CMN Gaming Class Plays Traditional Dice Game

Feb 15th, 2009 | By | Category: 20-3: Tribal Athletes Fight for Their Place, Tribal College News

PLAYING THE ODDS. Jason Chambers shakes the bowl of dice as Sanica Lining and their classmates look on. Photo by Mekko Tyner

At the College of the Muscogee Nation (CMN, Okmulgee, OK), instructor Mekko Tyner, J.D. (Muscogee /Creek Nation), incorporated Indian Dice into his Native American Gaming Law class. At the beginning of class, Tyner discussed technical aspects of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). Then students participated in a game of Indian Dice, a traditional Native game.

Under the federal gaming law, Indian Dice is recognized as a Class I game that can be played by individuals. Indian Dice is played by many different tribes and is sometimes called bowl game. It is played with a bowl and eight dice or pieces carved out of bone, wood, peach seed, or other material.

The dice are flat and two-sided. One side is plain, usually a light color, and the other is painted or darkened by burning. Two game pieces are different from the six – usually an animal, hearts, or feathers. Players shake the bowl to score points. Points are scored by the color of the pieces that land. A dice game can be won in one shake, but dice games usually last a couple of hours.

The final game pitted two first-year gaming students, Jason Chambers (Cherokee Nation) from Checotah, OK, and Sanica Lining (Muscogee-Creek Nation) from Okmulgee, OK.  Chambers won.

For more information on the College of the Muscogee Nation or this article, contact Mekko Tyner (instructor/student services) at (918) 758-1480 or

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