Puluc

Traditional

Players
2 - 4
Age
4+
Time
60 - 120
# Central America
# War game
# Battle
# Capture
Add review

How to set-up

1. Puluc is played on a rectangular board consisting of 10 rows and a larger row at each end; a player’s home base.

2. Puluc is traditionally played with corn kernels, with one side painted. A die can be used instead with the roll indicating the number of moves a BEAD can make, ignoring a roll of 6.

3. Each player selects 5 BEADs the colour of their choice. For a longer game, players can have more BEADs.

4. 5 BEADs are placed into the player’s home base.

5. Players decide who begins the game by rolling a die.

How to play

1. In turns, player rolls the die and moves a BEAD forward the number of spaces indicated.

2. A player cannot land their BEAD on a space already occupied by their own BEAD.

3. A player can have as many BEADs on the board as they wish.

4. If a player’s BEAD lands on a space occupied by their opponent’s BEAD they capture the BEAD, which is placed under the capturing BEAD. These BEADs now travel together.

5. If a player lands on an opponent’s BEAD that already has a capture, all BEADs are now captured and travel with the first BEAD, including the player's BEAD that was originally captured.

6. BEADs with prisoners move back to the home base, requiring an exact roll to land on the base. At the home base, all the opponent’s BEADs are claimed while the player's BEADs are freed and can play again.

7. Claimed BEADs are removed from the board and do not re-enter the game.

How to win

To win the game, a player needs to capture as many of their opponent's BEADs as possible.

History

1. Puluc, also called Boolik and Bul, is a game played by the Kekchi people of North Guatemala in Central America.

2. Much of the history of Puluc is gained from inference. The American ethnographer Stewart Culin, who published a number of studies about games around the world, excluded it from a list of games influenced by Europeans, saying that it was invented before - or was unaffected by - European contact.

3. Enigmatic stone etchings depicting a possibly similar game have also been found, along with a 2-dimensional cross-shaped boards where two similar tracks overlay each other. Both boards have a special marking on the central space. It is not known whether the one-dimensional tracks are related to Puluc or are for some other game.