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Patolli (Aztec)


Medieval, Modern


Central America


Patolli is a game played by the Aztecs, forms of which survive today. It is a race game, though we do not know many of the details of its early forms.


Cross-shaped board, marked with squares 2x9-10 in each arm. Two or four players. Four, five, or ten beans used as dice, marked on one side. The number of marked sides that land face-up indicate the score of the throw, doubled when all of the beans have the marked side face-up. Six pieces per player.

DLP evidence.




Murray 1951: 147; Culin 1898: 854; Tylor 1878; Duverger 1978: 214-217.

Evidence Map

10 pieces of evidence in total. Browse all evidence for Patolli (Aztec) here.

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Acuña, E. (ed.) 1984. Relaciones Geográficas del Siglo XVI: Tlaxcala Tomo 1.

Beyer, H. 1921. "Sobre Antigüedades del Pedregal de San Angel. Memorias y Revista de la Sociedad Científica Antiono Alzate 37(1): 1-16.

Codex Magliabechiano.

Codex Xólotl.

Culin, S. 1898. Chess and Playing-Cards. Washington: Government Printing Office.

de Gomara, F. 1552. La Istoria de las Indias, y Conquista de Mexico. Saragossa: Miguel Capila.

Durán, D. 1574-1579. El Libro de los Ritos. Codex Duran.

Duverger, C. 1978. L'esprit du jeu chez les Aztèques. Paris: Mouton Éditeur.

Gallegos Gómora, M. 1994. "Un patolli prehispánico en Calakmul, Campeche." Revista Española de Antropología Americana 29: 9-24.

Murray, H.J.R. 1951. A History of Board-Games Other Than Chess. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Sahagún, B. 1545-1590. Historia General de las Cosas de la Nueva España. Florentine Codex.

Torquemada, J. 1615. Monarquia Indiana. Sevilla.

Tylor, E. 1879. "On the Game of Patolli in Ancient Mexico, and its Probably Asian Origin." Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 8: 116-131.




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