Seth Eastman’s print depicts of a group of Dakota women playing a traditional gambling game circa 1850. Games of chance have always been part of Native cultures in North America. The Federal government recognized the establishment of casinos on Native reservations as part of Native American sovereignty starting in the mid-1970s.
The dice game set was made by Wisconsin Ho-Chunk tribal member Leila Picotte Masquot in 1970. It is the same game shown in Seth Eastman’s circa 1850 engraving. The game is accompanied by songs and playful mocking while betting on which colors the thrown stones will show, and continues to be played during pow wows and other tribal get-togethers.