Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America
August 26, 2000 - Issue 17

Di-ga-da-yo-s-di (Marbles)
contributed by Tonia Williams at

Cherokee Social Games: Di-ga-da-yo-s-di (Marbles)

Cherokee Marbles is a game of skill, still played in the form of tournaments. Also a skill is the art of making the marbles themselves.

The marble game dates back to approximately 800 a.d., and is a complex game of skill and strategy played by adults on a five-hole outdoor course.

Until the early part of the 20th century, players used marbles chipped from stone, smoothed into round marbles
about the size of billiard balls. Today, there are still some traditional marble makers, but most tournaments
utilize billiard balls for play.

The game is played on a field approximately 100 feet long, where there are five holes about two inches in diameter, 10 to 12 yards apart, forming an L-shape. Any number of players may play, but each team must have an equal number.

Each player uses one marble and must keep track of its location as well as the opposing players marbles. The
players toss the marbles at the holes with the object of advancing by landing in each hole in sequence and
returning to the starting point. Players must toss their marbles and knock the opposing players’ out of the way in a prescribed manner. The first team to complete the course is the winner.

Info provided by the Cherokee Nation Cultural Resource Center



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