Man Playing Sllekméw'es

How Sllekméw'es is played:

Tips for playing Sllekmew'es:

Play the game like your playing the best team all the time;

Watch the other team carefully to see where they are keeping the bones;

Do not get distracted by the other team for they will yell, point, or make other body gestures to try and take control;

If you are not playing the first game learn to observe where the bones are hidden, and choose the one that is not marked;

Even if you do not know the songs you should still participate;

Try it and have fun while you learn.

Sllekmew'es, sometimes called Lahal, is a guessing or a gambling game that involved two teams seated across from one another.

Lahal is played with two teams of six or more players. The object of the game is to get all the sticks from the opposing team. There are six sticks on each side to start off the game.

Each team has what is called a Doctor. He calls the shots. For example, he decides who will be the "shooter"- the player who guesses where the white bones are. Doctors of the two teams play off for the Kick Stick (Extra Stick).

Four bones are used in the game. They are usually small enough to fit securely in the hand and not be noticeably different except in colour. The bones are either white or marked with a stripe.

One team (Team A) starts with the two pairs of bones. Two players on Team A hide the bones in their hands and hold them out to Team B. The shooter on Team B, using special hand signals, guesses where the white bones are.

Sticks, and the right to hold the bones, are won or lost depending if the shooter's guess is right or wrong. The game ends when one team has won all the sticks from the other team.

Some rules for Sllekméw'es:

When you are ready to show the bones, you cannot change it, otherwise you forfeit the bones to the other team. You can not go from one team to the other, but must play on one team only.

There is no time limit, for instance some games can last up to one and a half hours. Some games were played for high stakes and could last for several days. In these serious games a judge would sometimes be appointed to keep the contest fair. Some teams have their own bones, which they believe are lucky. A game can also be forfeited if, when the pointer points, the opposing team member is holding two bones in one hand.

The team that has control of the bones is the team that sings their stick game song(s). So it is up to the players to stay focused on the game.


Activity: Game

Would you like to try playing Lahal? For both teams you will need twelve sticks and four bones that fit in the palm of your hands. You will also need six players on each team. Follow the rules and the computer game to learn how to play and then have fun.

Important Information to Remember:
  • Lahal is played with six people on each team.
  • The goal of the game is to guess where the white bone is.
  • The team that has control of the bones is the team that sings their stick game song(s).