Native American Heritage Month Dice Game

NOC kicked off Native American Heritage Week Thursday with an Indian Dice Game exhibition at the Cultural Engagement Center. The demonstration was presented by NOC student Denver Wahwassuck. Wahwassuck explained the origin of the Indian Dice Game as a game played sitting around a camp fire or at a feast. 

The game is played with pieces of deer bone made into two sided round pieces creating a heads and a tails for each piece. There are two different animal types represented in the bowl. One animal type has two pieces while the other has six. The pieces are placed in a wooden bowl, the bowl is shaken and the pieces are flipped in the bowl. The number of dice that land on the head (or tails) determines the number of points awarded. There are special rules for when all the pieces land on a head or tail or when pieces are flipped out of the bowl. Up to four players attempt to be the first player to 15 points. 

Wahwassuck said that games normally last 15 minutes. The pieces Wahwassuck displayed Thursday were created in the 1930s by Wahwassuck’s grandmother. She said the game was played by the Osage Indians, known as “Wahzhazhi.”

by Scott Cloud, NOC's What's Happening, November 3, 2017