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Evidence for Nebäkuthana

1 pieces of evidence found.

Id DLP.Evidence.1570
Type Ethnography
Game Nebäkuthana
Location N Arapaho S Arapaho Comanche Apache Kiowa
Date 1890-01-01 - 1890-12-31
Rules The board is rectangular, with six points on either side, with each side divided in half by two short parallel lines, which are the "rivers." There are four arcs in the corners of the "square". The points and lines are the playing spaces. Players play on two teams. One stick, serving as the playing piece, per team, which start one each on the parallel lines on the bottom side. Each team has a number or scoring sticks, determined at the beginning of the game. There are four throwing sticks, three are blank on one side and marked on the other, one stick, the sahe, is marked distinctively on two sides, marked with a green line on the flat side, while the others are marked red. The number of marked sides is the value of the throw, except when all are face up, which scores 6, and when only blank sides are up, which scores 10. Throws of 6 or 10 give the player another throw, as do throws of 1 and 3 if the sahe's marked side is up. All of the players on team team throw before the players of the other team throw. Play begins from the middle oft he river on one side. Each team moves in an opposite direction around the board. If a team's stick lands on the edge of the river opposite the starting position, the piece is sent back to start. If a player lands on the same space as the opposing team's stick, the opposing team's stick is sent back to start. When a team reaches the starting point, having completed a circuit of the board, the team wins a scoring stick. When one team captures all of the scoring sticks, they win.
Content The first is called nebakuthana by the Arapaho and tsona or "awl game" ( from tsoii, 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 is the everyday summer amusement of the women among the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache in the southern plains.... The players sit upon the ground around a blanket marked in charcoal with lines and dots, and quadrants in the corners, as shown in figure 95. In the center is a stone upon which the sticks are thrown. Each dot, excepting those between the parallels, counts a point, making twenty-four points for dots. Each of the parallel lines, and each end of the curved lines in the corners, also counts a point, making sixteen points for the lines or, forty points in all. The players start from 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 6 to 10 inches long, flat one side and round on the other (figure 96). One of these is the trump stick and is marked in a distinctive manner in the center on both sides, and is also distinguished by having a green line along the flat side (figure 97), while the others have each a red line. The Kiowa call this trump stick sake, "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 on the number of flat or round sides which turn up. A lucky throw with the green or trump stick generally gives the thrower another tria in addition. The formulais: One flat side up counts 1, One llat side (if »a7ie) counts 1 and another throw Two flat sides up, with or without sahe, count 2 Three flat Bides up count 3 Three flat sides up, including sahe, count 3 and another throw All four flat sides up count 6 and another throw All four round sides up count 10 and another throw. Only the flat sides count except when all the sticks turn round side up. This is the best throw of all, as it counts ten points and another throw. On completing one round of forty points the player takes one of the.small green tally sticks from the pile and she who first gets the number of tally sticks previously agreed on wins the game. Two, four, or any even number of persons may play the game, half on each...When two or more play on a side, all the partners move up the same number of points at each throw, but only the lucky thrower gets a second trial in case of a trump throw.
Confidence 100
Ages Adult
Genders Female
Source Mooney, J. 1896. The Ghost-Dance Religion and the Sioux Outbreak of 1890. Fourteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution 2.

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