Video Lillian Marshall


Lillian Marshall

This is a video that was Video Recorded at the Membertou Awards Night in 2007. This video shows Lillian Marshall, an elder from the community of Potlotek, explaining the game of Waltes to others who are playng the game.

Waltes, or Waltestagney, is a traditonal, pre-contact Mi'kmaq dice game. The game is played by two people who toss six bone dice, by using a wooden bowl. In the Mi'kmaq language the dice are known as Waltes Taqnk and the bowl is called a Waltes. The circular bone dice are flat, are made of moose bone and have different designs on them which represent a cretain point value. The score is counted through the use of wooden counting sticks, Kitmaqnk, with each having a particular design and each having a certin point value.

The object of the game is to win all of the counting sticks, Kitmaqnk, away from your opponent by tossing the bone dice to gain points.

The Waltes game is characteristic of much symbolism and this is seen in the name of the counting sticks, Kitmaqnk, and the manner in which points can be won. For example, there are three counting sticks that are notched on one side and these are referred to as the old women, kisikui'skw . As well, there is one stick that is notched on both sides and this stick is referred to as the old man or Kisiku. These sticks have a certain point value that is greater than the rest of the counting sticks. The rest of the sticks do not have notches.

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Video Video 1 - The game of Waltes - 1The game of Waltes - 1 - 7:50

In this video clip Lillian Marshall, an elder an a Historian from the community of Potlotek, is explaining the game of Waltes to two young children from Membertou. She is describing to the children the basics of counting your points. Within the video, Stephen Christmas of Membertou is also heard speaking to the children regarding the game and its’ rules. Also shows children actually playing the game.

Video 2 - The game of Waltes - 2

The game of Waltes - 2 - 6:41

This video clip is a continuation of the earlier Waltes 1 video clip. Lillian Marshall is continuing to teach the children the rules of the game of Waltes and also discusses with them the concept of the “Old Man”, which is an important element to the game of Waltes.