Aboriginal Perspectives


Kutepuchkunuputuk - Stick Guessing


Plains Cree


There are two types of chance games-guessing games and dice games. Since dice games depended on pure chance, the guessing games were probably the more popular of the two, as they required certain skills. A good player was one who could confuse and successfully hide an object from his opponent. Generally played by women, this game was intended for adults would wager on the outcome. This game is known in Cree as "the game of counting sticks".

Original Materials:

peeled twigs

Adapted Materials:

39 wood strips or twigs about 18 inches in length.


2 players


Prepare 39 (or any odd number) of sticks, try to make them as identical as possible.

To Play:

One player divides the sticks into two bundles. One bundle needs to have one more stick than the other. The other player needs to guess which bundle has more sticks. If the player is wrong, the two switch roles.

To Score:

The object of the game is to correctly guess four times in a row to win.

Math Content:

Estimation and critical thinking.