Page 11 - Waltes, an Ancient Micmac Game
ISSUE : Issue 6
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1973/12/1
this manner is called "patching." Even though the Old Man is still in the general pile and all the Old Women xvere gone, Charlie would have received sticks and not the Old Man. You can patch for the Old Women but you cannot patch for the Old Man. Ke can only be taken by making all face-up or all face-dovm. Charlie raises and slams. Nothing. Tillie raises and slams. All dice face-up. E-tkum-woway. And since the Old Women are gone • they go first • she receives the Old Man. It is winning the Old Man that ends the first part of Waltes. But it often happens that all the sticks and Old Women have been won, and no one yet has the Old Man. In this case the first part of play continues. Perhaps Charlie gets one face-up. He is entitled to 1 point, 3 sticks. To show this, Charlie (or whoever is handling his score) makes a second pile beside his first. The second pile uses a kind of notation. Here, it is understood that 1 point equals 3 sticks • but only 1 stick is put out to indicate that score. So Charlie got all but one face-up and there are no sticks left in the general pile • one of his sticks begins a second pile, indicating 1 point or 3 sticks. He slams again. All but one face-down. Two more sticks move from his first pile to his second, indicating 2 points (6 sticks) • 1 point for the win, 1 point for twice in a rov;. Sticks go into a second pile and sometimes into even a third pile • until one player gets all face-up or face-down and wins the Old Man. The new pile formed while trying to get the Old Man is known as "collecting firewood for the Old Man." Players often rise to their knees for this part, heads together, and the play moves very fast. Charlie now has three sticks of firewood in his second pile?? Tillie slams, one face-up. Instead of forming a second pile, one of Charlie's sticks is re? turned to his first pile. Tillie slams, one face-down. Two sticks of Charlie's are returned to his first pile. Tillie slams, nothing, Charlie, nothing. Tillie, one face-down. Now that Charlie has no firewood, Tillie puts out one of her sticks to begin a second pile. She slams, nothing. Charlie slams, one face-up. Tillie takes her stick back, Charlie slams, one face-up, puts out two sticks. And so it continues trying to gather firewood, until one of thera gets e-tkum-woway and wins the Old Man. The Old Man must be paid for and all debts must be paid. First, whoever wins the Old Man receives beside the Old Man a payment of 5 points from the other player. If Til' lie had won the Old Man Charlie could pay her with 15 sticks from his first pile to her first pile. If he had an Old Woman he could have given her that. If he was the one with a second pile and it contained 5 points, he could have returned those 5 points to his o m first pile and the debt he owed Tillie for the Old Man would be considered paid. This is because whoever holds a second pile holds an evidence of debt the other player owes to him; it is a debt to be paid at a rate of 3 sticks for every one in the second pile. After the Old Man is paid for, whoever has the second pile is entitled to full payment. If Tillie had a second pile then Charlie would have to pay her for it from his first pile • 3 sticlcs for every one in her second pile. If he cannot pay up, the game is over and he has lost. If he can pay, and if he is left with more than 3 sticks • the game continues. They play as they did when collecting firewood for the Old Man. The difference is that the Old Man is gone. They are both trying to build a second pile, collecting points and therefore evi? dence of debt the other player owes. Perhaps Tillie gets one face-up and puts a stick in her second pile. Then Charlie gets one face-down and Tillie has to return that stick to her first pile. Charlie slams again, e-tkum-woway, all face-up. The Old Women and the Old Man are gone. So Charlie puts a single stick from his first pile up into his hair. It is equal to the 5 points of e-tkura-woway, and it will re? main there defiantly until Tillie either knocks it off by winning e-tkum-woway her? self, or is called upon by Charlie to pay for it. The call for payment • a-bunkit-wo- way • can happen any time one player figures he has gathered more debt than the other can pay for. Debts are paid, and if both still have a minimum of 4 sticks the game continues. If one player is wiped out the game is over. But if one player, after paying all his debts, is left with 1, 2 or 3 sticks • he gets to dance. Dancing is an extraordinary element of this game wherein a player who has lost al? most everything is yet entitled to a final chance to win. They say you have a chance to dance. The word is ela* lagwet, and it also means drifting, as over water. Paul? ine Bernard explained that by dance was meant some sort of act such as would happen if, say, her sister sat across the room and she, Mrs. Bernard, should dance across to her. The players continue exactly as before, but now the one who is dancing must make a certain number of points before the one who is not dancing maliies even one point. If the dancer has ended up with 1 stick, he has to dance 7 points (that is, get 7 before his opponent gets 1>. If 2 sticks, he has to dance 6. If 3 sticks, 5 points. Let's say after a-bunkit-woway Tillie is left with 2 sticks. She has to dance 6 points before Charlie makes even 1 point. When a person goes dancing, the play begins with the dancer setting up the dice. She can shake thera in her hands and cast them in the bowl up to three times. If any of the casts results in one or more points, play begins with that cast. She would count that point (or points if e-tkum- CAPB BRETON??S MAGAZINB/ll
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