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Oglala Lakota Nation

Pine Ridge Reservation


Traditional Lakota Style Handegames

Lakota Style Hand Game Rules Marked Bones
Eight Sticks Per Team and No Kick Stick

  1. If both sets of marked bones are guessed correctly, they must be forfeited to the guessing team.

  2. If both sets of marked bones are missed or guessed incorrectly, the guessing team must forfeit two sticks to the hiders team

  3. If one set of marked bones is guessed and the other set is missed: *the one who is missed hides the bones again
    *the guesser forfeits one stick to the opposing team
    *the one who is guessed will hold and be in a stay 

    * if the 2nd guess is missed then both bones come back into play
    *the guesser forfeits one stick to the opposing team
    * if the 2nd guess is correctly guessed then the hiders forfeit the bones to the guessers.

  4. There are no live and dead sticks in Lakota Style

  5. A team must win all sixteen sticks to be declared the Winner

A traditional game of the many tribes in North America. Many of us here on the Pine Ridge Reservation grew up playing along side our elder relatives. -LNI


Handgame predates recorded history. The oral tradition tells us that people originally learned Handgame from the animals. Historical documentation states that games were once played for land use and female companionship, and later on for horses and cattle. Today, handgame is played during traditional gatherings, powwows, tribal celebrations, and more recently in tournaments hosted by individual tribes or Indian organizations. -Wikipedia

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