My wife and I were recently invited to an American Indian gathering in Miami, Okla., by a tribal member.
We were welcomed and treated very well even though we were not one of them.
We observed Indian games, storytelling, singing and dancing. One of the games was “find the black stone.” I guess that was what it was called. They did have a special name but it was spoken in their native language.
This is the way “find the black stone” was played. First of all, the stones were marbles — 3 white and 1 black. There were two participants sitting across from each other with 4 small highly-decorated cloths about 8 inches by 12 inches between them on the ground.
One person was the “hider” and the other had a stick about 3 feet long, the “finder.” The hider of the stones tried to hide the stones so as to confuse the opponent with the stick.
The object of the game was to find the black stone on the third try to win. If you didn’t find the black ball on the third try, the hider got credit (counting sticks).
I couldn’t figure out exactly how the scoring went with half-point sticks and whole point sticks but everyone had a ball telling the guesser where they thought the black stone was.
The finder would even question the hider where he might have hidden the black stone, pointing with his stick to the cloths he thought the stone might be hiding without touching the cloths.
If by some chance the finder accidentally touched the cloth without turning over the cloth, that was a definite guess and the cloth must reveal the stone under it.