Ankle Bone Games

Andrew Cullen
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Mongolia's version of board games is "shagai"- sheep ankle bones. There are dozens of games that can be played with the bones, which have 4 distinct sides: sheep, goat, horse, and camel. The most addictive game is a combination of dice and marbles. Playing with 20 bones or more, one player rolls the bones out on the floor. Then, you use your finger to flick a bone towards another resting with the same side face up. If you hit it, you pick up one bone to keep, if you miss, or hit another bone that doesn't match, your turn is over and the next player rolls. At the end of each round, the player who picked up the last bones takes a few from each player to start the rolling anew, keeping their own. Watch out- Mongolians are shagai sharpshooters.


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