Aboriginal Perspectives


Throw Sticks


Apaches in the Southwest


During large celebrations that would last about four days, nations would get together and would feast, dance and play games. Many of these games involved gambling and setting large wagers against neighbouring tribes.


40 stones - circle; 3 sticks; 2 feathers (shells, sticks, etc.)- place markers


2 players


Arrange the 40 stones in a large circle laying them in 4 groups of 10. Place the 2 markers on opposite sides. The three stick dice should be decorated the same on one side and blank on the other.

Throw sticks


To Play:

Toss the 3 sticks down in the center of the circle. Move the place marker according to the points received around the stones. Each stone counts as one point. If a person's marker lands on or passes another's marker, the person passed over must go to the starting point.

To Score:

Different combinations will score different point values. The first player to move around the circle past all 40 stones wins the game.

3 blank sides up
10 points
2 blank sides, 1 painted side up
1 point
1 blank side, 2 painted sides up
3 points
3 painted sides up
5 points


Math Content:

Probability, patterns and relations, numbers and operations (place value), data management.


Carlson L. (1994). More Than Moccasins, Chicago Il: Chicago Review Press. ISBN 1-55652-213-4.

  Throw Sticks

Throw sticks