The NSMSG Waltes competition consists of teams of all ages. The winner of this event will not only receive a gold medal but will also receive the Honorary Distinction of Waltes World Champion. The event will take place at the Noel R. Denny Memorial Powwow Grounds (Location may change with weather).

Competition Dates/Times
Saturday, August 25, 2018: 9:00am – 4:00pm
Sunday, August 26, 2018: 9:00am – 4:00pm


Noel R. Denny Memorial Pow Wow Grounds

Eskasoni, NS

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(1 division)
Ages 13-15 (born 2003, 2004, 2005)
Ages 16-18 (born 2000, 2001, 2002)
Senior Ages 19-34 (born 1984-1999)
Master Ages 35-54 (born 1964-1983)
Grand Master Ages 55+ (born 1901-1963)

Number of Athletes

Each Community may enter a maximum of twenty (20) players.

Number of Coaches

It is recommended that each community has one (1) manager/coach.

General Rules

As stated in the tech package.

Competition Format

The competition format will be determined by the number of entries per age category. The host society will make every effort to maximize the number of games each team receives.


All officials will be designated and approved by the Host Community.

Field of Play/Equipment Requirements

All equipment will be supplied by the host community:

  • Waltestqano’qwan – 1 x waltes bowl
  • Waltestaqank – 6 x bone dice
  • Kisiku – 1 x old man
  • Tquamuewe’l – 3 x counter sticks (teeth on one side only)
  • Kitmaqank – 51 x counting sticks – (51 plain)

Competition Rules

Waltes is an ancient Mi’kmaq / L’nu game of chance played by two or more persons using bone chips and a shallow wooden bowl. The Waltestanqank are made of bone from either caribou or deer. After the bone has been cooked and cleaned of all meat and fat and dried, the selected part of the bone is cut into squares, then rounded off at the corners by filing. One side or face is left flat while the other side is rounded (as in the case of some buttons).

These chips or buttons are marked with a cross while the rounded is left unmarked. The bowl is made from burl – a hump found on the side of hardwood trees. This hump is cut off and fashioned into a bowl by patient carving. The burl is boiled in salted water for 6 hours to remove the gum; this is done by several changes of water. The wood is then much easier to carve and will not crack or break even with constant pounding.

The Game:

1st Pile

  • Kitmaqank – counter sticks
  • There are 51 plain round sticks about 7” long.
  • 3 Tqamuewe’l – old ladies or wives
  • 1 Kisiku – old man
  • The 3 tqamuewe’l are like half arrows, they have three notches on one side, these represent 5 points each.
  • Kisiku – has notches on both sides, somewhat like the old ladies, it too, is 5 points. Kitmaqank counter sticks – 3 represents 1 point.
  • 1 lift – one down and five up equals 1 point.
  • 2 lifts is 3 points equal to 9 sticks.
  • 3 lifts is 5 points equals wins one old lady (patched)
  • All dice up or down is 5 points. Wins 1 old lady, the ladies can be patched, but the old man cannot be patched.

2nd Pile

  • The counting changes when all the old ladies have been won; the old man is left alone, this is when they start gathering firewood on the old man.
  • 1 stick equals 1 point.
  • These can be used to count off the old man.
  • There are times when the players might have more firewood then the one that won the old man. If this happens, the one that won the old man would have to pay for the sticks on the pile.
  • After counting off the old man; this is called ESATIKJAWLET-KISIKU.
  • Before the settling of debts are made the other player has one chance of winning back the old man. If he is lucky in winning him back, it represents 10 points.
  • Here the counting changes if the old man has been won.


Wi’kuowtatijik competing for sticks.

  • Mente’matioq – one person collects, other takes off sticks.
  • Mena’tu – take sticks off.
  • Pow – Tqamuewet – 5 points is paid for by four sticks four times instead of three sticks five times, thus sixteen sticks rather than 15 plain ones.
  • Kwetapa’lut Kwimu – sinking the loon, all face up or down is 15 points.

All debts are paid at this time if there is one or two sticks left by the opponent, he gets a chance to dance.

  • Ela’lukwen – old man and one stick – 7 points
  • Old Man – 7 points
  • Old man 2 sticks – 6 points
  • 3 sticks – 6 points
  • 2 sticks – 7 points
  • 4 sticks – 5 points
  • 1 stick – 7 points

Paqasikjenut – Last chance or gliding over the water. Here she will have three throws by the hand on the bowl. Then he could arrange the dice before he lifts the waltes bowl.

The person not dancing may not A’maq mu kisi A’-maq (waving hand over dice).

During dancing – tqamuewey is 3 points instead of 5 points. Five dice up and one down or vice versa, twice is 2 points instead of 3. If the player dancing gets the points he was aiming for the other gets the points and wins the game.

Waltes Vocabulary:

Study the following words:

  • Waltes – a Mi’kmaq game kitmaqnn – counting sticks kiskui’skw – old lady
  • a’ma – swinghand over dice esnoqnet – gathering firewood kisikuo’p – old man
  • kespu’tuet – he or she wins
  • ela’lukwet – dancing pkwimu – loon
  • wetta’ta – he or she has won it
  • Wen wetta’ta kiskuo’pa?
  • Wla e’pite’ji’j natawi a’mat? Wen kwetapa’lata pkwimua?
  • Wen esnoqnet nike’?
  • Nekm ela’lukwet nike’.
  • Naskoqte’matimk nike’.

Waltes Coordinator

Faye Sylliboy / Madeline “Sugar” Poulette