Game: Counting Sticks (Aboriginal)

Apparently this game originated with the Plains Cree - Muskowpetung First Nation - Qu'appelle Saskatchewan.  We are using this game as an example of an aboriginal game.


  • 25 bamboo skewers
  • 12 toothpicks


  1. The players are divided into two teams sitting opposite each other.
  2. The counting sticks are placed in a pile in the middle.
  3. One player begins by secretly dividing the bundle of sticks into two lots, one in each hand.
  4. If her opponent chooses the bundle with an even number of sticks, then the opponent wins and gains a point (takes a counting stick), otherwise she loses and does not get a point.
  5. The play then passes to the next couple.
  6. All players on one team have a turn holding the sticks, then all players on the other team have a turn holding the sticks.
  7. Play continues until there are no counting sticks left in the middle pile. The team with the most points wins. 

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