Fig. 642 The tent

All bones (men, women and all the other pieces) are placed in piles. Every player has only one man. One player throws the men into the air. When the man is lying with its nose up, the player takes a little bone. Once all the bones are distributed, each player builds a tent, the men and women pawn earned are also forming parts of the tent. In the middle of the tent, the player’s man is alone. This goal’s game is to have the largest and most beautiful tent. 14 characters of the house, in summer, under the tent. Women and children have their place on the platform. Men are sitting on the tumara, in the front of the platform, near the entrance. A “goatskin” of food is near the tent, No. 15.

638 The house and its inhabitants

The house in the evening when all residents are gathered and that each has taken its place.
1. The grandmother, widow
2. His daughter too young to be married
3. His younger son
4. Her teenage son still unmarried
5. His eldest son married, the eldest son and his family traditionally occupied this cabin near the side wall
6. Wife of 5
7. Their young daughter
8. A married daughter of 1
9. The husband of 8
10. Their youngest daughter
11. Their second son
12. Their eldest son
13. Another daughter of 1, pregnant
14. The husband of 13

I love how small bones can take the form of characters, igloos, tents, a representation of the world, a fascinating game and an endless source of inspiration.


The first illustration is titled Inugaktuuk of Mayoreak-Ashoona, 1993
The screenshots are taken from the movie The Last Kings of Thule by Jean Malaurie.
The drawings are taken from The Civilization of Seals: Games, gestures and techniques of the Ammassalik Eskimo, Paul-Emile Victor.