Aboriginal Perspectives




Zuni Indians of New Mexico


The Zuni culture relied heavily on the lakes in Arizona. They were a religious and superstitious culture that believed in many gods that dwelled in the waters. This game refers to stones that were used to kill "serpents", which most likely had a religious meaning. Both children and adults would play this game on different sizes of boards.

Original Materials:

Etched rock - board; stone or pebbles

Adapted Materials:

Leather or construction paper- board; stones - counters


2 players


Draw the game as shown, the board should look like a series of bisected diamonds. Each corner or cross section is a point. There is always one less counter than points on the board, half black and half white.


To Play:

Place the counters on the game board as shown on the diagram above. The center point should be the only open spot. Players take turns moving. A player can move in one of two ways. They can move one of their counters to an adjacent point along a straight line, or jump over and capture an adjacent counter of the opponent provided the next space is open. A player can continue jumping with that counter until there are no more open counters to capture. If a player can jump but fails to do so, they lose that counter to the opponent.

To Score:

The winner is the player who has captured the most counters.

Math Content:

Problem solving, critical thinking.


Grunfeld F. (1975). Games of the World, New York, N.Y: Plenary Publications International Inc.

Zaslavsky C. (1998). Math Games & Activities from around the World, Chicago Il: Chicago Review Press, ISBN 1-55652-287-8.