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Game of Morra

Game of Morra

Date: 17th century
Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions:
Canvas: 38 x 49 1/2 in. (96.5 x 125.7 cm)
Credit Line:Gift, E.L. Rouse
Object number: 1924.412.1
This 17th-century scene shows the two main figures engaged in the ancient game of Morra. In the most basic version, the game is played by two people; both players, after chanting “One, two, three, shoot,” show either one or two fingers and simultaneously call out loud the number that the other player will show. The correct call wins; if both players call correctly, there is no winner. The game is essentially a simplified adaptation of “Rock, Paper, Scissors.” Also known in Italy as Micatio, Morra was known to the ancient Romans and may have been referred to in the Bible as “casting lots.” The game is still popular today in Italy and the Mediterranean region.
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