Traditional Board Games

Patolli: Ancient Mesoamerican Aztec Board Game, Handcrafted Wooden Traditional Game w/ Wood-burned Art, Strategic Race Game for 2-4 players



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  • Details
    The Patolli board game, also known as Patole, meaning 'beans', is one of the oldest known games in America. Variants of the game was played by a wide range of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures and known all over Mesoamerica; the Teotihuacanos played it as well as the Toltecs, the inhabitants of Chichen Itza, the Aztecs, and all of the people they conquered. The ancient Mayans also played an earlier version of Patolli. It is still popular today in parts of Mexico and Central America. This beautifully handcrafted wooden board game is an artistic representation of one of the world's most ancient games, featuring art inspired by the cultures who played it originally, burned into the wood surface with optional color accents. A wonderful addition for the avid game collector as well as admirers of pre-Columbian art styles. This game will challenge players and attract admirers for generations to come.

    • MADE TO ORDER
    • HANDCRAFTED with pyrographed artwork and watercolor / ink accents
    • LEAD TIME: 3-4 weeks (from time of purchase to shipping day; timeframes can be affected by workload, holidays, etc. – please refer to the Shop Announcement for posted
    info on creation time frames, or inquire via messages if a specific due date is needed).
    • FREE SHIPPING for domestic U.S. orders
    • WOOD TYPES AVAILABLE: Cherry, Maple [Examples of each included in Photos]
    (all woods are finished and sealed with a satin lacquer)
    • EDGE STYLES AVAILABLE: Burnt, Carved, Plain, Trimmed [Sample Chart included in Photos]
    • ARTWORK AVAILABLE: 4 design styles - see DESCRIPTION below.
    • MEASUREMENTS: 13x13x1 inches [LxWxH] (completed/assembled product)
    • PLAYING PIECES/PAWNS: 24 glass gems (6 each of 4 colors) and 5 marked wooden 'beans' (cotton drawstring bag for storage included)

    • DESCRIPTION: Artwork for the areas surrounding the playing track are as depicted in the photos; customers have the option of having the warrior figures in color, or shaded (sepia tones). Additionally, customers may decide to exclude the animal/beast gods from the design for a more minimalist appearance. In all artwork options, the race track will still have the four colors of the players at the rounded ends. The warrior motifs are taken from an archaeological record of a stone carving, where the four of them are together as if marching; the animal gods shown as 'backgrounds' were created by the artist specifically for this game. Variations in colors used, shading and texture, not to mention wood character, will be evident in each Patolli board produced. Custom art requests and submissions are always welcome – please contact me with your request!

    HOW TO PLAY: Patolli is played on a cross-shaped board of sixty squares, some of which are reduced in size by wedge-shaped markings between them, and eight at the ends of the cross are rounded. The game can be played by 2-4 players, the pieces for each player being distinguished by color. When playing the game with four players, it is possible to play in partnerships. The players begin the game with pieces in hand and the board empty. Five beans act as dice for the movement of the playing pieces. They are marked on one side and blank on the other. Coins or casting sticks can be used as substitutes. The total score of the beans when thrown is one point per marked side showing, or ten points if all five marked sides are shown; when no marked sides show, there is no score. Play begins with each player placing a prize or stake (this could be anything as long as all players agree) into a pot. A penalty amount is also agreed at this stage, played from one player to another upon certain pitfalls throughout the game. Players enter a new piece onto the board from the central square closest to him, moving around the track by the number of spaces according to his score. Other pieces may be entered onto the board in subsequent turns. The player decides the direction of movement for his or her own pieces, clockwise or counterclockwise, and will maintain this direction throughout the game. A piece may not land on an occupied square, and a turn may be lost if movement is not possible for this reason. After having made a complete circuit of the board, a piece is borne off on reaching the last square (i.e. the one before the player's starting square) by an exact throw. On bearing off a piece, the player receives a penalty from each of his opponents. The player who has borne off the last of his pieces wins the game and the contents of the pot.
    A rules pamphlet is included with the game.

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    PLEASE NOTE: All of my items are crafted by me, in my home studio and workshop. I am a one-man show, with no ‘production partners’ to help mass-produce any item (though I will source pawns, etc. from quality reputable dealers). Be assured that when you buy an item from me, you are getting a distinctive creation from the original maker. Given the inherent nature of the handcrafted work, time frames for more complex creations, whether the complexity is the art, the build, or a combination of both, can be extensive. Please be patient; I communicate and update customers regularly with the status of their unique creation(s).
  • Shipping & Policies

    Shipping from United States

    Processing time

    3-4 weeks

    Estimated shipping times

    • North America : 3 - 5 business days

    I'll do my best to meet these shipping estimates, but can't guarantee them. Actual delivery time will depend on the shipping method you choose.

    Customs and import taxes

    Buyers are responsible for any customs and import taxes that may apply. I'm not responsible for delays due to customs.

    Payment Options

    Secure options
    • Accepts Etsy gift cards

    Returns & Exchanges

    I gladly accept returns and exchanges

    Just contact me within: 7 days of delivery

    Ship items back to me within: 14 days of delivery

    I don't accept cancellations

    But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.

    The following items can't be returned or exchanged

    Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, I can't accept returns for:

    • Custom or personalized orders
    • Perishable products (like food or flowers)
    • Digital downloads
    • Intimate items (for health/hygiene reasons)
    • Items on sale

    Conditions of return

    Buyers are responsible for return shipping costs. If the item is not returned in its original condition, the buyer is responsible for any loss in value.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Wholesale availability

    Due to the nature of the majority of my work, and the typical amount of business that comes through my shop, wholesale items are not available.

    Custom and personalized orders

    Please contact me before placing an order should you desire customizations not outlined or offered in any particular listing.

    Holiday ordering

    During the Christmas holiday season, I can quickly become VERY busy; typically putting in 12 hour days in order to make holiday shipping deadlines.
    Please plan ahead - I begin taking Christmas orders in late August, but due to workload, I will close the shop to further made-to-order requests the first week of December. Ready to ship items remain listed and ship as stated in their listing.

    Shipping times

    In the case of any custom or Made To Order item, I try very hard to meet the listed production/ship time for the listed item. However, I am a one-man shop, and the handcrafted nature of the work, particularly during busy periods, can cause delays. If you require your item by a specific date, please inquire first. I do not rush the work, as I want each piece to be exceptional and worthy to the person purchasing it. Thank you for your patience and understanding, and of course, your patronage!