The Jaguar Stones Game

Created by Harry Baum, a Year 5 pupil at Brodetsky Primary School in Leeds.

How to play:

The aim of the game is to get all five of your Jaguar Stones to the Black Temple.

•    Youngest player goes first.

•    Roll a 6 to start

•    Only after rolling a 6 are you allowed to place one of your Jaguar Stones on

     the starting cross in your home base. Then roll the dice again and move that

     number of spaces.

•    A player always rolls again after throwing a 6.

•    You must roll a 6 for each stone you want to take from the start corner.

•    A space can never be occupied at the same time by 2 players.

•    If you land on a taken space the stone there first is taken off the board and

     put back at the start corner.

•    To bring a stone home you need to land on one of the five squares in you

     home base.

•    If you throw a higher number than there are spaces you can not move that

     stone and must wait until your next go.

•    The winner is the first player to get all 5 of their Jaguar Stones to the

     Black Temple.

Harry Baum has been reading Jaguar Stones Book One: Middleworld as part of his school’s Maya unit. His teacher, Mr Gordon asked his students to design a Maya board game. This is Harry’s game and it’s genius. Having to get all your Jaguar Stones to the Black Pyramid is such a great idea. Like all the best games, it’s simple yet fiendish. We love the graphics, too.

Although Harry didn’t know it, the game has some similarities to Patolli, the board game that was all the rage across Ancient Mesoamerica. In fact, in Belize they sill play the game, but they now call it Bul. So Harry even got the cultural feel right - we’re SO impressed!

When we visited the Maya site of Xunantunich in Belize a few years ago, the archaeologists there had just

discovered a Patolli board scratched into the floor of the room they were excavating.  Two other boards had been discovered at Xunantunich in 2003. As you can see from the drawing (left) the playing board from Xunantunich was a little slapdash and nowhere near the level of finish Harry’s is.

The Maize God & Rain God play Patolli.