Hand Games



Paiute Indians playing Hand game; Southern Utah;
Games of the North American Indians




In "Travels in the Interior of North America", translated by H. Evans Lloyd, Page 254, London, 1843, Maximilian, Prince of Wied says (Reference, Blackfeet, Montana.):
"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 up, for which to play. One takes some pebbles in his hand, moving it backward and forward in measured time, and singing, while another endeavors to guess the number of pebbles. In this manner considerable sums are lost and won."


Bones and Counting Sticks for Hand Game
Klamath Indians, Oregon,
Free Museum of Science and Art
University of Pennsylvania.

"In the "Fourth Report on the North-Western tribes of Canada. Report of the Fifty Eighth Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science", Page 246, London, 1889, Rev E F Wilson gives us the following information (Reference, Sarsi, British Columbia.):
"Two men squat side by side on the ground, with a blanket over their knees, and they have some small article, such as two or three brass beads tied together, which they pass from 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".

In "The Oregon Territory", Page 93, Philadelphia, 1845, John Dunn Says (Reference, Chinook, Columbia River, Oregon):
"One of their usual games is this: One man takes a small stone, which he shifts from hand to hand repeatedly, all the while humming 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."

In the book "Games of the North American Indians", Cullin quotes a Dr George A Dorsey who mentions the following (Reference, Kutenal, Bonners Ferry, Idaho):
"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 back and forth from side to side, as would be the case if they played with but one set."

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