Aboriginal Perspectives


Ahkitaskoomnahmahtowinah - Counting Sticks


Plains Cree - Muskowpetung First Nation - Qu'appelle Saskatchewan


Played by both men and women or by either separately. Players are divided into two parties and sit oppisite each other. Stakes such as money or clothing were wagered in the game.

Original Materials:

Twenty-five slender willow splints about 19 inches long.

Adapted Materials:

Twenty-five wood strips or twigs about 19 inches in length.


An even number of players


Prepare 25 sticks, try to make them as identical as possible.

To Play:

The players are divided into two parties sitting opposite each other. One player begins by secretly dividing the bundle of splints into two lots, one in each hand. If his opponent chooses the bundle with an even number of sticks he wins and gains a point, otherwise he loses and the play passes to the next couple. Play continues until one of the parties decides to stop. The party with the most points wins.

Math Content:

Odds and evens. Students learn that odd plus even is odd, odd minus odd is even.


Culin, Stewart (1975), Games of the North American Indians, Dover Publications Inc., New York. ISBN 0-486-23125-9

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