Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

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Gambling sticks and pouch

Tahltan Athabascans played a traditional gambling game similar to that of their Tlingit neighbors, involving a trump stick and others shuffled beneath shredded cedar bark. This tanned caribou hide bag has a pocket at each end to hold the smooth wooden playing sticks, which are marked with black and red designs to designate their names and values. The bag is decorated with red flannel and glass beads and was made to hang over the shoulder.

Culture: Athabascan
Region: Southeast Alaska
Object Category: Toys, games
Dimensions: Length 32cm (bag w/ sticks)
Accession Date: 1904
Source: George T. Emmons (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E230019