The Stick Game - also called the Hand Game - Plateau Native Americans in Olden Times for Kids Illustration

The Hand Game - Plateau Native Americans in Olden Times

For Kids

The Hand Game (also called The Stick Game):  The people of the Plateau loved games of all sorts. They loved competitions. And they loved to gamble. So itís no surprise that they loved a game they invented called the Hand Game, which is sometimes called The Stick Game.  This game was played by nearly all the tribes that made up the people of the Plateau. The Hand Game is still played today by the people of the Plateau. You can play it too. It's fun! You can find the game pieces you need to play this game lying about on the ground, just like the Plateau people did thousands of years ago.

Here is how it is played:

Game pieces:  11 sticks used to keep score, and 4 round pieces of bone (or small stones) used to play the game.  Two pieces of bone are plain and two are marked somehow to be dark Ė either wrapped with string or dyed or marked somehow.

The Play: Two sides. Each side has the same number of players, usually 4-8 people on each side. Each side is given 2 pieces of bone Ė one plain, one dark. Each side folds their hands into fists. Hidden inside a fist is one of the bones.  

Object:  To guess which bone piece is in which hand on the opposing team.  

Game Play:  By turns, one person from one team guesses what bones are where. If they are right, that team gets a stick. If they are wrong, the opposing team gets a stick. Then itís the opposing teamís turn to guess. Men play against men. Women play against women.

The Prize: The winning team gets all the gifts brought by both sides.  Each player has to put in one gift to play. Gifts might be a knife, a mat, a basket, a fishing spear Ė something of value.

The Stick Game (also called The Hand Game)

More Native American Games for Kids (online interactive fun and real Native American games)

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Native American Stories, Myths and Legends