SAKA


Figure 7

In Siam the game of backgammon is known as saka, and is played upon a board, represented in Figure 7 with 2 dice.1

Sixteen discs of ivory, like draftsmen, are used on each side, one set being white and the other, red.

The small compartments on either side of the board are said to be intended for cowries (bia), which are used as counters. The pieces are entered, according to the throws, in the right-hand side of the board opposite the player, and are moved around, as in our game, to the side directly opposite, where they are thrown off. A player does not take his opponent's pieces.

Figure 8

The dice are not thrown directly with the hand, but are loaded into a tube (krabok) of ivory, about 3 inches in length (Figure 8), called krabok saka, and shot obliquely through another cylinder of ivory, 2 inches high (Figure 9), called by the same name, placed upon the board.

Figure 9

These implements correspond with the Roman fritillus or dicebox, and the pyrgus, the latter being defined as "a little wooden tower on the side of a gaming board, hollow, and having steps inside, through which the dice were thrown upon the board.2 [Page 502].



Notes:
1. Dice are called in Siamese lok bat. They are identical with those of China.

2. Andrews' Latin-English Lexicon.


Last update January 31, 2010