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Source: Indian Games
Category: Guessing Games

INTRODUCTORY NOTE.--This game belongs to the class of guessing games. The
form here presented is adapted from the game as played by the Omaha, Otoe,
Ponca and Pawnee tribes, among whom it is a favorite.

_Properties_.--A standard, or the camp flagstaff can be used; a blanket or
rug; three official scarfs, one blue, one green, one white; two wands, one
decorated with blue and the other with green; eight tally-rods, ornamented
at one end with red tassels; two small balls of a light, soft material,
hair or wool; a drum; six decorated drum-sticks; rosettes of blue and of
green; strips of blue and green paper.


_Directions_.--A fairly level open space large enough for a circle of from
twenty to thirty feet in diameter is marked upon the ground, in the center
of which the standard is planted. Directly west and on a line with the
standard the blanket or rug is spread. In front of the rug and on a line
with the standard the drum is set. At a little distance on each side of the
drum the two wands are thrust in the ground, the one decorated with blue to
the north, the one with green to the south. On the rug back of the drum the
eight tally-rods are laid in a bunch, with the butts of the rods toward the
east. At the butts of the rods are placed the two little balls.

The players draw lots as to which side they are to belong. This is done by
putting the green and blue strips of paper in a receptacle and each one
drawing a strip. Those who draw blue belong to the north side; those who
draw green, to the south side. Each player must then fasten a rosette, of
the color of the side to which he or she belongs, on the shoulder; those
who belong to the north side must put the blue rosette on the right
shoulder, and those who belong to the south side must put the green rosette
on the left shoulder.

_Officers_.--Two Judges; a Custodian; two Guessers; six Singers.

The players on the north side choose from among their number one who is to
be their Judge; the players on the south side choose one for their Judge.
It is the duty of the Judges to select the Custodian, the six Singers, the
two Guessers; to preserve order, decide when there are disputes, and to
lead in the opening ceremony.

The Custodian has charge of all the properties, must place them as
directed, move the drum from side to side, and at the close of the game
gather all the articles required for the game and put them in a place of
safe keeping for use at another time. The Custodian wears the official
white scarf tied about the waist. This officer does not wear any rosette,
as the Custodian does not belong to either side but to all who take part in
the game.

The Judge on the north side must wear the blue official scarf. This is
crossed over the breast from the right shoulder, on which is the blue
rosette, to the waist on the left side, where it is tied. The Judge on the
south side wears the green official scarf. This is crossed over the breast
from the left shoulder, where is the green rosette, to the waist at the
right side, where it is tied.

The six Singers, three for each side, sit in an open group on the ground
near the ends of the rug, those wearing blue rosettes on the north and
those wearing green rosettes on the south side. The players take their
seats on the ground on the line of the circle, those wearing blue rosettes
on the north half, those wearing green rosettes on the south half of the

When all are in their places the Custodian leads the two Judges to the rug,
on which they are to sit a little back of the wands--blue to the North,
green to the South. The Custodian then takes up the tally-rods, gives four
to each of the Judges and retires to stand back of the rug, behind the
Judges, ready for duty.

Up to this moment laughing and talking goes on among the players, but as
the Custodian divides the tally-rods and hands them to the Judges instant
silence falls on all present.



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