Alternative Name(s): Jacks

Used in Melbourne, Victoria. Donated by children's folklore reseacher Judy McKinty, who collected them from roast lamb dinners during 1996 in Glen Iris.

Knucklebones, or Jacks, is an ancient game, dating back to prehistoric times. The first jacks were natural materials - animal bones, stones, seeds and shells. Sheep's knucklebones were the most common type of jacks in Australia during the first half of this century, and children would colour them by boiling them in water with ink or dye. During the 1950s, mass-produced plastic knucklebones became available.

The Australian Children's Folklore Collection is unique in Australia, documenting contemporary children's folklore across Australia and in other countries reaching back to the 1870s. The Collection has a strong component of research material relating to Victoria.

Physical Description

Five sheep's knucklebones, cleaned and bleached.

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