, and if he guesses both opponents' 

hands correctly, not only the pair of bones are given him. but counters also. If 
a guesser happens to guess both plain bones, he receives two counters, and if he 
guesses right on one only, the one lie waves his hand at. he gets but one counter. 
If he misses both, he and his partner forfeit two counters. 


HucHNOJi. South fork of Eel river, California. (Cat. no. 21394, 

United States National Museum.) 
Four bones (figure 425), 3J inches in length, highly polished with 
use, two wrapped with cord about the middle and two plain. were collected by Mr Stephen Powers, who describes them as 
tep and we; tep, marked ones; we, plain ones. 

These are rolled up in pellets of dry grass, and the adversary guesses in 
which hand is the marked one. They Sf|uat on opposite sides of a tire, and 
keep up a continual chanting, with strange hissing sounds, which confuse the 
beholder. All the spectators bet on the game if they wish ; when one bets he 
la.vs down the article, and the one who accepts his bet covers it with articles of 
equal value, so when the game is done everyone in the victorious party has 
twice as much a.s he had at the beginning. The same names exist for these 
pieces in many tribes [see page 289]. 


DiEGUENO. San Diego, California. (Cat. no. 19757, United States 
National Museum.) 

Four hollow bones, 2^ inches long, to which are attached a thick 
coi-d about 13 inches in length, terminating in a slip noose, and 
four wooden twigs, 2^ inches in length, to which is tied a simi- 
lar noosed cord (figure 426). In the case of the bones the cord 
passes through a hole in one side and is secured with a knot. 
Also, fourteen counting sticks (figure 427) of grease wood, 
about 18 inches in length. 




These objects were collected by Dr Edward Palmer, who describes 
them as used in the game of peon. 

The following account of this game, as played by the Luisiiio 
Indians at Agua Caliente, from the Escondito Time*;. September 26, 
1888, was kindly furnished me by Doctor Palmer : " 

In the evening we again visited the camp. The cooking, eating, and games 
were in full swing. Candles were lit and stucli ai-ound in the most available 
places. Nearly all the white follis who were tenting or living at the springs 
were there to see the games, and especially the great game of I'eone. which we 
were told would lie played that evening. This g.uue is intensely interesting 
and a great favorite with this tribe. Each lieeper of the game is elected by the 
tribe, the same as we would a justice of the peace. When a game is to be 
made up he announces it in a loud voice. It takes eight players, four on a side, 
and as soon as the bets are made the keeper sits down in front of a small 
brush fire, takes the money from each side, carefully counting it o\er. Thev 

Fig. 42B. 

Fig. 427. 
Fig. 436. Stick.s and hones for peon: length of sticks. 2J inches: of hones, 2i inches: Dieguefio 

Indians, San Diego, California; cat. no. lllT.'jT. United States National Museum. 
Fig. 4"27. Counting .sticks for peon: length, is inches: Dieguefio Indians. San Diego, California: 

cat. no. 19757, United States National Museum. 

usually bet from two to three dollars each, making the fnll amount from 
twenty to thirty dollars. When the keeper is satisfied that each side has ptit 
in an equal amount, he goes over it carefully, holds it up so all are satisfied, 
ties it up in a handkerchief, and puts it inside of his shirt. Then he takes 
up twenty bamboo sticks, a foot long, counts them over carefull.v ; then takes 
eight pieces of bone, about an inch long, four white and four black : to each 
is attached a leather thong with a slip noose at the other end large enough 

"Doctor P,Tlmer writes (in a letter. June 2. 1890) : "The church fathers in 
forming the mission of San Luis Key gathered the Indians from various trilies. In time 
they became known as the San Luisifio Indians. .Vfterward in establishing the mission at 
Agua Caliente, in southern California, the fathers took the Indians from the mission of 
San Luis Key < the Luislnos), who. with the Dieguefio Indians. living near, were formed into 
a new mission. As the former predominated, their name was retained. This accounts tor 
both playing the sjime game." Doctor I'almer continues : ".\s members of all the tribes 
of southern California were mixed in forming the mission settlements, their respective 
games became common, to a greater or less extent, among them all. The fathers kept 
them, as far as possible, at work, and some curtailed or entirely prohibited the use of 
their native games, as they were considered as part of their heathen worship, whi'-h 
could not be tolerated. They were thus compelled to discard their tribal games, which 
are now seldom played." 


to go over the wrist. The point in the game is for one side to guess in 
which hand of each phiyer of the other side the white bone is. The sides 
arrange themselves opposite each other. They toss to see which has the 
innings. The umpire gives the bones to the successful side and commences to 
sing. The squaws of each side arrange themselves behind the players ; all are 
kneeling or sitting on their feet. Each side has a blanket stretched in front of 
their knees. The side having the bones grasp the side of the blanket in their 
teeth ; it thus forms a curtain, and behind it they slip the leathers over their 
wrists, without the opposite side seeing which hand the white bone is in. As 
they take the blanket in their teeth they join in the song with the umpire, 
swaying their bodies and making all sorts of grimaces with their faces. The 
squaws sing and keep time with them. The opposite side watches every motion, 
chatter and talk to each other, and the game becomes exciting as the four drop 
the blanket from their mouths and join in the song, in a louder key. with the 
squaws. They have their arms crossed, with their hands under their armjjits. 
The other side at once commences making all sorts of motions at them, pointing 
to each one, sometimes with one finger, then two, when finally one of them 
announces which hand the white bone is in of each of the four. If they guess 
them all. the umpire gives them four of the bamboo sticks as counters; and if 
they only guess one or two, then the ones they have not guessed go through the 
same motions until all are caught, when the other side takes the bones, and the 
performance goes on until one side gets all the counters, and the game is ended 
with a regular jubilee of the squaws and bucks of the winning side. The 
umpire, who has watched the game all thnnigh and whose decision on any dis- 
puted point is law, hands over the money to the winners, who are nearly 
exhausted, for it takes from three to five hours to play the game. During all 
that time they are singing and in motion alternately. They divide the money 
amongst themselves and the squaws of their side. The umpire decides at the 
top of his not feeble voice that he is ready to start another game. 

We should like to be able to picture the intense interest the visitors took in 
the game, the wild antics of the players, the umpire stolid and watching every 
motion, the fire burning between the players, lighting up their faces and bring- 
ing out in bold relief every expression of disgust or pleasure, making up a 
picture long to be remembered. To anyone wishing to break himself of the 
fascinating game of poker, we should reconmiend Peone. 

The g.ime of Peone, described last week, was kept up until about 2 o'clock 
Sunday morning. 

Mission. Mesa Grande, California. (Cat. no. 62538, Field Colum- 
bian Museum.) 

Fig. 428. Bones for peon; length, 21 inches; Mis.sion Indians, Mesa Grande, CaUfornia; cat. no. 
625.38, Field Columbian Museum. 

Four pieces of bone (figure 428), '2i inches in length, two tied with 
cords and two without cords; one perforated and the others 



Collected by Mary C. B. Watkins, who describes them as used in 
the peon game. 

Mohave. Colorado river, Arizona. (Cat. no. 10333, United States 

National Musfiuu. ) 
Five hollow worked bones, 2f inches in length and one-fourth of an 
inch in diameter (figure 429). The catalogue calls for six speci- 
These specimens were collected by Dr Edward Palmer, who fur- 
nished the writer the following account : 

These bones are made of the leg bones of 
the white crane. Six pieoes constitute the set, 
tlioro being two sides witli three pieces on a 
side, of diiiferent lengths. The game is to guess 
tlie length of the pieces held in the hands of 
the players. A very small end protruded 
throngli the fingers. As the opposite sides guess it is an animated game. 

Doctor Palmer adds : 

These bones are also used by the Yuma (Arizona) and the Cocopa (Sonora, 
Mexico), and the game is pla.ved by them also the same as b.v the Mohave. One 
side takes eighteen or twenty sticks as counters. One side has white and the 
other black bones. The game is to guess in which hand the bones ai'e held. 

Pig. 429. Bone for hand game; length, 
2g inches; Mohave Indians, Arizona; 
cat. no. 10333, United States National 

Colorado river, Arizona, 
tional Museum.) 

(Cat. no. 24179, United States Na- 


Fig. 430. 

Fig. 430. Sticks for peon; k-ngth, SJ inches; Mohave Indians, Arizona; cat. no. 241T!), United 

States National Museum. 
Fio. 431. Cloth-covered sticks for hand game; length, 3} inches; Mohave Indians, Arizona; cat. 

no. 63337, Field Columbian Museum. 

Two worked twigs (figure 430), ^ inches in length and nine-six- 
teenths of an inch in diameter, one painted black and the other 
unpainted, each having a cord attached, ending in a slip noose. 
This cord passes into a hole in the middle of each stick. A hole 
runs longitudinally also through the stick. 
Collected by Dr Edward Palmer. A similar pair of sticks, also 

collected by him, is in the Peabody Museum (cat. no. 10093). 




Mohave. Parker, yunia county, Arizona. (Field Columbian Mu- 
seum. ) 
Cat. no. G3338. Four bone cylinders, -^^l inches in length, and four 
black wooden cylindrical sticks, all with strings with loop at end, 
Collected by Mr S. C. Simms, who describes them as u.sed in the 
game of peon. 

Cat. no. 63337. Two cylindrical sticks (figure 431). 3i inches in 
length, covered with cotton cloth, one red with black ends, and the 
other black with red ends. 
Collected by Mr S. C. Simms, who gives the name as toothula. 
Yuma. Colorado river, California. 

Maj. S. P. Heintzelman, U. S. Army," said in 1833: 
Another game is with short sticks or pebbles, which one hides in his hands, 
and another guesses. 

Fort Yuma, San Diego county, California. (Cat. no. G3331, 

Field Columbian Museum.) 
Four small cylinders (figure 432) made of twigs, 2J to 2i inches in 
length, uncolored and with ends hollowed out, and four similar 
cylinders, burned black, with flat ends, all with cords having 
loop at end, attached. 
These were collected by Mr S. C. Simms, who describes them as 
used in the game of peon, or hohquito. 

Pio. i:ti. sticks tor peon; length, 2} to 2} inches; Yuma Indians, California; cat. no. 6.3SJ1, Field 

Columbian Musetim. 

FouR-STicK Game 

Unlike almost all of the other Indian games, the four-stick game 
is confined to a very limited number of tribes: The Klamath and 
Modoc (Lutuamian), the Achomawi (Shastan), the Paiute (Sho- 
shonean), the Washo (Washoan), and possibly the Chinook. The 
Klamath and Paiute play in much the same way. As in the hand 
game, the count is kept with pointed sticks, which are stuck into the 
ground. Doctor Hudson records the sticks as being regarded as 

"House of Representatives, Executive Document 76. Thirty-fourth Congress, third ses- 
sion, p. 49, Washington, 1857. 



The four sticks may be referred to the War Gods and their bows. 
The implements for a prehistoric game from a cliff-dwelling in the 
Canyon de Chelly, Arizona, which may have been played like the 

four-stick game are i-epresented in figure 
433. These objects consist of eleven wooden 
billets, 7 inches in length, rounded at 
the ends, and polished by use. They are 
painted to correspond with the stick dice 
and the tubes for the guessing game. 


Clackama. Mouth of the Willamette 
river, Oregon. 
Paul Kane " describes the following 
game : 

Two were seated together on skins, and im- 
mediately opposite to tlieni sat two ottiers, sev- 
eral trinkets and ornaments being placed be- 
tween them for which they played. The game 
consists in one of them having his hands cov- 
ered with a small round mat resting on the 
ground. He has four small sticks in his hands, 
which he disposes under the mat in certain 
positions, requiring the opposite party to guess 
how lie has placed them. If he guesses right, 
the mat is handed round to the ne.xt, and a stick 
is stuck up as a counter in his favor. If wrong, 
a stick is stuck up on the opposite side as a mark against him. This, like almost 
all the Indian games, was accomiianied with singing; but in this case the sing- 
ing was particularly sweet and wild, possessing a harmony I never heard before 
or since amongst Indians. 


Klamath. Upper Klamath lake, Oregon. (Cat. no. 61537, Field 
Columbian Museum.) 

Four hardwood sticks (plate vi), 12 inches in length. Two of the 
sticks, skutash, are less than one-half inch in diameter and are 
closely covered with wrappings extending from end to end of a 
buckskin thong, which has been painted bhick; the other two 
sticks, mu meni, or solses, are one-half inch in diameter at the 
ends and an inch at the center, and the extremities have been 
blackened by being charred with a hot iron. Toward the center 
of these sticks are two bands, 2 inches apart, which have been 
burnt in. Connecting the two bands are four i^arallel spirals, 
also made l)y burning. There are also six small sticks. 8 inches 
in length, sharpened at one end and painted red; these are 

» Wanderings of an Artist among the Indians of Nortli America, p. 196, London, LSn9. 
See also the Canadian Journal, p. 276, Toronto, June, 1855. 

Fig. 4:ffl. Billets for game: length, 
7 inches; cliff-dwelling. Canyon 
de Chelly, Arizona; cat. no. 12061, 
Brooklyn Institute Museum. 






counters, ksliesh. which, at the beginning of the game, are in 
possession of one or the other sitle and lie flat on the ground. 
As points are won by one or the other side, they are taken up 
and thrust into the ground in front of the winner, according to 
the number of points gained. 
These specimens were collected by Dr Cxeorge A. Dorsey." who 

describes the game under the names of shulsheshla. spelshna, or 

shakla : 

In playing this game the four long sticlis are arranged in one of a number of 
possible combinations, the players hiding them under a lilanlcet or large basket 

A taking the counters on his side makes the first guess. I? manipulating the 
sticks under a blanket or mat. Should A guess correctly the position of the 
sticks, he wins and thrusts in tlie ground one or two counters, according to 
the value of his guess, and B .igain arranges the sticks under the blanket. 
Should \ guess wrongl.v he forfeits one counter and guesses again, but in this 
case B conceals onl.v two of the sticks, that is, one large and one small 
wrapped one. 

Fig. 434. Possible combinations of large and small sticks in the four-stick game; Klamath 
Indians, Oregon; from Dr George A. Dorsey. 

If A wins, or guesses correctly, the sticks are passed to him, when he manipu- 
lates them under the blanket and B guesses. But if .V loses, he forfeits a 
counter and B again manipulates the single pair of sticks. In guessing, when 
they wish to designate the small wrapped sticks, the index and middle finger 
are used ; for the thick sticks, the inde.x finger alone. In expressing the guess 
at positions numbered 1 ffignre 4.S4] and 2 (vuish), they move the hand side- 
wise one way or another as they desire to indicate the positions as expres.sed in 
numbers > or 2. To the gue.-;s when " vuish is laid," neither side nor 
wins, nor is there an.v changing to the other opponent of the sticks ; liut when 
the position .3 or 4 is laid, with A guessing and winning, the sticks must be 
passed to him for manipulating and he wins no counters. When the sticks are 
laid in positions 5 or 6 and A guesses, using two fingers, he oLriousl.v loses 
doubly, and two counters are passed to B. 

Another set (cat. no. G1724) is exactly similar to the preceding, 
except that the buckskin-wrapped sticks are not painted black, 
while the two large sticks are not painted alike, one having two 
burnt bands about the center '2 inches apart, from each side of 
which a row of zigzag lines extends entirely around the stick. 
On both of the large sticks of this set there are four parallel 
bands, equidistant from the burnt ends of the stick, the j^aii's 
being connected by parallel spirals. 

A third set (cat. no. 61723) has two small sticks wrapjied with raw- 
hide which has been painted red; the large sticks are charred at 

<> Certain Oambling Games of the Klamath Indians, American ADthropologist, n. s., t. 
3, p. 23, 1901. 



each end to the extent of about an inch, while in the center 
are two parallel black bands. The intervening portions of thesse 
two sticks are painted red. This set is U;^ inches long and is 
accompanied with six painted sharpened counting sticks. 

Klamath. Upper Klamath lake, Oregon. (Cat. no. 37495, Free 

Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania.) 

Four sticks (figure 435), two of heavy wood tapering from middle 

to ends and oi-namented with burnt designs, 12^ inches in length, 

Fig. 4.3.5. Four-stkk game; lengths uf sticks, lij and 11{ inches; Klamath ludian.s, Oregon; cat. 
no. 3749.5, Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

and two smaller sticks, llj inches in length, wound with buck- 
skin. Collected by Dr George A. Dorsey in 1900. 

Klamath agency, Oregon. (Cat. no. 24132, United States Na- 
tional Museum.) 
Two wooden rods (figure 43(5). 12 inches in length and seven-eighths 
of an inch in diameter at the middle, tapering to the ends, and 

Fig. 437. 

Fio. 436. Four-stick game; lengths of sticks, 12 and Hi inches: Klamath Indians, Klamath 

agency, Oregon; cat. no. 241:^2, United States National Museum. 
Fig. 437. Counting sticks for four-stick game; lengths, 6i, Hi, and 194 inches; Klamath Indians, 

Klamath agency, Oregon; cat. no. 24132, United States National Museum. 

marked with burnt designs, as shown in figure 436. These arc 
designated as solchise. Two smaller rods, 11| inches in length and 
five-sixteenths of an inch in diameter, wrapped with a strip of 





rawhide three-sixteenths of an inch in width except at the ex- 
treme ends. These are called skotus. In addition there are six 
counting sticks, one a forked twig, 19i inches in length, marked 
with burnt spots (as shown in figure 437) called teowtis; a 
pointed stick, 11^ inches in length, also marked witli burnt lines, 
called watch ; and four pegs or pins, kice, 6J inches in length, 
accompanied by a flat basket (cat. no. 2-1:113, figure 438), 18 
inches in diameter, with ornamental patterns in brown and with 
a bunch of deer thongs tied in the middle on the convex outer 
side. Collected by L. S. Dyar, Indian agent. 
The following description is given by tlie collector : 
Gambling outfit, luck-ulse. thirteen ]iieees. This game is pl.ayed li.v two per- 
sons, wbo sit upon the ground facing each other. The round mat. pnli-lah, is 
used as a cover to hide the four rods, two each of sol-chise and skotus. The 
person performing witli 
these places them side by 
side on the ground under 
the mat. and the other 
guesses their relative po 
sitions, whether the lari.'i 
ones are on the outside <ir 
in the middle, or if tliey 
alternate, etc.. and his 
guess is indicated b.v cer- 
tain motions of the hand 
and fingers. After one 
guesses a certain number 
of times he takes tlie mat 
and another guesses. The 
small sharp sticks, kice. are used for the same purpose as points or buttons in 
billiards, and the other two sticks, te-ow-tis, are stuck in the ground and used 
to indicate the progress of the game. The package of youcks. medicine, is used 
as a charm and was formerly considered of umch value. 

Commenting on the above description. Doctor Gatschet writes : 

The game to which the four sticks belong is the shu'lshesh game, and the two 
thicker sticks are also called shu'lshesh, while the two slender ones are sivo'tas. 
sku'tash, wrapped up (in buckskin). A blanket is also called sku'tash, sko'- 
tash, beeanse it wraps up a iiers(;n. The small kice sticks were called, when 
1 Inquired for their name, kshesh, counting sticks, to count gains and losses, or 
checks used like our red and white ivory disks used in card games. Watch is 
wa'kash. a bone awl : wa'tcb would l)e a house. Te-ow-tis is a word 1 never 
heard, but it must be te'-utish, stuck in the ground repeatedly, or " stuck in the 
ground fur each one " of the gamesters, for te'wa means to plant, to stick up. 
The round mat is, in fact, a large tray, called pa'la, or pa"hla, because used for 
drying seeds by the camp fire or in the sun. Luck-ulse is false for sha'kaloh. 
(1) gambling outfit for these sticks and also (2) the game itself. " The package 
of youcks is used as a charm." Yes: that is so, because ya'uks (for ya'-ukish) 
means (1) remedy, drug used as a medicine, and. in a wider sense, (2) spiritual 
remedy of the conjurer, consisting in witchcraft, dreams. Shamanic songs. The 
verb of it is ya'-uka, to treat in sickness, and to heal or cure. 

Fig. 438. Basket for four-stick game: diameter, 18 inches; 
Klamatli Indians, Klamath agency, Oregon; cat. no. 24113, 
United States National Museum . 


Referring to a set of four sticks collected by him at the Klamath 
agency in 1887, which he says are almost identical with those in the 
National Museum, Doctor Gatschet writes: 

The two sUu'lshesh sticks are carefully whittled from the luountaiu mahogany 
(Cerocarpus ledif alius) . 

In his work on the Klamath " Doctor (xatschet has described this 
game, as jjlayed by the Klamath lake people, under the names of 
spelshna, shulsheshla, shakla, shakalsha, with four sticks about one 
foot in length. There are two thick sticks and two slender sticks, the 
latter wrapped in narrow strips of buckskin leather. They indicate 
the supposed location of the four game sticks lying under a cover by 
putting forward fingers. They guess the slender sticks with the in- 
dex and middle finger; the thick sticks with the index finger alone, 
and the thicker sticks coupled on one side, and the thinner ones on the 
other, vu'ish, with a side motion of tiie hand and thumb. By the 
last, vu'ish. they win one counting stick; with index and middle 
finger, two counting sticks. 

The name spelshna is derived from speiluish, the index finger. 
The coiniting sticks, of which six are commonly used, are called 
kse'sh, kshi'sh, from k.shena, to carry off. 
Modoc. Fail river. Shasta county, California. 

Dr J. W. Hudson describes a game played by women, under the 
name of ishkake: 

Three marked sticks and one plain are iise<l, and their relative position in the 
hidden hand gruessed at. 


AcHOMAWi. Hat creek, California. (Cat. no. -f^^-g, American Mu- 
seum of Natural History.) 

Ptg. 439. Four-stick game: lengths of sticks, 10 and 61 inches; Achomawi Indians, Hat creek. 
CaUforaia: cat. no. .jf Jr, American Museum of Natural History. 

Two sticks, tapering to ends (figure 439), 10 inches in length, and 
two smaller, thinner sticks, about 6f inches in length. 
Collected in 1903 by Dr Roland B. Dixon, who gives the name as 
teisuli. Doctor Dixon writes : 

The game is played with the aid of one of the large flat, soft basket ))laques, 
under which the sticks are shifted. 

" The Klamath Indians of Southwestern Oregon. Contributions to North American 
Ethaolog.v, V. 2, pt. 1, p. 79, Washington, 1800. 




AcHOJiAwi. Fall river, Shasta county, California. 

Dr J. W. Hudson describes the following game" under the name 
of tikali : 

Four rods, two bound. 7 inches in leniitli, called tcok'-teii. and two plain, i) 
inclios in length, called ta-ko'-li, are .juggled behind a large, flexible basket 
plai|ue. tii-ko'-ll tsu-ti'-]).i, .and the relative position of the rods guessed at. The 
game is counted with ten counters. 


Paiute. Pyramid lake, Nevada. (Cat. no. 61.505. 61519, Field 

Columbian Museum. ) 
Four billets of wood. (') inches in length, two of them 1 inch and two 

one-half of an inch in diameter, accompanied by ten cottonwood 

counting sticks. 7 inches in 

length, sharpened at one 

end. the upper two-thirds 

of each stick 23iiiiited with 

a .spiral band of red. 
These were collected by I)r 
George A. Dorsey. who gives 
t!ie name of thegame as witutzi. 

of the larger billets as biebpe. ^"'- ■**■ Four-stick game; length of sticks, 6J 
,, 1 j: i.1 n inches; Paiute Indians, Pyramid lake, Nevada; 

mother, and of the smaller ones cat. no. 1904t, United states National Museum. 

^ arc arranged undci- ;i lai'ge. 
no. VM)U. United States Na- 

as duaa. young. The coiuiters 

are called tohu. In playing, the sticl' 

Hat basket. 

Pyramid lake, Nevada. (Cat. 

tional Museum.) 

Two c-ylindrical billets of wood (figure 440). 6^ inches in length and 
1^ inches in diameter, and two smaller ones of the same length 
and three-eighths of an inch in diameter. The four sticks are 

Fig. 441. Counting sticks for four-stick game; length, Sj inches; Paiute Indians, Pyramid lake. 
Nevada; cat. no. IHW.i. United States National Museum. 

uniformly painted red, and one has two tubes of corn stalk 
slipped over each end. Accompanied with ten willow counting 
sticks (figure 441), 8f inches in length (cat. no. 19045). 

" The same game. v?ith slight dialectic and local variations, is played by the following 
tribes, who live on Pit river, Sliasta county : Lutwfimi, Basi'wi, Amits'tci, Pakfimali. 
HamoSwi. Hadiwlwi, and Sasteitei. — (J. W. II.) 



Collected by Mr Stephen Powers, who describes them as follows : 

Wuhtatseen. gambling pieces, two large round sticks painted red and two 
small ones, manipulated by a player who sits on the ground and holds a willow- 
work tray before him to conceal what 
he does. The other guesses on wliich 
side of the large stick the small ones 
are. ^There are ten counters. 

Paidte. Southern Utah. (United 
States National Museum.) 

Cat. no. 14661. Two cj'lindrical 
billets of willow wood (fig- 
ure 442), 6^ inches in length 
and seven-eighths of an inch 

Fig. 442. Pour-stick game; length of sticks, 
6i inches; Paiute Indians, southern Utah; 
cat. no. 14661, United States National 

in diameter, and two similar 
sticks, the same length and one-half of an inch in diameter. 
The ends of the larger billets are painted blue with a red band 
in the middle, while the small ones have red ends and a blue band in 
the middle. 


Fig. 443. Paiute playing four-stick game; southern Utah; from photogi-aph by J. K. Hillera. 

Another (incomplete) set, catalogued under the same number, con- 
sists of three similar billets, unpainted. One of the larger sticks is 


Cat. no. 14fi5-l. Five twigs of willow, about 12 inches in length, 

pointed at one end. 
Cat. no. 146o5. Seven twigs, about 12 inches, in length, similar to 

the above. 
Cat. no. 14660. Seven twigs, about 12 inches in length, similar to 

the above. 
These last three numbers are the accompanying coimting sticks. 
All were collected by Maj. J. W. Powell. The above implements 
iire evidently intended for the preceding game, ilr J. K. Hillers 
writes that they were used in a game (figure 443) played by Indians 
on tlie iluddy reservation, a game of odd or cA-en. The sticks are 
])laced under cover in two jjlaces. Then a chant begins, as in ne ang- 
]5uki. The guessing is done in the same way. 


Pao. Carson valley. Nevada. 

Dr J. W. Hudson describes the following game jjlayed by men 
under the name of tsutsu : 

A imi-tal' basket is inverted and held witli the left hand toiicliing the ground, 
while nine small sticks are held in the right hand. The player slips a certain 
number of these nine sticks under the plaque while juggling and singing. The 
opponent guesses at the number (even or odd) of sticks under the basket. 

Washo. Carson valley and Lake Tahoe, Nevada. 

Dr J. W. Hudson describes the following game under the name 
of it-dtsu-dtsu : " 

Four sticks are employed, two large, 10 inches long, bound with buckskin, 

rf^arded as female, aijd called it-tai-ta, and two plain. 7* 

inches long, regarded as male, and called it-dtsu-dtsu. The " 


buckskin binding on the longer sticks prevents noise when 
they are hidden. The four sticks are .juggled under a win- |b 
nowing basket, mu-tal', and then relative positions guessed 
at by the opponent. The three positions (figure 4+4) in 
which the sticks may be placed receive the following names : 
0, ke-hel-kul : b. l<a-ha-tsup : c. kum-de-we, deer, or kum-da- 
mu. The four sticks are placed in one of these positions 
under the basket while its holder is singing and invoking 
Tu-li-shl. the wolf, at the same time violently vibrating the 
basket against the ground. If guessed right, the sticks are 
forfeit. An incorrect guess forfeits a counter. Eight count- 
ers, me-te-em, are used. Pig.M4. Position of 

sticks iu four-stick 

Hidden-ball Game, or Moccasin ^r,-^:; "^^lIZ 

A game of hiding something in one of several from sket<^^h by Dr 

, *= 11 -c ^1 ^ ■ 1 J.W.Hudson. 

places, usually tour, the opponents guessing where 
it is concealed. The implements employed are of two kinds: (a) 
cane tubes or wooden cups derived from the canes, and (b) moccasins. 
The cane tubes, in their original forms, bear the characteristic marks 
of the arrows of the four directions, precisely like the canes used in the 

" Compare Kularapan, tsu, arrow ; tsu-tsu. arrows. 




Zuni game of sholiwe. They jjass bj' easy transitions into wooden 
tubes marked with the same bands, wooden cups similarly marked, 

and wooden cups marked 
or carved with symbols re- 
ferring to the world quar- 
ters. Finally we have four 
plain tubes, which at last 
disappear in a game which 
consists in hiding a bean 
or other small object in one 
of four heaps of sand. It 
may be inferred from the 
sholiwe that the original 
tubes were butts, or shaft- 
ments, of cane arrows. 
The object hidden consists of a small cylindric stick, sometimes 
painted with bands of color, a bean, or a stone. Among tlie Papago 

Fig. 445. Sacrificial tubes for hiding game: height, 2J 
inches: Zuni Indians, Zuiii, New Mexico: cat. no. 2'2t')^2. 
Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Penn- 

Fig. 446. Drab Flute (Macilenya) altar; Hopi Indians, Mishongnovi, Arizona; from Fewkea. 

the tubes are filled with sand, which the guesser empties out. Else- 
where, as in Zuni, we find the tubes stuck in hillocks of sand. In 
Zuni the guesser used a rod to point to the tubes. The counters con- 







sist of beans or sticks, and ntnnber from fifty to one hundred and 
two, or one hundred and four. 

As mentioned in the introduction, the hidden-ball game was one of 
the five games sacrificed on the altar of the "War God in Zuiii. A set of 
cups (figure 445) for this purjDose in the museum of the University 
of Pennsylvania (cat. no. '2'2G82). collected by the writer in Zuiii in 
1902, consists of four wooden tubes, each li inches in diameter and 25 
inches in height. They are painted white, with black tops, and have 
pink plume feathers stuck in the top of each. As also noted, similar 
cups, surmounted with effigies of birds, are seen on the Hopi Oiiqol 

Fig. 447. Blue Flute (Cakwalenya) altar: Hopi Indians, Mishongnovi, Arizona; from Fewkes. 

altar (figure 1). They occur also on the Soyaluna altar' at Walpi, 
plate VII, as figured by Doctor P^ewkes." 

Four flowerlike wooden cups — yellow, green, red. and white — appear 
at the base of the effigy on the altar of the Drab Flute at Oraibi, 
while sixteen cups of the four colors are stuck like flowers on two 

" The Winter Solstice Ceremony at Walpi. Tile American Anthropologist, V. 11, p. 79, 

24 ETH— 05 M 22 



uprights on each side of the figure. On the Mishongnovi Drab Fhite 
altar (figure 446) there are two upright logs of wood, rounded at 
the top and pierced with holes, in which are stuck similar flowers. 
Doctor Fewkes, who has figured this altar, says that these logs corre- 
spond with the mounds of sand, covered with meal, of other Flute 
altars, and were called talactcomos." The sand mounds stuck with 
flowers occur in the altar of the Blue Flute (figui-e 447) at Mi- 
shongnovi. These sand mounds '' should be compared with the sand 
mountains into which the cane tubes are stuck in the Zufii game. 

The Flute altar at Shumojaavi (figure 448) has the flower cups on 
upright sticks, as at Oraibi, while on that at Shipaulovi (figure 449) 
they are stuck in sand mounds. Mention has already been made of 

Fig. 448. Flute altar, Hopi Indians, Shumopavi, Arizona; from photograj)!! by Sumner "W. 

Matteson. August :il, 1301. 

the gaming-cup flower headdress (figure 569) of the Flute jjriest at 
Oraibi. The Sohu or Star katcina has similar wooden cups in the 
hair. Dr J. Walter Fewkes <■ writes : 

The Tusayan Tewa of Ilanoki, East inesa, call the .Tanuar.y moon E'lop'o, 
wood-cup moon, referriug to the e"lo, wooden enps, used by tlie Tcukuwympkiya 
or clowns, in their ceremonial games. 

" Journal of American Folk-Lorc. v. 9, p. 245, 1806. 

^ These mounds admit of tlie following explanation. In many stories of the origin of 
societies of priests which took place in the under world, the first members are represented 
as erecting their altars Ijeforc the " flower mound " of MiiiyinwO. This was the case of 
the Flute youth and maid, progenitors of the Flute Society. These mounds, now erected on 
earth before the figurine of Miiiyinwft in the Flute chambers, symbolize the ancestral 
mounds of the under-world, the wooden objects Inserted in them representing flowers. — 
Journal of American Folk-Lore, v. 9. p. St.'j, note. 1S90. 

" In a letter to the author, dated January 27, 1899. 


The four cups or tubes, whether wood or cane, may be regarded 
as representing or referring to the twin War Gods and their female 
counterparts or associates, who preside over the four world quarters. 
In the case of the marked and carved tubes, this agreement is suggested 
at every point: In the banded markings (Hopi, Keres, Papago, Pima, 
Tarahumare. Tewa, Maricopa), in the burned devices (Hopi), in 
the cloud terrace and flower symbols carved at the top (Hopi), and 
in the sex designation (Papago, Pima). 

The moccasin game was played by the Algonquian tribes and is 
found among the Dakota and the Xavaho. Two, three, four. six. or 
eight moccasins are used, but four is the standard number. The 

Fig. 449. Flute altar, Hopi Indians, Shipanlovi. Arizoua; from pliotogi-apli by Sumner W. 

Matteson, September 7, laOl. 

objects hidden vary from one to four, and consist either of bullets, 
stones, or little billets of wood. The players among some tribes indi- 
cate their choice by pointing with a rod. The count is kept with 
sticks or beans. 20, 50, 100, or 102. ^Mittens are sometimes used 
instead of moccasins, and the game was borrowed by the whites and 
played by them under the name of "' bullet."' Moccasin was a man's 
game. It was played as a gambling game to the accompaniment 
of singing and drumming. In the east it retains little of its former 
ceremonial character. The writer regards it as a direct modification 
of the hidden-ball game, the Xavaho game, \Vith its nodule and strik- 
ing stick, furnishing a connecting link. 




Chippewa. Minnesota. (Cat. no. 153033, United States National 
Museum. ) 

Set of four buckskin moccasins; four bullets, one plain and three 
covered with twisted wire (figure 450) ; and twenty counting 
sticks, peeled, unpainted twigs , 13^ inches in length (figure 451), 
catalogued as accompanied with a jjouch to contain them. Col- 
lected bv Dr Walter J. Hoffman. 

Fig. 45(1. 

Fig. 451. 

Fig. 4.y). Bullets for moccasin game; diameter, ys inch; Chippewa Indians, Minnesota; cat. no. 

15.303:3, United States National Museum. 
Fig. 451. Counting sticks for moccasin game: length, 13^ inches: Chippewa Indians, Minnesota; 

cat. no. 153033, United States National Museum. 

Bois fort, near Rainy river, Minnesota. (Cat. 
American Museum of Xatural History.) 


Four bullets (figure 452). one of white lead, three-eighths of an inch 

in diameter. 

They were collected in 1903 by Dr William Jones, who describes 

them as hidden in the moccasin game, ^loc- 

casins are used, and tlie game has the same 

name as at Turtle mountain. 

Mille Lacs, Minnesota. 

Fig. 4.52. Bullets for mocca- 
sin game: diameter, three- 
eighths of an inch; Chippewa 
Indians, Bois fort, Minne- 
.sota: cat. uo jStfi^ American 
Museum of Natural History. 

Mr D. I. Bushnell. jr. describes a mocca- 
sin game (figure 453) which he witnessed at 
Mille Lacs in 1900 : 

The game lasted thirty-six hours. The stakes 
were two hadly worn neckties. It was played with 
four metal balls, throe of coiiper and one of lead. 
The ." moccasins " were four pieces of tiuckskin cut in the shape of moccasin 
soles. It was played to the beating of a drum, which was passed from side to 




Chippewa. Wisconsin. 
Prof. I. I. Ducatel " says : 

Their favoi-ite game is the miiliesiiinah dahdewog. or moccasin garue. It is 
played with four bullets (oue of which is jagged i and four moccasins. The 
four bullets are to be hid, one under each moccasin, by the first player, whose 
deal is decided by throwing up a knife and letting it fall on the blanket, the 
direction of the blade indicating the person who is to hide firet. The four 
bullets are held in the right hand, and the left hand is kept moving from one 
moccasin to the other: whilst the player, with a peculiar manner calculated to 
divert the attention of the one with whom he is jilaying, and with an incessant 
chant, accompanied by a swinging motion of the head and trunk, passes bis 



■'-"^^ ■^?!?v'^*^3KK "**^ -^teg 

,, ,^. 

^^*i^^^' "'JBfi^^ESP^* 


\ ^ij^hL^flU 

■^ m -^^ * "Ty^ 

litahrtfi' ''vsnn 

|- ^^^ 



ki "~'i£3iBul^l9pm^ 

^ v MjHHI 

^EIva ^H 

Kk ^^Bie^^^dBHll^ 

Rk- ^SB^W"'' ^ '^gMP 

■^y JaSt 





, 4S^^.T ,'■■' il^p^^'"', jB 

■^ 'Tlvi "W ' 

■J^y' ^^^I^^^SIII^H 

"j^ ■^vaT'*»'^HI 

BiMnffHlM^^^i^^K 3^ 

1^' ^-^yp 

' .d^HI 

^^^^..^d^- i^ ^p^BKy..-1^^^L.*.>aB 


^'^SSf ^l^HH 




^HL , Jh 


^^:'' * '' i^^piMUl 


mJHR : '!">« 








Flo. 453. iVluccasin game; Chippewa Indians, MiUe Lacs, Minnesota: from photograpli by Mr 

D. I. Bushuell, jr. 

bullet hand under the moccasins, depositing a bullet under each. The other is 
to guess where the jagged bullet is, but not at the first trial ; for if he strike* 
upon it the first time, he loses 4 sticks — there being 20 altogether, that are used 
as counters ; if the second time he makes a similar guess, then he loses 3 
sticks ; but if he guess the situation of the jagged bullet the third time, then he 
gains 4 sticks ; finally should the bullet remain inuler the fourth moccasin, 
the guesser loses 4 sticks. The game continues until the twenty sticks have 
passed from one band to the other. At this game, of which they are very fond, 
they stake everything about them and sometimes come away literally stripped. 
The groups that are thus collected jiresent the most characteristic of Indian 

° A Fortnight among the Chippewas of Lake Superior. The Indian Miscellan.v. edited l>y 
W. W. Beach, p. .367, Alhany, 1877. Reprinted from the United States Catholic Magazine 
Baltimore, Januar.v and February, ls4tj. 



habits. There will be twenty sitting down and as many standinf; round, intent 
upon the progress of the game, wliifli is carried on in silence, except on tlie part 
of the hider. 

Another game of chance, and perhaps the only other after cards, and the 
one just described, is the pahgehsehwog or pan-play, which consists in guessing 
at any thing, or number of things, enclosed between two pans. 

Chippewa. Turtle mountain, North Dakota. (Cat. no. j-ffn -^"^^r- 

ican Museum of Xatm-al History.) 
Implements for moccasin game (figure 454) : Four black-cloth pads, 
8 inches wide, with edges Ijound with red ; eleven counting sticks 

(saplings"), painted 

red, IS inches long, 

and a striking stick 

(a slender rod), 

jjaiated red, oG inches 

in length. 

These were collected in 

1903 by Dr William 

Jones, who gives the name 

as makesenatatiweni, or 

moccasin game. 

Fig. 454. Moccasiu ganxt-: pads, coiiuters, and striking 
8tick; widtli of pads, 8 inclies; length of counters, 18 
inches; length of striking stick, 36 inches; Chippewa 
Indians, Turtle mountain. North Dakota; cat. no. 5^?^, 
American Museum of Natural History. 

The game is played with 
three beads and a bullet, the 
Either moccasins or the pads are used. 

bullet being trump. 

Cree. Muskowpetung reserve, Qu'appelle, Assiniboia. (Cat. no. 

61996, Field Columbian Museum.) 
A small tinned iron ring, three-fourths of an inch in diameter, used 
in the moccasin game, which is described as follows by the col- 
lector, Mr J. A. Mitchell, under the name of muskisinastahtowin, 
concealing an object in a moccasin: 
This game is conspicuously a gambling game, and is iiuite similar to the 
sleight-of-hand games of the whites. The objects are concealed either together 
under one of four inverted moccasins or separately under two moccasins, all 
being placed in a line before the manipulator, who passes bis hands under each 
moccasin in order to confuse the opponents. If the pieces are placed apart 
from each other under separate moccasins, the player making the guess has the 
right to another guess should be find one of the pieces at his first guess. Failure 
at first guess counts him out, and the play goes to the next player. 

Delawares. Indiana. 

I am informed by Mr George S. Cottman, of Irvington, Indiana, 
that the following is drawn from two articles in a local newspaper," 
the principal of which was by Robert Duncan, " one of our earliest 
pioneers, now dead " : 

Moccasin was a gambling game much practised among the Delaware Indians, 
and was borrowed of them by the white settlers. As originally played, a deer 

« Indianapolis News, July 22, 24, 1879. 


skin was spread upon the ground and a half dozen upturned moccasins arranged 
in a semicircle within easy reach of the player. The latter, holding to view a 
good-sized hullet, then quickly thrust his hand under each moccasin in turn, 
leaving the bullet under one of them. This was done so skillfully as to leave 
the onlooker in doubt, and the gambling consisted in betting where the bullet 
was. This was called moccasin. Subsequently the whites modified the game 
slightly by placing caps on the table, and the game became changed to bullet. 
It was played so extensively among the pioneers as to become a recognized evil, 
and on the early statutes stands a law making gambling at bullet a finable 

Mr Cottman writes : 

On page 104 of the Laws of Indiana Territory, as revised by John Rice .Tones 
and John Johnson, publislied in 1.S07, I find a statute forbidding various gam- 
bling games, among them that of bullet, the penalty fixed for practising them 
being five dollars and costs. 

Mr Cottman states also that in the diary of John Tipton, one of the 
commissioners to locate the Indiana capital, is the following entry : 

After dinner we went to the Indian huts, found the men playing a favorite 
game which they call mockuson, which is played with a bullet and four mocku- 

The locality was near Conner's station, some 16 miles north of the site of 
Indianapolis, and there can hardly be any doubt that they were Delaware 
Indians, as this was the Delaware country. The Miami occupied the Wabash 
region, and the Potawatomi were yet farther north. 

Menominee. Wisconsin. 

I)r Walter J. Hoffman " describes the moccasin or bullet game, as 
follows : 

Another game that was formerly much played by the Menomini [plate vui] 
was the moccasin, or bullet, game, which was probably learned from their 
Ojibwa neighbors. Five persons participate in this game, four being active play- 
ers, while the fifth acts as musician. l)y using the tambourine-drum and singing, 
the players usually joining in the latter. . . . The articles necessary to 
play this game consist of four bullets, or balls of any hard substance, one of 
which is colored, or indented, to readily distinguish it from its fellows ; four 
moccasins also are required, as well as thirty or forty stick counters, similar 
to those used in the preceding [bowl] game, though uncolored. A blanket also 
is used, and in addition a stick, about 3 feet long, with which to strike the moc- 
casin under which the bullet is believed to be hidden. When the game is com- 
menced, the players are paired off by two's, who take their places on each of the 
four sides of the outspread idanket [plate viir]. The winner of the toss takes 
the moccasins before him and lays them upside down and about 6 inches apart 
with the toes pointing forward. The object now is for the pla.ver to lift, with his 
left hand, each moccasin, in succession, and put a bullet under it, making many 
pretenses of hiding and removing the bullets, in order to confuse the opponents, 
who are eagerly watching for some slip of the performer whereb.v they may 
obtain a clue of the moccasin under which the marked bullet may be placed. 
While this Is going on, the drummer is doing his duty by singing and drumming, 

•» The Menomini Indians. Fourteentli Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, p. 242, 


to which the others are noisily Iceepiug time. When the bullets are all hidden, 
the player will suddenly call out, " Ho l " in a high note, when the singing drops 
to a mere murmur, and the striker of the opposing side raises the stick threaten- 
ingly over the several moccasins, as if to strike them, but each time withdraws 
as if in doubt. Fiuall.v, he will place the end of a long stick under a moccasin, 
and turn it over. Should the marked bullet be disclosed, he is regarded as 
successful ; if he fails the first time he has another trial, but if the bullet 
is found only at the second trial, the coiuiters to which he is entitled will be 
fewer than if he finds the bullet the tirst time. In event of the opponent making 
a successful guess of the moccasin under which the marked bullet has been 
placed, the former player relinquishes the moccasins and bullets and takes his 
turn at guessing. The game is decided when all the sticks oii the blanket 
are won, those winning the nia.iority taking the bets previously made. The scor- 
ing depends on the agreement previously formed. 

Miami. Indiana. 

Mr George S. Cottman obtained for me (July, 1899), from Mr 
J. H. B. Novvland, the Indianapolis pioneer, the following account 
of the moccasin game as he saw it played among the Miami. T'ota- 
watomi, and Shawnee at an Indian village which stood at the mouth 
of the Mississineva river, when at the treaty of 1832 he was secretaiy 
to Governor .Icnnings: 

The player, seated on the ground with six moccasins arranged in two rows 
before him and a little painted stick in his hand, would sing an incantation to 
divert attention from his action, and, thrusting his hand under the various 
moccasins, secretly and skillfully deposit the stick. The spectators then bet on 
the moccasin, 

MissiSAUGA. Rice lake, Ontario. 
G. Copway " says : 

The Moccasin play is simple, and can be played by two or three. Three 
moccasins are used for the purpose of hiding the bullets which are employed 
in the game. So deeply interesting does this pla.v sometimes become, that an 
Indian will" stake first, his gun ; next, his steel-traps ; then his implements of 
war ; then his clothing ; and, lastly, his tobacco and pipe, leaving him, as we 
say, " Nah-bah-wan-yah-ze-yaid," " a piece of cloth with a string around his 

NiPissiNG. Forty miles above Montreal, Quebec. 
J. A. Cuoq '' gives the following definition : 
Kwate hewin, sorte de jeu de cachette : kazotage. jouer a la cachette. 

Ottawa. Manitoba. 
John Tanner '' thus describes the game : 

. . , played by any number of persons, but usually in small parties. Four 
moccasins are used, and in one of them some small object, such as a little .stick 
or a small piece of cloth, is hid by one of the iietting parties. The moccasins 
are laid down beside each other, and one of the adverse party is then to touch 

' The Traditional History and Characteristic Sketches of the OJlbway Nation, p. 54, 
Boston, 1851. 

'■ Lexlque de la Langue Algonquine, Montreal, 1886. 

"■ A Narrative of the Captivity and Adventures of .Tohn Tanner, p. 114, New York, 1830. 


two of the moccasins with his tinker, or a stick. If the one he first touches has 
the hitUlen thing in it. the pla.ver loses 8 to the opposite party; if it is not iu the 
second lie touches, but in one of the two passed over, he loses 2. If it is not 
in the one he touches first, and is in the last, he wins 8. The Crees play this 
game differently, putting the hand successively into all the moccasins, endeavor- 
ing to come last to that which contains the article ; but if the hand is thi'ust 
first into the one containing it, he loses 8. They fix the value of articles staked 
by agreement : for instance, they sometimes call a beaver skin, or a blanket, 10 ; 
sometimes a horse KXl. With strangers, they are apt to play high : in such 
cases, a horse is sometimes valued at 10. 

Sauk and Foxes. Iowa. (Cat. no. -jfto-j American Museum of Nat- 
ural History.) 
Twelve peeled willow twigs, 12 inches in length, and a pointed peeled 
willow stick, 26 inches in length (figure 455). 
These were collected by Dr William Jones, who describes them as 
counters and pointing stick for the moccasin game, mama kesa hi 
waiii. Four moccasins are used and a bullet is hidden. 

Fig. 4.55. Counting sticks and pointer for moccasin game ; length of counters, 12 inches : length 
of pointer, 26 inches ; Sauk and Fox Indians, Iowa : cat. no. ^iSnt American Museum of Natural 

.vtiiapascan stock 

Apache (Jicarilla). Northern New Mexico. 

yir James Mooney," in his account of the Jicarilla genesis myth, 
describes the game as follows : 

It was dark in the under-world, and they used eagle plumes for torches. The 
people and the animals that go about by day wanted more light, but the night 
animals — the Bear, the Panther, and the Owl — wanted darkness. They disputed 
long, and at last agreed to play the kjiyon'ti game to decide the matter. It was 
agreed that if the day animals won, there should be light, hut if the night 
animals won, it should l)e always dark. 

The game began, but the Magpie and the (Juail. which love the light and have 
sharp e.ves. watched until they could see the button through the thin wood of 
the hollow stick, and they told the people under which one it was. The morning 
star came out and the Black-bear ran and hid in the darkness. They played 
again, and the people won. It grew bright in the east, and the Brown-bear ran 
and hid himself in a dark place. They played a third time, and the people won. 
It grew brighter in the east and the Mountain-lion slunk away into the darkness. 
They played a fourth time, and again the people won. The Sun came up in the 
east, and it was da.v, and the Owl flew away and hid himself. 

In a footnote Mr Mooney describes the game of kayoiiti : 
A sort of " thimble and button " game, in which one part.v hides the button 
under one of several closed wooden cups or thimbles, and the other tries to guess 
under which thimble it is. There is a score of 104 tally sticks. 

"The .\merican Anthropologist, v. 11. p. 198, 189S. 



Fig. 456. Moccasin game; diameter of ball, 11 
inches; length of counters, 8 inches; length of 
club, 13 inches; Navaho Indians, Arizona; cat. 
no. 63.T34. Field Columbian Museum. 

Navaho. Keams canyon, Arizona. (Cat. no. 62534. Field Colum- 
bian Museum.) 
Implements for moccasin game (figure 456), consisting of a ball of 

sandstone, 1^ inches in diame- 

ter, marked on one side with a 
cross, with one line painted red 
and the other black ; also one 
hundred counting sticks, 8 inches 
in length, made of yucca, and a 
club of Cottonwood, slightly 
curved, 13 inches in length. 
These specimens were collected 
by Mr Thomas V. Keam. 
New Mexico. (Cat. no. 74741, United States National Mu- 

Set of 10'2 splints (figure 457), SJ inches in length, made of the root 
leaf of the yucca. 
Two are notched on the margins to represent a snake, called the 

grandmother snake. These were collected by Dr Washington Mat- 
thews, IT. S. Army, and described as counting sticks for the game of 


Doctor Matthews " describes the game of kesitce '' as follows : 
This is, to some extent, sacred in its nature, for the playins; is confined to the 

winter, the only time when their mytlis may lie told and their most importan'- 

ceremonies conducted. It 

is practiced only during 

the darli hours. The real 

reason for this is probably 

that the stone used in the 

game can not be hidden 

successfully by daylight; 

but if you ask an Indian 

why the game is played 

only at night, he will ac- 
count for it by referring 

you to the myth and saying 

that he on whom the sun 

shines while he is engaged 

in the game will be struck 

blind. I have heard that on some occasions, when the stakes are heavy and 

the day begins to dawn on an undecided contest, they close all the aiierturea 

of the lodge with blankets, l>lacken the skin around their eyes, place a watcU 

outside to prevent intrusion, and for a short time continue their sport. 
The implements of the game are eight moccasins : a roundish stone or pebble 

about an inch and a half in diameter ; a blanket used as a screen ; a stick with 

Fig. 457. Counting sticks for moccasin game; length, 8} 
inches; Navaho Indians, New Mexico; cat. no. 74741, United 
States National Museum. 

° Navaho Gambling Songs. The American Anthropologist, v. 2. p. 2. 1889. 
" From ke, moccasins, and sitce, side b.v side, parallel to one another in a row. 


which to strike the mocrasins ; a chip lilaclvenetl on one side that they toss up to 
decide which party shall begin the game : and one hundred and two counters, 
each about 9 inches long, made of a stiff, slender root-leaf of the Yucca angusti- 
folia. Two of these counters are notched on the margins. 

The moccasins are buried in the ground so that only about an inch of their 
tops appear and they are filled to the ground level with powdered earth or sand. 
They are placed side by side a few inches apart in two rows, one on each side 
of the fire. The players are divided into two parties, each controlling one row 
of moccasins. When, by tossing up the chip, the.v have decided which party 
shall begin, the lucky ones hold up a screen to conceal their operations and 
hide the ball in one of the moccasins, covering it well with sand. When all is 
ready they lower the screen and allow that person to come forward whom 
their opponents have selected to tind the ball. He strikes with a stick the 
moccasin in which he supposes the ball to lie. If his guess is correct he takes 
the stone, his comrades become the hiders and his opponents the seekers : but 
if he fails to indicate the place wherein the pebble is hid the hiders win some 
of the counters, the number won depending on the position of the moccasin 
struclv and the position of the one containing the stone. Thus each part.v is 
always bound to win while it holds the stone and alwa.vs bound to lose while 
its opponent holds it. 

The system of counting is rather intricate, and though I perfectly compre- 
hend it I do not consider a full description of it in this connection as neces- 
sary to the proper understanding of the myth. It will suffice to say that the 
number of counters lost at any one unsuccessful guess can only be either 4. 6, 
or 10 ; these are the only " counts " in the game. When the game begins the 
counters are held by some uninterested spectator and handed to either side 
according as it wins. When this original holder has given all the counters 
out. the winners take from the losers. Wlien one side has won all the counters 
the game is done. The original holder parts with the two notched counters, 
called " Grandmothers." last. One of the party receiving them sticks them up In 
the rafters of the hogan (lodge) and says to them. " Go seek your grandchildren " 
(i. e.. bring the other counters back to our side). The possession of the " grand- 
mothers " is supposed to bring good luck. 

A good knowledge of the songs is thought to assist the gamblers in their work, 
probably under the impression that the spirits of the primeval animal gods are 
there to help such as sing of them. A song begun during an '■ inning " ( to borrow 
a term from the field) must be continued while the inning lasts. Should this 
inning be short it is not considered luck.v to sing the same song again during the 

The following is an epitome of the myth of the kesitce: 

In the ancient days there were, as there are now. some animals who saw better, 
could hunt better, and were altogether hapiiier in the darkness than in the light ; 
and there were others who liked not the darkness and were happy only in the 
light of day. The animals of the night wished it would remain dark forever 
and tlie animals of the day wished that the sun would shine forever. At last 
they met in council in the twilight to talk the matter over and the council re- 
solved they should play a game liy hiding a stone in a moccasin (as in the game 
now called kesitce) to settle their differences. If the night animals won the 
sun should never rise again, if the day animals .succeeded, nevermore should it 
set. So when night fell they lit a fire and commenced the game. 

In order to determine which side should first hide the stone they took a small 
weather-stained fragment of wood and rubbed one side with charcoal. They 


tossed it up : if It fell with the black side up, the nocturnal party were to begin, 
but it fell with the gray side up and those of the diurnal side took the stone. 
These raised a blanket to conceal their operations and sang a song, which is sung 
to this day by the Navajos when they raise a screen in this game . . . and 
the game went on. 

'Phey commenced the game with only one hundred counters but a little whitish, 
odd-looking snake called llc-bitcoi, i. e., maternal grandmother of the snakes, 
said they ought to have two more counters. Therefore they made two, notched 
them so that they would look like snakes, and called them biteoi, maternal 
grandmothers, which name the two notched counters used in the game still hear. 

The cunning coyote would not cast his lot permanently with either side. He 
usually stood between the contending parties, but occasionally went over to one 
side or the other, as the tide of fortune seemed to run. 

Some of the genii of those days joined the in this contest. On the side 
of the night animals was the great destroyer Yeitso, the best guesser of all, who 
soon took the stone away from the day animals. Whenever the latter found it in 
the moccasins of their moon-loving enemies they could not hold it long, for the 
shrewd-guessing Yeitso would recover it. They lost heavily and began to 
tremble for their chances, when some one iiroposed to them to call in the aid of 
the goi)her. nasizi. He dug a tunnel under the moccasins leading from one to 
another and when Yeitso would guess the right moccasin the gi.pher. unseen 
by all. would transfer the stone to another place . . . Thus was Y'eitso 
deceived, the day party retrieved their losses and sang a taunting song of 
him . . . 

But when they had won back nearly all the counters, luck appeared to again 
desert them. The noctivagant beasts came into possession of the pebble, and 
kept it so long that it seemed as if their opponents could never regain it. Guess 
as cleverly as they might, the stone was not to be found in the moccasin indi- 
cated by those who longed for an eternal day. Then the owl sang a song 
expressive of his desires . . . and when he had done, one of the wind-gods 
whispered into the ear of one of the diurnal party that the owl held the stone in 
his claws all the time, and never allowed it to be InnMed in the moccasin. So, 
when ne.xt the screen was withdrawn, the enlightened day animal advanced, and. 
instead of striking a moccasin, struck the owl's claws, and the hidden stone 
dropped out on the ground. 

After this the game proceedetl with little advantage to either side, and the 
animals turned their attention to composing songs about the personal peculiari- 
ties, habits, and history of their opponents, just as in social dances to-day the 
Navajos ridicule one another in song. Thus all the songs relating to animals 
. . . which form the great majority of the songs of the Kesitce, originated. 

Later the players began to grow drowsy and tired and somewhat indifferent 
to the game, and again the wind-god whispered — this time into the ear of the 
magpie — and said. " Sing a song of the morning," whereat the magpie sang his 
song ... As he uttered the last words, " Qa-yel-kfi ! Qa-yel-kA ! " (It 
dawns! It dawns!) the players looked forth and beheld the pale streak of dawn 
along the eastern horizon. Then all hastily picked up their counters and 
hIaiUsets and fled, each to his pro])er home — one to the forest, another to the 
desert, this to the gully, that to the rocks. 

The bear had lent his moccasins to be used in the game. They were, there- 
fore, partly buried in the ground. In his haste to be off he put them on 
wrong — the right moccasin on the left foot, and vice versa ; and this is why 
the bear's feet are now misshapen. His coat was then as black as midnight, 
but he dwelt on top of a high mountain, and was so late in getting back to his 


lair that the red beams of the rising sun shou^ upon him. imparting their ruddy 
hue to the tips of his hairs, and thus it is that the bear's hair is tipped with 
red to this day. 

The home of the wood-rat. letso, was a long way o£f. and he ran so far and so 
fast to get there that he raised great blisters on his feet, and this accounts for 
the callosities we see now on the soles of the rat. 

So the day dawned on the undecided game. As the animals never met again 
to play for the same stakes, the original alternation of day and night has 
never been changed. 

Mr A. M. Stephen, in his unpublished manuscript, gives a lively 
account of a game of the kesitce which he witnessed on January 23. 
188". The name he gives as keisdje. He describes it as played with 
one hundred and two yucca-leaf counters, cut off at the taper end. 
called ketan, a small sandstone nodule, tonalsluci. and a pihon club 
about 6 inches long, j^edilsicli : 

The game was played in a hogan erected for a ceremony. Two shallow jiits. 
about 2 feet long, were dug on the north and south sides of the fire. They 
were just long enough to hold four moccasins each, two pairs, set in alternately. 
Both pits were covered, only showing the aperture. The moccasins were then 
filled with sand. These operations were' performed very leisurely, with no 
ceremony apparent. The stakes were then discussed and, after much general 
talk, produced and laid on both sides of the lire beside the Imricd shoes. 
They consisted of saddle, bridle, leggings, buttons, manta. prints, blankets. 
A young man sat on each of the covered side pits. There was much apparent 
difficult.ii- in the appraisement of the stakes, but this accomplished they were 
divided and thrown on each side of the players. After an hour one side held 
a blanket between them and the fire and sang, then dropped the blanket, and one 
from the other side struck the shoe and tried to find the nodule. The side 
failing to find the nodule gives up to the opposing side six or ten counters from 
the bundle. The sides were about equal in numbers, but this is of little cou- 
seciuence. A piece of corn shucl<. black on one side, was tossed up. This was 
attended with much excitement. In striking, one of the jilayers spat on the stick 
to hoodoo it for the strikers. There was much droll bypla.v as the game proceeded. 
One player, whose side appeared victorious, tried to copulate with the fire. 
Another, winning, covered his head with his blanket and imitated the cry of 
the owl(?i. One side had a red and the other a black blanket. Much .iesting 
prevailed. One player went around the fire as an old man. followed by 
another as a Te, imitating masks, etc, amid great fun and uproar. The player.s 
tumbled and rolled in the fire in the roughest kind of horseplay. 

To win the maximum number of counters (10. I think i the seeker slionld 
strike two shoes and dig them out. i. e.. scratch out their contents, and find 
nothing: then, on striking the third shoe, find it contains the nodule. 


Onondaoa. Xew York. 

Rev. W. M. Beauchamp " says : 

A bell is hidden in one of three shoes, by the Onondagas. and the opposing 
part.v must guess in which of these it is. 

' Iroquois Games. Journal of American Follj-Lore, v. 9. p. 275, 189G. 


Seneca. Ontario. 
Mr. David Boyle " describes the wak^ game as follows: 

When friends and ueigbhors are assembled at a wake, it is customary for them 
to engage in a game to comfort in some measure the bereaved ones. and. to a 
certain extent, as a mere iiastime. It may be premised that in so doing there 
is no desire that either side engaged should win, and the whole of the proceed- 
ings are conducted with seriousness. If. during the progress of the game a 
young person should forget himself, the Head Man, or master of ceremonies, 
takes occasion to point out that at such times light behavior is unseemly. 

As many players, men and women, may engage as there is room to accommo- 
date when the two sides sit face to face. The game consists in the hiding of 
a pebble (a marble, or a bullet is now often used) in one of four moccasins or 
mittens held in the lap of the hider for the time being, the other side trying 
to guess in which of these the object has been placed. 

The Head Man makes a long .speech to the jila.vers. 

A singer having been appointed he sets the pace, accompanied by his drum, by 
giving one of the three Wake Songs . . . and it is to be noted that these 
are the only wake songs, and are never used for any other purpose, or at any 
other time. Indeed, so careful are the people in this respect, that Dab kah-he- 
dond-yeh, who supplied this account of the game gives this as the reason why 
children are not allowed to attend wakes — hearing the songs, they might be 
tempted to sing them thoughtlessly in the course of play. 

The singer for the time being may be seated anywhere on his own row. but 
the hiding must begin at one end, and the guessing at the far away end of the 
opposite row. To enable the guessers to point out the mocassin supposed to con- 
tain the object, a stick or switch, about a yard long is provided and passes from 
hand to hand. When the hider has done his part the moccasins are placed on 
the floor, and guessing goes on. As soon as a particular moccasin is pointed 
out some one who is nearest picks it up and gives it a rap on the floor. Should 
the sound indicate that the stone or marble is in the moccasin, one stick is 
taken from a pile of a hundred splints about the size of Inciter matches, and is 
placed to the credit of the successful guesser's side. If the guesser desires to 
make two points in the game, he first lays, one above another, the three moccasins 
he takes to be empty. Should the remaining one be found to contain the object, 
his side gains 2. On the other hand, a failure on his part entails the loss of 2. 
As soon as a correct guess is made the singer ceases his performance and one 
on the winning side takes it up, and thus the game goes on, each man or woman 
hiding and guessing in turn. 

At midnight the Head Man stops the game until a meal has been served in 
the usual way, and consi.sting of the usual kinds of food. On ceasing to play, the 
tw<j men whose duty it is to keep count, arrange everything to av.'^d confusion 
or disimte when the game is resumed. Each puts the little sticks used as 
counters and won by his side into one of the moccasins ; the remaining sticks 
into a third, and the stone or the marble into a fourth. 

Before play begins after the meal the head man repeats his introductory 
ritual. Should one side win all the counters liefore daylight, he puts them again 
into one heap as at the beginning, and pla.v goes on, but as soon as daylight 
gives the first sign of appearance he makes a change in the manner of conduct- 
ing the game by ajipointing two men to act for each row of players, and for 
the purpose of still further shortening it, he ma.v leave only two moccasins in 
their hands. Hiding and finding now follow each other quickly, but the sticks 

° .\rchffiolosical Report, 1899, p. SS, Toronto, 1900. 


no longer go to show which side wins, for they are thrown liy the head man inlo 
the Hre. and the hiding and guessing are kept up hy the same sides ( i. e.. without 
interchange) until all the counters are burnt. The same official then breaks 
the pointing sticks, which are also put into the Are, and he even treats the 
drumstick in the same way, having taken it from the hands of the singer. 
Last of all, he pulls the leather cover off the drum, puts it inside the drum, and 
replaces the hoop. The instrument should remain in this condition until it is 
to be again used. 

Before the people <lisperse to their homes in the morning a gun is tired off 
outside of the door. 

Wyandot. Michigan. 

Mr William E. Connelly " gives the following description of the 
moccasin game in an account of a game between a Wyandot and a 
Chippewa at Detroit in 1773 : 

Two only can play at this game. They are .seated face to face on a buffalo 
or deer skin. Four new moccasins and a rifle ball make up the implements 
employed in the game. The moccasins are placed nearly equidistant, like a 
four-spot on a ijlaying card. The players, .seated crosslegged, facing each 
other, now toss up for the ball, or first " hide." The winner, taking the ball 
between his thumb and two fingers, proceeds with great dexterity, shuffling his 
hand under the first, second, third, and fourth moccasins, and humming a ditty, 
accompanied by some cabalistic words invoking the aid of his patron deity. 
It now comes to the op[)osing player to "find" at the first, second, or third "lift." 
If at the first, it counts a given number in his favor. — say 4: if at second. 'J: 
and the third, 1. The latter player now takes the ball and goes thi-ough the 
same process. Ten usually constitutes the game, but 
the number is as the players may agree. 



Kerbs. Acoma. New Mexico. (Cat. no. 4073. fig. 438. Tubes for hidin- 

T ,-. . ^, . game; height, 6J inches; 

lirOOlvlyn Institute Museum.) Keres Indians, Aoma, 

Four cylinders of Cottonwood (figure 458), CA New Mesi.„; cat. no. wra, 

. ■, .... . , , , , , Brooklyn Institute Mu- 

mches in height, painted black on the top geum. 

and the bottom and having a black band 

around the middle. They were made for the writer by an 

Acoma Indian named James IT. sillier (Kamitsa), at Zuni, in 

1904. He gave the name of the tubes as aiyawaliotai. A small 

stone ball, yownikototei, is hidden. 

Laguna, New Mexico. (Cat. no. ()1S17. Fiekl Columbian Mu- 

Four cane tubes (figure 459), 4^ inches in height; a small stick, 1^ 
inches in length; a bundle of one hundred splint counting sticks, 
4g inches in lengtlt; and five individual counting sticks, four of 
them notched at one end, 7if inches in length (figure 460). 

Cat. no. G1818. Another set of tubes, 3^ inches in height. 

"Wyandot Folklore, p. 112, Topeka. 1S99. Mr Connelly in a note states that the story 
of the ^'ame was published in the Gazette, of Kansas City, Kansas, by Governor William 
Walker, some time in the sixties or early in the seventies. 



Both sets were collected by Dr C. E. Lukeiis, who fuinished the 
following account of the game under the name of iyawacutaej'ae, to 
hide away over and over : 

The game is played with four small tubes, closed at one end ; one little piece of 
wood or pebble, small enough to hide in one of the tubes, and a bunch of one 
hundred small sticks and one larger one, which are counters. These counters 
are at first tlie common pi'operty of both sides, until paid out as forfeits : then 
each side must pla.v with the sticks the.v have won. ^yhen one side loses all 
their sticks, they can take the larger one, called the na-<-atz, scalp, which is 
common property, and play with it four times. If they yet lose, the other side 
wins the game. 

In beginning pla.v the leaders of the two sides toss up for turns, one side 
hidin.g the little object, the other seeking it, B takes the bundle of one hundred 
counters and goes out. A hides the little object in one of the tubes and 
arranges them so as to deceive the seeker, placing them on end or side or in 
fantastic ways. B enters and chooses a tulie ; if he chooses the full one — that 
with the object in it— first, he forfeits ten sticks to A, wlio begins a private 


ZL.-^ ^^'— —^'-. 

Fig. 4.")!l. 

Fig. 4(ili. 

Pig. 4.59. Tubes for hiding game: height, 4| inches: Keres Indians. Lugun.i. New Mexico: eat. 

no. 6lS17, Field Columliian Museum. 
Fig. 4(50. Counting sticks for hiding game; lengths, 4: and 7 j inches: Keres Indians. Laguna, 

New Mexico; cat. no. 61S17, Field Ct>lumbian Museum. 

bunch with them for his future use. Then A goes out while B hides the object 
A enters: if he chooses one eni])ty and next the full one, he iiays B sticks 
forfeit : if he chooses three empty and then the full one. he forfeits 4 sticks, and 
goes out again. But if A should li;ive chosen two empty and next the full one, 
then they change sides; B takes what is left of the original one hundred .-iticks, 
leaving those he has gained in his bank, and goes out while A hides the object. 
A hides the object and B seeks, jiaying forfeits from the Ijunch :is A did, and 
with these forfeits A begins a private bunch. When B chooses t\\o empty ones 
and one full one, they change sides as before. When the original bundle is all 
paid out, they begin on their private store — i. e,, the forfeits they have gained. 

When one side loses all his sticks he takes up the one large stick, the scalp, 
and has four chances without paying forfeits. If he is lucky enough to guess 
so ;is to change sides, he may win more forfeits, and the game goes on inter- 
minably ; but if he loses all of the chances he loses the game, and his opponent 
takes the wager. If one side should lose four, six, or ten, and have only two 
with which to pay, the two must answer the debt. During tlie guessing the 
opposing side sings and dances ;ind prays that the siiirits will so deceive the 
guessers as to make them lose. 




Kerbs. Sia, New Mexico. ( Cat. no. (i089T, Field Columbian Museum.) 
Set of four paper tubes, lij inches in height, open at both ends and 

marked with ink, as shown in figure 461. Collected by Annie M. 


Sia, New Mexico. 




f ■ 




1 ■ 

Fig. 461. Paper tubes for 
hiding game: height, 2} 
inches: Keres Indians, 
Sia, New Mexico; cat. 
no. 60897, Field Colum- 
bian Museum. 

Mrs Matilda Coxe Stevenson " describes the following game of this 
type, as played b}' Poshaiyanne, the Sia culture hero, in his gambling 
contest with the tribal priest : 

Four circular sticks, some 8 inches long, with hollow ends, were stood in line 
and a blanket thrown over them ; the ti'iimoni then put 
a round pebble into the end of one, and removing the 
lil:inket a.sked Po'shai.viinne to choose the stick contain- 
ing the pebble. " Xo, my father," said Po'shaiyilnne, 
"you first. What am I that I should choose before yovi? " 
But the ti'amoni replied, " I placed the stone ; I know 
where it is." Then Po'shaiyilnne selected a stick and 
raising it the peblile was visible. Po'shaiyilnne then 
threw the blanket over the sticks and placed the stone 
in one of them, after which the ti'iimoni selected a stick 
and raised it, but no stone was visible. This was re- 
peated four times. Each time the ti'amoni failed and 
Po'shaiyilnne succeeded. 

In the third contest the ti'iimoni made four 
little mounds of sand, and, throwing a blanket over them, placed in 
one a small round stone. The game proceeded in the same manner, 
Poshaiyiinne placing the stone four times and the ti'iimoni failing 
each time. At the seventh and last contest the game of the pebble 
and four hollow sticks was repeated with the same result. 


Papago. Mission of San Xavier del Bac, Pima county, Arizona. 

(Field Columbian Mu.seum.) 
Cat. no. 63539. Four cane tubes, closed at one end with natural joint, 
with etched designs filled in with colors, as shown in figure -l:6-2 ; 
height, <S| inches. 
Cat. no. 63511. Four cane tubes, similar to the above, Init with in- 
cised marks in checker pattern (figure 463) : height 9^ inches. 
These specimens were collected by Mr S. C. Simms, who gives the 
name of the game as wahpetah, and describes it as follows : 

This is a game of four wooden cups, in which something is concealed. One 
may use any convenient thing ; beans or corn will do. After the object is 
concealed, the cups are filled with sand and handed to one's opi)oneut. If he 
first hands you back the one containing your bean. ,vou gain 10 : if the bean 
is in the second, you gain G : if in the third, -1 ; but if in the last one .vou lose 
your turn and he conceals the bean. As soon as you gi^e him the cup he 

'■ The Sia. Eleventh Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, p. 61, 1894. 
24 ETH— 0.5 11 23 



empties it and conceals tlie bean again. The score is 50. the loser paying from 
a pile of fifty beans. 

Pap AGO. Pima county, Arizona. (Cat. no. 74517, United States Na- 
tional Museum.) 
Four single joints of reed {Phragmitis communis), each about 7^- 
inches in length and 1 inch in diameter, having one end open, and 
the other closed by the natural diaphragm of the joint (figure 464) . 
They are marked with small squares, cut in simple patterns in the 
faces of the cylinders. By these designs they are separated into 
pairs, called the " old people " and the " yotmg people."' Scarlet chila- 
cayote beans also belong to the game, each jjlaj'er usually possessing 
his private bean and one hundred grains of corn, or a greater number^ 
as may be determined by the players prior to the game. 



Fig. 462. 

Fig. 463. 

Fig. 462. Cane tubes for liiding game; height, 8^ inches: Papago Indians. Pima county, Arizona; 

cat. no. 63.j;^, Field Columljian Museum. 
Fig. 46.3. Cane tubes for hiding game; height, 9i inches; Papago Indians, Pima county, Arizona; 

cat. no. 63511, Field Columbian Museum. 

The four marked tubes receive the following names: Aks, old 
woman ; kii li, old man ; ho tes juk, made black ; mii ok ju ool (merely 
a name). 

These specimens were collected by Dr W J McGee and Mr William 
Dinwiddle in 1894. The following description is given by the col- 
lectors under the name of wapetaikhgut : 

This is a gambling game much in vogue among the Papago Indians. Two con- 
testants usually engage in the play, though any number may enter the same 
game. Before the game proper begins there is an initiatory struggle between 
the two players to gain possession of the reeds. Each of the contestants takes 
a pair of reeds, and, holding them vertically, with the opening up, in one hand, 
rapidly passes the other, in which a chilaeayote bean is held, over the opening, 
dropping it into one of them when he considers the adversary sufficiently con- 
fused by the motion. Each fills his reeds full of sand from a small heap col- 
lected for the purpose, and throws them down before his opponent. Each 





chooses one of the other's prostrate reeds — the one thought to coutaiu the bean. 
If both fail, or both succeed, in finding the bean in the same throw, the hiding 
oper.ition is repeated. If one succeeds and tlie otlier fails, the four reeds go to 
the fortunate finder, and the game begins. 

The possessor of all the reeds repeats the shuffling of the bean over their 
open tops, filling them with sand, and throwing them in fi'ont of his antago- 
nist, who separates them into pairs, usuall.v the "old 
people " and " .roung people." though it is not compulsory 
so to pair them. He next crosses a pair by placing one 
above the other at right angles, selects one of the un- 
crossed reeds of the other pair — the one thought to con- 
tain the bean — and pours the sand from it. If he succeeds 
in finding the bean in tliis reed, all the reeds inmiediately 
go to him. and he in turn performs the operation just 
described, his opponent doing the guessing. If he fails 
to do so, the position of the reed containing the beans 
counts so many grains of corn to the man who places the 
bean, the top-crossed reed being worth 10. the under- 
crossed 6, and the single reed 4. 

The counters, or grains of corn, are first placed on one 
side, all together, and each player draws his winnings 
from this pile, or banlj. until it is exhausted; then tlie 
exchange is made directly from the winnings of the players until one or the 
other has lost all his corn. The possessor of all the grain becomes tlie winner 
of the game. 

So long as the pla.ver attempting to name the reed containing the bean fails 
to do so. his opponent is winning and holds possession of the reeds, repeating the 
operation of placing the bean and filling the reeds with sand until the proper 
reed is guessed. 

Fio.46t. Canetubesfor 
hiding game: length, 
"i inches; Papago In- 
dians, Pima connty, 
Arizona: eat. no. 74517* 
United States Na- 
tional Museum. 

Fig. 4(». Papago Indians playing hiding game; Arizona: from photograph by William Dinwiddle. 

Pima. Gila River reservation, Sacaton agency, Pinal county, Ari- 
zona. (Cat. no. 63289, Field Columbian Museum.) 
Four cane tubes (figure 466), 6f inches in length, tops closed with 
natural joints, faces marked with transverse cuts, painted black, 
arranged diflerently to distinguish the tubes. 
Collected by Mr S. C. Simms, who gives the name of t!ie game as 



Pima. Arizona. (Cat. no. 218043. Uniti'd States National Museum.) 
Four joints of reed (figure 4()7) engraved witli marks, 8i inches 
in length. These \Yere collected hv the late Dr Frank Russell, who 
describes the game played with them as follows:" 

Vapfltai, " Lay." A guessing game in wliicli n nuuilier of players act as assist- 
ants to two loaders. A small bean i is used by tlio I^apago and a ball of black 
niesquite gum by the Pima. It is placed in one of 

P^^ {^^ ^^ ^"^^' joints of reed. The reeds are then filled with 
III I'lw Kilo sand, all being concealed under a blanket, and the 
opponents guess which reed contains the ball. The 
reeds are called vapntakut. " laying iniiilcmonts." 

Iteed no. 1. called knli. "did man." has 17 longitu- 
dinal rows of s si)ots each. 

Reed no. 2, aks, " old woman," is unmarked. 
Reed no. '^. hota stcok, " middle black," has G longi- 
tudinal rows. 

Heed no. 4. ma-atcovoit. lias ." rows around the ojien 

One hundred grains of corn are placed between the 
players in a hole, from which it is taken as won and 
]ilaced in a hole in front of each player. When a 
player wins all the corn he puts up a stick in the 
s'and. The number of the sticks may be from 1 to 10, 
as determined beforehand. Each player cancels one 
of his opponent's sticks when he wins one himself. 
Two players confine their attention to the guessing ; one on each side fills the 
reeds ; one on each side watches tlic counting. Four men, one at each corner, 
hold the blanket under which the filling is done, and sometimes offer suggestions 
to the leaders. The "old people," thi- jilain and the marked reeds, are kejit to- 
gether, and the " young jioople " are useil liy the opponents. When the two pairs 
ai'e filled with sand and a bean or ball is concealed in each pair, the blanket 
is dropped and the reeds are laid in the center, each filU'r 
handing his pair over to the side of his opponent. If .1 
guesses \vrong and B right, they exchange reeds and liegin 
again. If both guess right, there is no count. When one 
guesses right he takes the four reeds and places his biiU in 
one, and the. opponent then decides which pair it is in by lay- 
ing one reed across the other in the jiair which he think.s 
does not contain it. Then he pours t)ut the sand of first one 
then the other. If he has guessed right he does not score, 
but contiuues the play by filling and offering to his op- 
ponent. If he guesses wrong, the opponent scores 4 and 6 
additional if the ball is in the under reed: 1(» if it is in the 

Cheating is done in various ways, but there is re.ison to believe that this prac- 
tice has arisen since they have come in contact with the whites. 

ZtJAQUE. Rio Fuerte, Sinaloa, Mexico. 

Mr C. V. Hartman informs me that a gue.ssing game is played by 

Fui. 46«. Cane tubes for 
hiding game; length, 6,i 
inches; Pima Indians, 
Arizona; cat. no. 63289, 
Field Columbian Mu- 

12 3 4 
Pia.467. Tubes for 
hiding game; Pi- 
ma Indians, Ari- 
zona; cat. no. 21Kt43, 
United States Na- 
tional Museum. 

" In a memoir to be published by the Bureau of American Ethnology. 
' Obtained from Sonora from the tree called paowi by the I'ima and chllicoti by the 




oiiical sand heaps which they 

these Indians on the river l)ank> in u 
form for the purpose. 

It is a game with four liollow pieces of reed and a bean [figure 408]. el juego 
de eanulos y chilieote. The four hollow reed pieces are filled with sand, and in 
one of these the red ehilacayote bean is hidden. The four reeds are then placed 
in the sand heap and guesses are made for the bean. 
But the reeds are also marked with numbers that 
are counted and have their value for the players. 
When a game is finished, the iiarty who have lost 
have to sing the song of this SJinie. wliile the win- 
ners fill the reeds anew with sand and bide the 
bean. The song begins : " Wa'-ka-tii'-nahi'-a, sa-na'- 
na-na-j.i ." The bean is of a small tree. I^rythrina 
cniaUoide- (D. C). and has the peculiar property, as a Tarahumare Indian 
showed me. of becoming burning hot if rubbed only for a second against a some- 
what rough stone. The bean is poisonous and is used by the Tarahumare for 
poisoning dogs. etc. 


Fig. 46.S ehilacayote beans for 
hiding game: Zuaque Indians, 
.Sinaloa. Mexico. 

Hopi. Walpi, Arizona. (Cat. no. 16671.5, United States National 
Museum. ) 

Set of four unpainted cottonwood cylinders (figure 469), 6 inches in 
height and 2J inches in diameter, with cylindrical opening at 
one end, 1^ inches deep and 1 inch in diameter; marked with 
burned lines, and 'having a down feather stuck in the top of 
each, as shown in figure 4()i>. Collected by Mr James Mooney in 

Fig. my Pig. 470. 

Fig. 4«9. Wooden tube.s for hiding game; height, i; inches: Hopi Indians, Walpi. Arizona: cat. 

no. 16671.5. United States National Museum. 
Fk;. 47n. Wooden tubes for hiding game: height, 3J inches: Hopi Indians, Arizona: cat. no, 

21R28. Free Museum of Science and Art, University of Pennsylvania. 

Arizona. ( Cat. no. 21828. Free Museum of Science and Art, 

University of Pennsylvania.) 

Four Cottonwood cups, 2 inches in diameter and ?A inches in height, 
with rounded tops, and marked with burnt lines, having conical 
holes 1^ inches in diameter and 1^ inches in depth in the bottom, 
one cup having an additional mark, as shown in figure 470. . 



Collected by Mr Thomas V. Keam. of Keams canyon. Arizona, 
who furnished the followino; account : 

Name of tubes, sho-se-vah ; name of game, sho-sho-tukia. The game consists 
of 10 iM)ints. It is played during the winter month of January in the liivas 
(estufas) by two or more individuals. When the tubes are being placed over 
the object they are hidden from the view of the contesting iiarty by a blanliet. 
A small round sandstone pebble is the object used. It is placed under one of 
the tubes, and the contesting side calls out the figure marked on the tube under 
which the pebble is supposed to be, and at the same time lifts the tube. If it 
exposes the pebble and is done with the right hand, it counts 2 points; if done 
with the left, it counts 1. Should he turn three and not find the pebble, it 
counts 1 against him. When the 10 points are won by the outs, they take the 
stake and assume control of the game, which is sometimes prolonged during 
the night. 

Hopi. Walpi. Arizona. (Cat. no. 41885. United States National 
Museum. ) 

Set of four wooden cylinders, 3| inches in length and -2 inches in 
diameter, with hemispherical opening three- fourths of an inch 
deep and 1 inch in diameter ; marked with bands of white paint. 
Collected by Col. James Stevenson in 1884. 

AValpi. Arizona. (Cat. no. 55380, Field Columbian Mu.seum.) 

Four cone-shaped Cottonwood cups, 63 inches in height, with rounded 
tops, marked with burned bands and symbolic designs, as shown 
in figure 471. They are an ancient set and came from the Pow- 
amu altar. Collected by Dr George A. Dorsey. 

Fig. 471. 

Wooden tubes for hiding game: height, 6f^ inches; Hopi Indians, Walpi, Arizona; cat. 
no. 55380, Field Columbian Museum. 

■Oraibi, Arizona. 

Museum. ) 

(Cat. no. ■2-2550, United States National 

Set of four nnpainted wooden cylinders (figures 472-475). 6 inches 
in height and 2^ inches in diameter, \vith hemispherical charred 
opening at one end, seven-eighths of an inch deep and \\ inches 
in diameter. Collected by Maj. J. W. Powell in 1876. 




The external surfaces are marked with burned designs of rain 
cloud and five-pointed star, eagle and butterfly, bear's paw, and eagle 
and Sho-tuk-nung-wa, the Heart of the Sky god. 
Hopi. Oraibi, Arizona. (Cat. no. 67056, Field Columbian Mu- 
Set of four wooden cylinders, li inches in diameter, tlaree of tliem 
3^ inches in height, with top carved to represent a cloud terrace. 

Fig. 472. 

Fisr. 473. 

Fig. 474. 

Fig. 475. 

Fig. 472-475. Wooden tubes for hiding game; height, 6 inches; Hopi Indians, Oraibi, Arizona; 
cat. no. 22550, United States National Museum. 

and one 3 inches in height, with a deep groove cut near the upper 
part, within which is tied a string of beads, thirty-four of blue 
glass and five of coral (figure -iTfi). This last cylinder has a 
hemispherical opening at both top and bottom, while the others 
have such an opening only at the bottom. Collected by Rev. 
H. R. Yoth. 
Oraibi. .Arizona. (Cat. no. 67055, Field Columbian Mu- 
seum. ) 



Set of four Cottonwood cylinders (figure 477). new and unpainted, 

two of them 3 inches high and li inches in diameter, and two 2| 

inches high and 1} inches in diameter. 

All have deep conical orifices at the Ijottom and have tops carved 

with lieads representing masks, the Koyemsi ivatcina. They were 

collected by Rev. H. R. \'oth. who gave the following description: 

Fig. 476. Woodeu tubes for hiding game; heights, 3 and .9i inches: Hopi Indians, Oi-aibi, Ari- 
zona; cat. no. 67056, Field Columbian Museum. 

Although this is principiilly ii woman's game, men occasionally take part in it. 
The font' wooden objects are hollow at the end which is set in the ground. The 
form of the upper end differs in different sets: sometimes it represents the 
Hopi terraced cloud symbol, sometimes that of a particular kateina mask, as iu 
the present example, and sometimes each of the four blocks in a set represents 

Fig. 477. 

Fig. 477. Wooden tubes for hiding game; heights, 2; and 3 inches; Hopi Indians, Oraihi, Ari- 
zona; cat. no. 670.5."). Field Columbian Museum. 

Fig. 47.'<. Wooden tubes and countini: sticks for hiaing game: height, 4i inches; Hopi Indians, 
Oraibi, Arizona: cat. no. .3x614, Free Museum of Science and Art. University of Pennsylvania. 

a different kateina. In playing, two opposing sides are chosen, each of which 
may consist of several members. The blocks are then placed on the tioor and 
a small ball, a bean, or similar object is hidden in a dexterous manner under 
one of the blocks. The opposite side is then challenged to guess the block 
under which the object is hidden. If a corre<t guess is made, the guessing side 




plays ; if not, the other side asain hides the object, and so on. The object in the 
game, as well as the details in playing it, have not yet been studied. 

HoPi. Oraibi, Arizona. (Cat. no. 38614. Free Museum of Science 
and Art. University of Pennsylvania.) 

Four Cottonwood cylinders (figure 478), with carved tops, two alike, 
with cloud terrace at top painted red, the body of the cylinder 
being blue: and two with a kind of inverted cone at top painted 
blue, the body being red; height, 4i inchas; accompanied by 
fifty counting sticks. Collected by the writer in 1901. 

The game, bakshiwu, is played by women. A ball, piliata. nodule, is hidden 
under one of the four cups, and the object is to guess under which it is con- 
cealed. The game is counted with fifty sticivs, mori, beans. In guessing the 
cup is knocked down with the hand, and the game proceeds in rhythm with a 
song. The cups with the cloud terrace at top are called kopachakitaka, head- 
dress man, and the others with inverted cones like flowers, flute blossom. 

"Waipi. Arizona. (Cat. no. GSSTi, United States National 


Set of four cottonwood cylinders (figure 479), two surmounted with 
cloud terrace symbols, 2J and 3J inches in height, and two plain, 
formerly with a jjrojecfion at the top that has been cut off, 2^ 

inches in height. 

Collected by Col. James Stevenson. 

Flu. 479. Wooden tubes for biding game; heights, 2J and 3i inches; Hopi Indians, Walpi, Ari- 
zona; o^t. uo. 6^874. United States National Museum. 


Dr J. Walter Fewkes writes as follows in a personal letter:" 

Although I have not given special attention to the Hopi games. I was .able to 
make a few observations on a cup game which the Tewa of Hano call peniei ; 
the Walpi, cocotukwi. During the month Pamiiyawii. or .January and part of 
February, 1900, it was played almost constantly, both in and out of the kivas, 
in the three towns on the East mesa. The cones used had various markings, 
and those at Hano had bands called by the following names [figtire 4S01 ; a. with 
three bands on, poyopeni ; h. with two bands, wihipeni ; c, with one band around 
top, kepeni; d, with one median band, penopeni. The game was played for sev- 
eral consecutive days in the plaza of Siehomovi by women of different clans, 
the two sides — one from Hano. the other from Siehomovi — standing opposite 
each other or seated, as the case may be. Both parties h,id a wooden di'um, 
and the ijarty having the cones sang vigorously and beat their drums with great 

•July, 1902. 



glee. The party not holding cones were silent. The cones were arranged in a row. 
as shown in the figure [481]. When the stone or marble was placed nnder one of 
the cones, all the members of the party owning the cones crowded about them 
and held up their blankets to prevent the opposite side seeing under which 

cone the stone was placed. Certain mysterious 
passes were made when the stone was placed 
below the cone. The women then seated them- 
selves in a row and invited their opponents to 
play, or to find the stone concealed under one 
of the cones. The party then sang loudly, and 
a man beat the drum as tlie representative of 
the opposite party advanced to lift the cone 
under which he supposed the stone was hidden. 
There were loud jeers and much bantering back and forth. Bets were made 
on the game, and it became very exciting, at times lasting the whole afternoon. 
The details of winning were not noted, but if the one of the opposite party 
uncovered the stone at the first trial, the cones went to the party to which he 
belonged. The winners then set up the cones, sang songs, and beat their drum 
as their opponents before them had done when they held the cones. Figure 
[481] shows the members of one side with the cones before them and the drum- 
mer on one side, made from a group in the plaza, January 12, 1900. 

Cocotukwi was played in tlie Walpi kivas almost continuously from .lanuary 
12 to February 3; after I'owamfl began, it was not noted, and it was said to be 

FiQ. 4S0. Tubes for hiding game; 
Tewa Indians, Hano, Arizona; 
from sketch by Dr J. Walter 

Fio. 481. Plaza cocotukwi at Sichomovi, Arizona; from photograph by Dr J. Walter Fewkes, 

a game of Pamuyanfl — January moon. It always took place at night, never in 
two kivas on the same night, and followed in rotation from the Monkiva to the 
Alkiva. The men gathered first in the kiva and the women came to the hatch 
and called down to those within that they wanted firewood. The men re]>lied : 
"Come down and gamble for it at cocotukwi." In the kiva cocotukwi men and 
^^■omen were on opposite sides. If tlie men lost, they had to " get firewood," but 
1 did not hear what would be the penalty if the women lost. I followed the 
game one night (.January 12) in the Monkiva. After all were seated, Kakapti, 
chief of the Sand clan, brought in a bag of sand and emptied it before the 






Fig. 482. Plan of kiva hiding game: Hopi 
Indians, Walpi. Arizona: from sketcli by 
Dr J. Walter Fewkes. 

fireplace. He took a stick and in a field of this sand whicli had been carefully 
spread on the floor made a rectansiular figure, across wliicli he dre\\ a iiair of 
lines making a central rectangle, on each side of which he made five parallel 
grooves [figure 482], In the smaller central rectangle he made, unknown to 
me, cabalistic figures, tracing them in the sand, laughingly referring to their 
names as he did so, the assembled players joking with him or making sugges- 
tions. In counting, two short twigs were used, and these were advanced from 
one to the other of these sand gi-ooves in much the same way that sticks are 
used in pachtli.o Each side had a stick and Kakapti kept account. The mode 
of counting, as I rememlier, resembled that of pachtli. The sticks were ad- 
vanced as one side or the other won. VV'heu the party which uncovered the 
stone did not e.vpose it after two trials it 
remained with the side which held the 
cones ; to uncover at the first trial 
counted more than at the second at- 
tempt. Different cones seemed to have 
different values. The cones used were 
not marked like those at Hauo. I)ut were 
of wood and of about the same shape. 
There was the same singing, sliouting, 
and laughter as in the plaza game. 

I have found one of these cones made 
of lava stone in one of the Little Colo- 
rado ruins, and Dr Frank Russell has 
shown me another which he found in the 
Gila region. I believe that some of the 
small stone marbles found in the ruins 

liad to do with this game. To relieve the monotony of the long vigils in the 
kivas between the ceremonies I have sometimes played an informal game of 
cocotukwi with some youth who was there, picking up the cones from the l)an- 
quette and trying to see how many times each of us could uncover the stone 
in the same number of trials. Once or twice I have seen joung men play a 
private game of cocotukwi in this way. but not often. 

Mr A. M. Stephen in an unpublished manuscript gives the Hopi 
name of a game played -with a stone nodule concealed under one of 
four cups as socotiikiiya and again as sociitukiyufnvuh : 

The game is played by two parties of grown persons, each usually composed 
of a large number, seated and facing each other a short distance apart. The 
implements used are four cylindric wooden cups somewhat resembling large 
diceboxes, a small stone nodule, and a stout wooden club. After tossing a 
corn husk or a leaf with a blackened side to decide which shall begin, the party 
which wins the toss set the four cups in a line in front of their group and 
conceal them from the opposite side by holding a blanket up as a screen, and 
then they hide the nodule under one of the cups. The blanket being witlidrawn, 
a person from the challenged side walks across and takes the club in his hand, 
and after much deliberation turns over one of the cups with the club. If 
the nodule is' not exposed, he turns over another, and the nodule not being 
found, the crisis of his play is reached, for the object is to uncover the nodule 
at the third attempt. If then found, his party scores a count, and they take 
the implements to their side, and conceal the nodule as the first party had 
<ione. If, however, the player uncovers the nodule before, or fails to find it 

" Tewa game, correspondiug to patolli. 



at his third attempt, the ohallengiiig party scores a count and again repeats 
the conceahnent. The concealing, or challenging, side continue to sing vigor- 
ously as long as they contimie to gain, ceasing only when they lose, when the 
other side talces up the songs. These are very numerous and of special interest, 
as they are wholly of a mythologic character. 


Dakota (Oclala). Pine Ridge reservation, Sontli Dakota. (Cat. 
no. 2211-1: to '22116, Free Museum of Science and Art. Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania.) 
A ijiece of shaved horn (figure 483), nearly round, three-eighths of 
an inch in diameter and IJ inches in length; two sharpened 
sticks of cedar (figure -1:81:), one light and one dark, s}, inches 
in length; bundle of twelve counting sticks (figure 185), cuwin- 
yawa, peeled saplings, painted red, 15 inches in length. 

Fig. 4a5. 

Pig. 48a. Hitliug horn fur moccasin game; length, 1 j inches; Oglala Dakota Indians, Pine Ridge 

reservation, South Dakota; cat. no. 22114, Free Museum of .Science and Art, University of 

Fir;. 484. Pointing sticks for moccasin game; length, 8t inches; Oglala Dakota Indians, Pine 

Ridge reservation. South Dakota; cat. no. 22115, Free Museum of Science and Art, University 

of Pennsylvania. 
Fig. 48,5. Counting sticks for moccasin game; length, 1.5 inches; Oglala Dakota Indians, Pine 

Ridge reservation. South Dakota; cut. no. 2211(i, Free Museum of Science and Art, University 

of Pennsylvania. 

These oltjects are described hy the collector. ^Ir Louis L. Meeker," 
as implements used in the guessing game, hanpapecu, i. e., moccasin 
game : 

A small bit of horn [figure 4S8] is concealed in (Jiie or the other of one 
player's hands, and the other player guesses which hand : or the same object 
is concealed in one of two, three, or foiu- moccasins, and the other player 
guesses which one contains the horn. Should he have doubts, he can draw the 
game by guessing which does not contain it. and guess on the remaining two 
for a chance for the ne.xt play. 

Two sliarpened sticl;s of cedar, cuwiiiy.-iw;! I figure 4S4|. niic of llic light 
sapwood, the other of dark lieartwood, are held by the guesser, though but one 
is his. If he uses his own to jiull a moccasin toward him. he means that the 
object concealed, is in it. If he uses his partner's stick he pushes the object 

" Ogalala Oames. 
delphla, 1901. 

Bulletin of the Free Museum of Science .'ind Art, v. 3, p. 29, Phila- 


from him. indicating that tbe olijeot is not concealed in that moccasin. The 
counters are sticl^s [flj;ure 4.S."i|. soiuftiuies used to phiy odd (jr even. 

Recently this game became so popular upon the Pine Ridge agency that it waa 
neces.sary to prohibit it entirely. 

The moccasin player observes certain physiognomical signs which he regards 
as indicating which of the moccasins contains the bit of horn or " bullet." The 
Ogalala dialect contains a long list of words like our smile, sneer, squint, 
frown, etc.. applied to the twitching of the muscles of the limbs as well as to 
those of the face. It is said that English will not express all or even the 
greater part of these terms. They seem to have arisen from the necessities 
of the game. 

Dakot.v (Santee). ilinnesota. 

]Mr Philander Prescott describes tlie game in Schoolcraft" as 
follows : 

The iilay of moccasins is practised by the men. and large bets are made. In 
this game they take sides; one party playing against the t)ther. One side will 
sing, whilst one man of the other party hides the ball in a moccasin. 

There are three moccasins used for the purpose. The man takes the ball or 
stick between his thumb and forefinger, and slips it from one moccasin to another 
several times, and leaves it in one of them and then stops, something like thim- 
lile-play. The party that have been singing have to guess in which moccasin the 
ball is: for which purpose one man is chosen. If he guesses where the ball is 
the first time, he loses. Should the ball not be in the moccasin that he guesses 
the first time, he can try again. He has now two moccasins for a choice. He 
has now to guess which one the ball is in. If he is successful, he wins : if not, 
he loses. So they have only one chance in two of winning. When one side 
loses, the other side give up the moccasins to the other party to try their luck 
awhile at hiding the ball. They have no high numbers in the games. 

Rev. E. D. Neill ^ says : 

One of their games is like " Hunt the Slipper ; " a bullet or plum stone is 
placed by one party in one of four moccasins or mittens and sought for by the 

Riggs '■ gives the following definition: 

Ha?/'-pa-a-pe, ha';'pa-a-pe-don-pi — a game in which a bullet is hid in one of 
four moccasins or mittens, and sought for by the opposite party : han'-iia, moc- 

Iowa. Missouri. 
George Catlin '' describes the game as follows: 
Ing-kee-ko-kee (Game of the Moccasin). 

" Take care of yourself — shoot well, or yovi lose. 

You warned me. but see ! I have defeated you ! 
I am one of the Great Spirit's children, 
Wa-konda I am I I am Wa-konda ! " 

This song is sung in this curious and most exciting, as well as fascinating 
game, which is played by two, or four, or six — seated on the ground in a circle, 

" Inffirmation respecting the History, Condition, and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of 
the United States, pt. 4, p. C.4. Philadelphia. lS,^j4. 

'Dakota Land and Dakota Life 1 18531. Minnesota Historical Collections, v. 1. p. 2S0, 
St. Paul. 1872. 

*" Dakota-English Dictionary. Contributions to North American Ethnology, v. 7. p. 1-14, 
Washington, l.sno. 
- " The George Catlin Indian Gallery, p. 151, Washington, 1886. 


with thi-ee or four moccasins Ijiug on the ground; when one lifts each moccasin 
in turn, anil suddenly darts his right hand under each, dropping a little stone, 
the size of a hazelnut, under one of the moccasins, leaving his adversary to hit 
on one or the other, and to take the counter and the chance if he chooses the 
one under which the stone is dropped. This is, perhaps, one of the silliest- 
looking games to the spectator, hut it all goes to music, and in perfect time, and 
often for hours together without intermission, and forms one of the principal 
gambling games of these gambling people. 

Omaha. Nebraska. 

Rev. J. Owen Dorsey " describes the following game : 

I"'-uti°', Hitting the stone, is a game played at night. Sometimes there are 
twenty, thirty, or forty players on each side. Four moccasins are placed in a 
row, and a member of one part.v covers them, putting in one of them some small 
object that can be easily concealed. Then he says, "Come! hit the moccasin in 
which ,vou think it is." Then one of the opposite side is chosen to hit the moc- 
casin. He arises, examines all, and hits one. Should it be empty, they say, 
"(pingee ha," it is wanting. He throws it far aside and forfeits his stakes. 
Three moccasins remain for the rest of his friends to try. Should one of them 
hit the right one (uska°'ska° uti"' or uka°'ska uti°'), he wins the stakes, and 
his side has the privilege of hiding the ob,ject in the moccasin. He who hits the 
right moccasin can hit again and again until he misses. Sometimes it is deter- 
mined to change the rule for winning, and then the guesser aims to avoid the 
right moccasin the first time, but to hit it when he makes the second trial. 
Should he hit the right one the first time he loses his stakes. If he hits the 
right one when he hits the second moccasin, he wins, and his side has the right 
to hide the object. They play till one side or the other has won all the sticks 
or stakes. Sometimes there are players who win back what they have lost. 
He who takes the right moccasin wins four sticks, or any other number which 
may be fi.xed upon by previous agreement. 

Eight sticks win a blanket ; four win leggings ; one hundred sticks, a full- 
grown horse ; sixty sticks, a colt : ten sticks, a gun ; one, an arrow ; four, a 
knife or a pound of tobacco ; two, half a pound of tobacco. Buffalo robes ( meba ) , 
otter skins, and beaver skins are each equal to eight sticks. Sometimes they 
stake moccasins. 

When one player wins all his party yell. The men of each party sit in a row, 
facing their opponents, and the moccasins are placed between them. 

Mr Francis La Flesche described the same game to the writer under 
the name of i-u-teh, strike the stone: 

Pour men play, two against two, sitting on the ground vis-a-vis, and using 
four moccasins and two balls of buffalo hair about half an inch in diameter. 
One side hides and the opponents guess, the hiders singing songs, of which there 
are several. The game is played with the hands by four players, one of 
whom tosses the ball from one hand to the other. 

Winnebago. AVisconsin. 

Mr Reuben G. Thwaites '' oixes the following account, from an 
interview with Moses Paquette : 

The moccasin game is the chief one. It somewhat resembles three-card 
monte, except that I do not think there is any cheating about it. The players 

"Oiiiiihn Sociolog.v. Third Anniiiil lieport of the Bni-eau of Ethnology, p. 339. 1884. 
" Tlip Wisconsin Winnehat'oes. Collections of the State Historical Society of Wiscon- 
sin, V. 12, p. 425, Madison, 1892. 




squat oil the .trroiiiul in two Lrrdups. facing eaoli other: any number may be on a 
side — one or a dozen — and the sides need not lie eiiual in numbers. On the 
ground between the two groii|is. tour mocoasins are phiced in a row. Tlie leader 
of the side that has the " deal," so to speak, takes a small bead in his right hand 
and deftly slides the hand under each moccasin in turn, pretending to leave the 
bead under each one of them ; he finally does leave the bead under one, and 
the leader of the opposition side, watching him closely, is to guess which moc- 
casin covers the bead. The opposition leader then takes a slender stick and 
lifts up and throws off the three moccasins under which he thinks nothing has 
been left, leaving the one under which he guesses the bead has been left. 
Should the bead be discovered under one of three which he throws off, then he 
loses 4 points for his side ; should he be correct in his guess, and the bead 
found under the one moccasin left, he gains 4 for his side. Ten small 
tW'igs or chips are conveniently at hand, and as each side wins at a play, the 
leader takes 4 from the pile. When the ten are all taken, by either or both 
sides, the game is ended, the side having the most sticks being the winner. 
Usually five such games are played, the side getting the greater number taking 
the stakes, which are commonly goods — although once in a while the