Iyaga - An Inuit Bilboquet Game

Inuit Bilboquet

How to play the game

This Bilboquet is a ring and pin game. The intent of the game is to throw the larger bone in the air and "spear" it in one of the drilled holes which are a substitute for "rings". This is done by holding the small bone in one hand, throwing the larger heavy bone in the air with the other hand, and catching the larger bone onto the point of the smaller bone as it falls. Both sides of the larger bone have drilled holes. Players can decide a scoring system based upon into which hole of the larger bone, the "pin" bone has speared the larger bone.

About The Equipment

This Bilboquet was purchased in 1973 from the Inukshuk Galleries, Inc., a Canadian company which acts as an outlet for Inuit (Eskimo) art related products. The game is hand made of two animal bones. A pin shaped small bone (1.5cm) has been sharpened to a point at one end. A larger bone (made of another type of bone) has six holes drilled out at one end (not shown in the photograph), and 4 holes drilled into the other end. On one side of the larger bone, a hole has been bored into it in order to attach a 25.7cm long hemp tether. The other end of the tether is tied in a groove carved around the small bone about half way down its length.

To view other Inuit games made of bone and leather, click on the "Inuit Games" item in the left menu panel.

Last update February 26, 2010