Thursday, September 21, 2006

Mystery Game

Smatt (weird name) debuts today at Gone Gaming with a post about the Nepalese game "Tigers and Goats". Which brought back memories of my 2001 trip to Nepal - hence these scans of a couple of consecutive pages from my trip diary. While I was out there I saw this game for sale all over the place, but I never saw anyone actually playing it. Which makes me wonder if it is more for the benefit of the tourists than a popular folk game in its own right.
A game I did see being played, with great enthusiasm by a crowd of idlers in a village called Birethanti (at the entrance to the Annapurna National Park) involved two dice, a bag, and little piles of shells in various places in a semi-circle. You can see below the sketch of the game that I made. A difficult hand-waving conversation with my porter yielded the (tentative) information that it was a Tibetan gambling game called Sho. But I have never found anything about it on the Internet, and if anyone out there knows any more I would be very interested to hear from you.

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