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Mesoamerican & South American Board Games/Gambling Games/Party Games





Patolli (Nahuatl: [paˈtoːlːi]) or patole (Spanish: [paˈtole]) is one of the oldest known games in America. It was a game of strategy and luck played by commoners and nobles alike. It was reported by the conquistadors that Moctezuma Xocoyotzin often enjoyed watching his nobles play the game at court.







Patolli as depicted in Bernardino de Sahagún's General History of the Things of New Spain. Skilled players had their own game mats and their own playing pieces that they brought in tied cloth bundles.






Patolli is a race/war game with a heavy focus on gambling. Players would meet and inspect the items each other had available to gamble. They would bet blankets, maguey plants, precious stones, gold adornments, food or, in extreme cases, their homes, family or freedom. Agreeing to play against someone was not done casually, as the winner of the game would ultimately win all of the opponent's store of offerings.

Each player must have the same number of items to bet at the beginning of the game. The typical number of items to bet is six, because each player has six markers (each time a marker successfully completes a circuit around the board, the opponent is required to hand over one of their items); although any number would be acceptable as long as each player agreed.

Once an agreement is made to play, the players prepare themselves by invoking the god of games, .








(continue Article by clicking site)






























Bul (game)

A game of Bul in progress

Bul (also called Buul, Boolik or Puluc) is a running-fight board game originating in Mesoamerica, and is known particularly among several of the Maya peoples of Belize and the Guatemalan highlands. It is uncertain whether this game dates back to the pre-Columbian Maya civilization, or whether it developed in the post-colonial era after the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores.



Rules for two players


There are a variety of ways to play the game, as Verbeeck's account shows. The game could be played by two people, or by two equal-sized teams. The overall objective is to capture and subsequently kill the playing pieces of the opposition, so the game is in essence a war game.

The playing area is divided into equal spaces using rods placed parallel to each other. The two players have control of a base at either end of the play area. The players take an even number of stones or figurines (or any suitable playing piece) and place them in their respective bases.

The movement of the stones is determined by the roll of four dice or bul (corn kernels). These are marked black on one side (typically with charcoal) so that they land showing either a yellow or black face. The number of marked faces showing determines how many spaces a stone can move:


  • 1 black – 1 space
  • 2 black – 2 spaces
  • 3 black – 3 spaces
  • 4 black – 4 spaces
  • 0 black (all yellow) – 5 spaces

Alternating turns, players roll the bul and move any of their stones the corresponding number of spaces toward the enemy base. A stone cannot move to a space already occupied by a friendly stone. If there is no other option but to do this, a player must pass.

When a stone lands on the same space as an enemy stone, the enemy stone is captured and is no longer controlled by the enemy player. The enemy stone is placed beneath the capturing stone to reflect its captured state. Every time the capturing stone moves, its prisoners are moved with it. If a stone lands on an enemy stone that already has prisoners, it captures that stone and its prisoners, and these are placed beneath it.

When a stone captures an enemy stone, it immediately reverses direction and begins heading back to the home base. Once a stone and its prisoners reach home, any enemy stones are removed from the game, or killed. Friendly stones are liberatedor returned to the set of stones that can be played.

A player wins once they kill every enemy stone.








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Dudo ( Perudo )

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A Perudo set

Dudo (Spanish for I doubt), also known as Cacho, Pico, Perudo, Liar's Dice, Cachito or Dadinho is a popular dice game played in South America. It is a more specific version of a family of games collectively called Liar's Dice, which has many forms and variants. This game can be played by two or more players and consists of guessing how many dice, placed under cups, there are on the table showing a certain number. The player who loses a round loses one of their dice. The last player to still have dice is the winner.


Game play


Each player has five dice and a dice cup


Each player starts having five dice and a cup, which is used for shaking the dice and concealing the dice from the other players. Players roll a die in order, to determine where and in what order they sit. Highest first, then next lowest and so on. In the event of a tie between 2 players, they simply re-roll until one gains a higher score.

After deciding who starts the game (this can be done by making each player roll one die, for example), the players shake their dice in their cups, and then each player looks at their own dice, keeping their dice concealed from other players. Then, the first player makes a bid about how many dice of a certain value are showing among all players, at a minimum. Aces (dice showing a one) are wild, meaning that they count as every number. For example, a bid of "five threes" is a claim that between all players, there are at least five dice showing a three or an ace. The player challenges the next player (moving clockwise) to raise the bid or call dudo to end the round.

also known as "bid" in most versions, a player can increase the quantity of dice (e.g. from "five threes" to "six threes") or the die number (e.g. "five threes" to "five sixes") or both. If a player increases the quantity, they can choose any number e.g. a bid may increase from "five threes" to "six twos".
Bidding aces
a player who wishes to bid aces can halve the quantity of dice, rounding upwards. For instance, if the current bid is "five threes" then the next player would have to bid at least three aces. If the current bid is aces, the next player can call dudo or increase the quantity (e.g. "four aces") or bid a different number, in which case the lower bound on the quantity is one more than double the previous quantity—for instance, from "three aces", a player wishing to bid fours would have to bid "seven fours" or higher.
also known as dudo, if the player calls, it means that they do not believe the previous bid was correct. All dice are then shown and, if the guess is not correct, the previous player (the player who made the bid) loses a die. If it is correct, the player who called loses a die. A player with no dice remaining is eliminated from the game.[1]After calling, a new round starts with the player that lost a die making the first bid, or (if that player was eliminated) the player to that player's left.[1]
Spot on
also known as "calza" in some versions, the player claims that the previous bidder's bid is exactly right. If the number is higher or lower, the claimant loses the round; otherwise, the bidder loses the round. A "spot-on" claim typically has a lower chance of being correct than a challenge, so a correct "spot on" call sometimes has a greater reward, such as the player regaining a previously lost die.


When a player first reaches one dice (i.e. loses a round and goes from two dice to one), a Palifico round is played. During this round, the player makes an opening bid and their choice of die number cannot be changed. Aces are not wild during the round. For instance, the player who is down to one die may bid "two fours", and the next player's only options are to raise the quantity (to "three fours" or higher), or to call.

The game ends when only one player has dice remaining; that player is the winner.


Rule variants

Some versions of the game have players lose a number of dice equal to the difference between the challenged bid and the correct number of dice.[2]




















From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Picaria gameboard

Picaria is a two-player abstract strategy game from the Zuni Native American Indians or the Pueblo Indians of the American Southwest.[1] It is related to tic-tac-toe, but more related to three men's morrisNine HolesAchiTant Fant, and Shisima, because pieces can be moved to create the three-in-a-row. Picaria is an alignment game.

There are two variations to Picaria. The first version is simpler with 9 spaces or intersection points, and the second version uses 13 spaces or intersection points. The rules are the same.


To create a three-in-a-row of one's pieces either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.








(continue Article by clicking site)



















Stick gambling

A stick game being played at Colville Indian Reservation in Washington, circa 1908

Stick gambling is a traditional hand game played by many indigenous people, with the rules varying among each group. It would typically be played when diverse groups met on the trail. Games could last for several days during which prized matches, shot, gunpowder, or tobacco would be staked. Traditionally, only men would take part. However in modern games, both genders are able to play.[1][2] The Yukon Territory First Nations in Canada holds many annual hand games, or stick gambling tournaments, in which both genders play.[3]


Game Rules


Two equally sized teams kneel on the ground facing one another. On one side, the players hide a token (idzi) in their fist. The token is passed back and forth between fists. Drummers behind provide music and sing gambling songs. When the captain on the opposing team claps their hands, the drumming ceases and the players show their fists.[4]

The captain then uses a hand signal to guess which hand the token is in, against all opposing players at once. A correct guess eliminates that player, and each player who has not been eliminated receives a counting stick. When all opposing players have been eliminated the right to hide the idzi passes to the other team. The game ends when one of the teams have two of the three 'judge sticks'.


Yukon style


To play this game requires an even number of teams, 2 more sticks than players (i.e. 12 people need 14 sticks), three game sticks (once a team has two they have won the game), two blankets or more to assist with hiding the bead, as many beads (tokens) as people and two judges (one for each side).

The game must start with a battle between the captains. Both hide their bead and when both are ready they "shoot" (point) which hand to open. While playing the game, there are different calls a team captain must make. Whichever captain wins, their team goes down first to hide the token. A player has two options when they are ready to bring their hands up with clenched fists after hiding the bead, they may either cross hands and say "Dia" or leave their hands not crossed. Most players are very creative with how they hold their stances after coming up from hiding. Once the full team is up from hiding or whatever members remain, the opposing captain points. The options for pointing are Left, Right, Inside Split, Outside Split (there are many hand signals for these as well as double hand signals). Thumb placement when pointing is very important. If players point left or right and have their thumb up that is technically an outside split and requires specific placement between two people. Similarly, if players have their thumb up for an inside split, they are saying the person their thumb points to is opening the outside hand.

If the captain points left, the opposing team will open their right hands (whichever hand is pointed to). If the captain points right, the opposing team will open their left hands. An inside split will most likely be an open hand (like going in for a hand shake) set between two people, and wherever the split is placed it will be the inside hand for each person. An outside split usually looks like a finger gun and wherever is placed it will be all the outside hands.





















Rock in Fist

Group of children playing rock in fist

For this game, you will need: one rock, three sticks about three inches long that will be used for scoring, and two players. This game was traditionally used to develop intuition and observation.

  • Players should sit facing each other with the three scoring sticks in the center.
  • One player will put the rock behind their back and hide it in one of their fists.
  • Then, the player will bring both fists forward to present to their opponent.
  • The opponent then has to guess which fist contains the rock, using their observation and intuition. If the opponent is correct, s/he gets a turn to hide the rock in their fist.
  • You win a scoring stick when the opponent guesses the wrong fist. Then you get another turn to hide the rock.
  • After the scoring sticks have been claimed from the center, they can be stolen/won from the other player until one individual possesses all three sticks, making them the winner of the game.

Ring the Stick

Ring the stick diagram. Left: A stick with a string and a loose ring tied to the end of it. Right: The same stick with the ring flipped around and secured around the stick.

This game involves some time crafting the game piece prior to playing the game, but the fun that comes with a finished Ring the Stick piece makes the time taken worth it! For this game, you will need: a willow stick about three feet long and the width of your pinky finger, sinew (fishing line could be a good alternative), and a metal ring (or a stick tied into a ring). This game was used to develop hand-eye coordination on both sides of the body by switching playing hands.

  • Once put together, as shown in image A above, the goal is to place the ring over the end of the stick.
  • First, hold the stick with your dominant hand.
  • Using a scooping motion, try to catch the ring with the end of your stick, as shown in image B above.
  • For a challenge, use your non-dominant hand, or put a smaller or larger size ring at the end of your stick.

Guessing Sticks

Group of youth playing guessing sticks.

For this game, you will need: a bundle of twigs, three scoring sticks, and three players. This game was traditionally used in tribes to develop estimation skills.

  • One member of the group holds all the twigs in one bundle with both hands behind their back.
  • Then, the holder quickly separates the twigs into two bundles, holding them out in each hand toward the other players.
  • The other two players must guess how many twigs are in the hand closest to them (one player guesses the number of twigs in one hand and the other player guesses the number in the other hand). They must do this immediately, without hesitation.
  • The two players who are guessing then count the twigs in the bundle in which they were guessing, and if they have guessed the amount exactly right, they get one of the scoring sticks. If neither guesses the amount correctly, then the game continues.
  • After the scoring sticks have been claimed from the center, they can be stolen/won from the other player until one individual possesses all three sticks, making them the winner of the game.



















Real Native American Games you can play at home or at school, and Interactive Native American games to play online Illustration


Games & Activities
Native Americans for Kids




  • The Hand Game (Nez Perce)
  • Butterfly Hide and Seek (Ojibwa)
  • Moccasin Game (Ojibwa)
  • Lacrosse (Ojibwa)
  • Sep (Ojibwa)
  • Snow Snake Game (Iroquois)
  • Toe Toss Stick (Apache)
  • Hoop and Darts game, interactive.


















Plus More.....








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Native American Indian Martial Arts



What is the Apache knife fighting style?

The Apache technique is to drive forward hard against your opponent, try to slip through his defense, and then speed-stab where you find an opening. The preferred targets are the face, neck, and chest. Draw-cuts are not emphasized.








Martial Journal Spotlight: Robert Redfeather On Apache Knife Combat


“It is better to have less thunder in the mouth and more lightning in the hand.” ~ Apache Proverb

We have heard before of the Native American’s as having had their own unique and effective modes of warfare, self defense, martial arts and survival. As having been practiced and skilled warriors who perfected themselves, used weaponry, trained and readied themselves for confrontation. With each tribe having a unique method of combat it would be both unfair and unwise to overlook the most formidable opponents to the ever expanding American west at the time of colonization. They marked the pages of history with their skill, tenacity and effectiveness in battle, and were and still are elite in their own uniquely developed style of fighting. The Apaches.















Martial Journal Spotlight: Robert Redfeather On Apache Knife Combat - Martial Journal









apache Martial Arts - Google Search






Snake Blocker Video



(31) Apache Knife Fighting & Battle Tactics - Stuck in the Thicket - YouTube












Okichitaw is a unique, powerful, practical combat art system that uses basic but aggressive combat movements that were employed specifically throughout Plains Indigenous Warfare. ​Based on Indigenous Plains combat techniques and tactics, this concurrent version of the combat art embodies the spirit of the Plains Warrior fighting and warfare applications through the utilization with traditional weapons.

All hand, foot and body mechanics are a reflection of specific Plains Cree weaponry and their respective movements. Indigenous weaponry such as tomahawk, lance, gunstock warclub and knife are used in advanced training.
















What are the Okichitaw moves?

Jumping, rolling and leaping are used to initiate attacks as finish them. Rotational striking applications are similar to how the arm and body moves when one is holding an impact weapon (e.g. tomahawk).










(31) Okichitaw Indigenous Martial Arts - YouTube




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Native American Indian Tomahawk and Penobscot Bow




From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pipe tomahawk

Modern commercial tomahawk

A tomahawk is a type of single-handed axe used by the many Indigenous peoples and nations of North America. It traditionally resembles a hatchet with a straight shaft.[1][2] In pre-colonial times the head was made of stone, bone, or antler, and European settlers later introduced heads of iron and steel. The term came into the English language in the 17th century as an adaptation of the Powhatan(VirginianAlgonquian) word.

Tomahawks were general-purpose tools used by Native Americans and later the European colonials with whom they traded, and often employed as a hand-to-hand weapon. The metal tomahawk heads were originally based on a Royal Navy boarding axe (a light when boarding hostile ships) and used as a trade-item with Native Americans for food and other provisions.[1][2]


The name comes from Powhatan tamahaac, derived from the Proto-Algonquian root*temah-'to cut off by tool'.[3]Algonquian cognates include Lenape təmahikan,[4]Malecite-Passamaquoddy tomhikon, and Abenaki demahigan, all of which mean 'axe'.[5][6]


Tomahawk, Oglala, Lakota, Sioux (Native American), late 19th-early 20th century, Brooklyn Museum
Nez Perce tomahawk

The Algonquian people created the tomahawk. Before Europeans came to the continent, Native Americans would use stones, sharpened by a process of knapping and pecking,[7] attached to wooden handles, secured with strips of rawhide. The tomahawk quickly spread from the Algonquian culture to the tribes of the South and the Great Plains.

Native Americans created a tomahawk’s poll, the side opposite the blade, which consisted of a hammer, spike or pipe. These became known as pipe tomahawks, which consisted of a bowl on the poll and a hollowed out shaft.[8]These were created by European and American artisans for trade and diplomatic gifts for the tribes.[9]




















Tomahawk - Wikipedia









Penobscot Bow


They were widespread among Inuit who lacked easy access to good bow wood. One variety of cable-backed bow is the Penobscot bow or Wabenaki bow, invented by Frank Loring (Chief Big Thunder) about 1900. It consists of a small bow attached by cables on the back of a larger main bow.













(31) Making a Penobscot Double Bow - YouTube



Some people say that it was invented before 1900, that this bow was used by neighboring Native American Indians such as the Mi'kmaq Indians.



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Apparently Amerindians from North America used Quipus or something similar.







1. An ancient Inca device for recording information, consisting of variously colored threads knotted in different ways.










This Culture that came Before the Native  Americans will Blow your Mind




Please scroll to 42:24 in the Video




"The Santee Sioux claim that formerly their old men kept a record of events by tying knots in a long string. By the peculiar way of tying them, and by other marks, they denoted the different events, fights, etc., and even smaller matters, such as birth of children, etc. "


" I once saw a slender pole some six feet in length, the surface of which was completely covered with small notches and the old Indian who possessed it assured me that had been handed down from father to son for many generations, and that these notches represented the history of his tribe for over a thousand years; in fact, went back to the time when they lived near the ocean (Atlantic Ocean)." 





The host of this video approximated the time period to be



( 1885 - 1000 = A.D. 885 )








Video ( Scroll to 42:24 )


















This Empire Ruled North America before the Europeans!





( Please scroll to 7:42 in the Video )




"Since my arrival among the Creeks the old chiefs had often spoken to me of their ancestors and had shown me the strands of beads or sort of chaplet in which their history was recorded. These chaplets represent their public records. They are made of little beads like those we call Perles de Cayenne; these beads are of diverse colors and are strung one right after the other, their signification depending upon the arrangement and the form of bead. As only principal events, without details, are recorded in these strands, it sometimes happens that a single chaplet comprises the history of twenty to twenty-five years. These beads are ranged so as to define exactly the periods of time, and each year can be easily distinguished by those who understand arrangement. As I was totally ignorant of it and was eager to learn the history of the people that had adopted me and whose interests were as dear to me as those of my own country, I begged the elders to relate it to me orally. I am now going to relate, as exactly as possible, the narrative told me by this old man."








Video ( Scroll to 7:42 )






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10 Things You Didn't Know Were Invented By Native Americans





















10 Inventions in the video are:



three sisters farming method  (1:08)

canoes (3:15)

dreamcatchers (5:20)

chewing gums (6:46)

moccasins (8:08)

snow goggles (9:42)

mouth wash (10:39)

syringes (11:46)

bunk beds (13:16)

pain relievers (14:09)






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