Rules for Pitengnaqsaraq


a. One player should be chosen to take care of the food cards (food banker), and one to spin the calendar and weather spinners (weather/time keeper). The food banker should give each person two fish cards, one other food card of the player's choice, one dog team card, and one kayak card.

b. Players should agree on a month to start the game, and each should choose a different colored playing piece. Each should choose a home village, and place his playing pieces on that village to start the game.


  1. Move the calendar spinner forward one space, counterclockwise, (two weeks in time). This represents the passage of two weeks; that is, one turn for all players. Spin the weather wheel at least one full turn, making sure that it is correct for that season. The weather and calendar settings will remain the same for all players, until each has taken a turn. The weather/time keeper will reset them for the following turn.
  2. The weather/time keeper takes the first turn. Then turns will move to his/her right around the table.
  3. When it is his turn, each player rolls the dice to determine his personal luck in hunting or gathering for that turn. For example: it is during the first two weeks of Kaugun (June), the player is in the village of Tuntutuliak, and the weather is 'Avaituq' (fair). Looking at the calendar, the player sees that the following resources are available at that season: king salmon (6), smelt (2), beluga whale (1) and seals (2). The player looks at the resource labeled on the game board to see which of these can be harvested in the vicinity around Tuntutuliak. He sees the symbols for both king salmon and seals in the area. Then he rolls the dice and looks at the lower left hand corner of the board to determine his luck. If, for example, he rolls a six, then he can choose to get either six king salmon cards, or two seal cards. If he rolls a seven or eleven, he can either take all of what is available in that area at that season (six king salmon and two seal cards), or double of any one resource (that is, twelve salmon cards or four seal cards). If a player rolls a three or a nine and has to give cards away, or receives cards from other players, the players who are to receive the gifts can choose what they want from the giver. During his turn, a player may choose to move to another location where the hunting/fishing possibilities look good for the following turn(s). (See Ill-A and B for restrictions imposed by WEATHER CONDITIONS and TRAVEL RULES).
  4. After all the players have had a turn, the next round starts. First each player gives one food card back to the food banker. This represents the food which will be eaten by the player's family and dogs during the coming two weeks. If a player has two dog teams, he/she has to give up an extra food card for each turn. Next, the weather/time keeper moves the calendar spinner one space ahead, and spins the weather wheel. Play proceeds as described above, and should continue for at least one full year to cover the entire subsistence cycle. A player who 'starves' (see RUNNING OUT OF FOOD - Section lll-J) must drop out of the game.

The point of the game is to survive and to help others survive through the year, by a combination of wise hunting/gathering choices, sharing and luck.



1. Spring and Summer

AVAITUQ (fair)-All hunting, fishing, travel and food storage possible.

ANUQA (windy)-No ocean hunting or travel; other hunting and travel possible; food storage possible.

ELLARAYAK (storm)- No ocean hunting or travel; other hunting and travel possible; no fish drying.

ELLALLUK (rain)-Hunting and travel possible; no fish drying.

2. Fall and Winter

PIRTUK (blizzard)-No travel or hunting.

QANIKCAQ (snow)-Everything possible.

ANUQA (wind)-Everything possible.

AVAITUQ (fair)-Everything possible.

ELLALLUK (rain)- No travel or hunting.

3. If the weather is bad for hunting or travel, then even if a player has good luck when he rolls the dice, he cannot hunt or catch anything, or travel. If the weather is bad for drying fish, then even if a player rolls a number which would otherwise allow him several fish cards, he can only get one card. This card represents the fish that he and his family would be able to catch and eat during that two-week period, without being able to store more.



Players need a dog team from freeze-up to break-up, and kayak from break-up to freeze-up, in order to be able to travel and hunt. If a player has only one dog team, or is traveling by kayak, he may move a maximum of four inches on the map, (the length of one card) in one turn. If he has two dog teams he can travel twice as far in one turn (up to eight inches). If his kayak sinks or is lost, he can get another one by either trading with another player, or making a new one. To make a new kayak, a player must sit out one turn while he/she works on the frame, and give up two seal cards for the cover. If a player's team dies, he can get another one by trading, or by rolling a three, which get him new pups. If a player rolls a twelve, then he loses whatever means of transportation he would be using at that season (either his dog team, or his kayak).


During his turn, a player may offer to trade cards with another player. Both players must agree on the terms of the trade.


A player who rolls an eight has to pick a Raven Card, and move to a new village, as directed on the card. The player also has to give one card to the poorest player in the game, to represent payment to the angalkuq (medicine man/shaman) who sends him through the air to his new home. It is to this new home that the player must return by Uivik (December).


Each player must return to his/her village by Uivik (December). If a player has been moved somewhere by a Raven Card, the new village becomes his home.


In Cauyarvik (November), each player has to have new winter clothing. Each player has to return one furbearer card, or two seal, caribou, or bird cards, to the food banker. If a player does not have any of these, he has to skin his dogs to use their hides; in other words he has to give up one dog team card.


Foods can only be kept for one year. If the game continues into a new year, players have to give back any food left over from the same season a year earlier when that season arrives. For instance, when herring season starts, players have to return any herring cards left over from the previous year's herring season.


If the calendar says a player can catch, for instance one-half pike, or one-half ptarmigan, this represents a one-week supply of that resource. The player should keep the appropriate card turned upside down to represent one-half of that resource. Players may combine one-half of one kind of resource with one-half of another to make one whole card of either type. The extra card should be returned to the food banker.


If there are not enough cards for a given type of resource, the food banker should substitute a similar kind of game (for example, another species of salmon).


If a player runs out of food, other players can volunteer to give him food, if they wish. As a last resort, the player can eat his dogs. After this, a player can go without food for one turn, without having to drop out of the game. If, however, he does not have any food by then, he must 'starve' and drop out of the game.


1. English equivalents for Yup'ik placenames are as follows:

Kuigpak (abbreviated KP) - Yukon River

Nunivaaq (N) - Nunivak Island

Kusquqvak (KS) - Kuskokwim River

Qaluyaaq (Q) - Nelson Island

Qanirtuuq (QN) - Kenektok River (Quinhagak)

Tuyuryaq (T) - Togiak River

2. The 'Nurnarqellriit' card refers to different species of fish in different areas, as follows:

KP - smelt, eels (Lower KP), loche ('lushfish')

KS - smelt, loche

T - smelt, char, loche

0 - loche, pink salmon

QN - smelt, char, sole

Hooper Bay/Chevak - needlefish, loche, sole

N - sole, pink salmon