hist-games: Odd Games

Mckay, Michael michael.mckay at compaq.com
Wed Apr 7 16:51:53 PDT 1999


I don't know if this meets your qualifications, but there are a number of
card games that are very region specific.  Although they all fall under the
general category of "card games", they have a number of unique features.
Unfortunately most of the provable examples of this are out of period
(because of lack of specific game information).  Still there has been some
evidence about certain types of games that are tied to card features that
were extremely stable within period and almost to the present day (I'm
thinking of the Italian Bologna region, which had Tarot decks with unique
trump numbering, which never seemed to stray much past a 50 mile boundary
according to Dummett).  I can look for more examples if you are interested.

Michael McKay  (known in the SCA as Seaan McAy)

-----Original Message-----
From: Matthew Whitaker [mailto:WhitakeM at nwrel.org]
Sent: Wednesday, April 07, 1999 4:07 PM
To: Historic Games (E-mail)
Subject: hist-games: Odd Games


Does anyone have any knowledge of odd, yet traditional and culturally
oriented games out there?  The only one I can think of is Dreidl which is a
game played by Jews during Chanukah.

I am specifically looking for games (and pastimes) played by peoples in
Europe, between c600 ce and 1601, that aren't particularly common to
everywhere in Europe, but rather were played by people in specific countries
(eg: France only), cities (eg: only in Munich), communities (eg: only by
Christians during Easter),  ghettos (eg: Jewish), or by people of particular
ethnic groups (eg:  Arabs).  These games would be traditional games played
at a particular time of year, during a particular holiday, holidays in
general, or as a part of a kind of cultural-pride wherein others who weren't
part of the particular group would not be expected to join in.

More specifically, I'm looking for names of games, the rules, the time
period, the location, and the people so that I may include information in a
compilation I am creating.  

I am not looking for chess-type games, tafl-type games, tables-type games,
morris-type games, or draughts type games.

By the way, I seem to remember that Jews also played a particular game
during Purim, but I cannot remember what it might be.

I know this is a rather bizarre request, and despite working on trying to
figure out how to ask for information for quite a while, I'm at a loss.  If
you have information, or can help, or even help clarify what I'm asking for
that'd be great.  Thanks!

Matthew Whitaker
Portland, Oregon
whitakem at nwrel.org



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