Domino Divination

Fortune-Telling With Dominoes

Domino Divination

It is believed by some that dominoes, when invented in China around the 12th century, were initially use in divination, or fortune-telling.

Stewart Culin, Director of the Museum of Archaeology and Paleontology at the University of Pennsylvania, wrote in a a paper published in 1893: "Dominoes are regularly used in fortune telling in China at the present day, and their use for this purpose is generally known to the laborers who come to America. I have before me a book entitled "Ng p'i shan sh t' ch ts'ung ki" (a chart for finding out the numbers by divine aid and with ivory dominoes, with an explanation and commentary). This work was printed in Canton in 1865, the name of the author being given as Ch'ing Ngok." Culin reports that the book "Professes to explain the attributes and astrological significance of the dominoes." reports that Dominoes "are still widely used for fortune telling in Korea and India; and in both India and China there are domino games that combine gambling and augury. Certain tiles are thought to be lucky for a player, regardless of the outcome of the game."

Since dominoes are mathematically structured - each domino having two numbers, each number ranging from 0-6 (or more) - they are naturally suited to being used in puzzles, brainteaser, and mind games. > Related Games > Domino Divination

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