The Revival and Survival of ‘A Morra’


To revive and perpetuate a choice of entertainment originating from ancient times, has been the choice of Alex Casamarte, President of the Association Corsica Morra – based just outside of Ajaccio in Sarrola-Carcopino, and now reaching over 150 members.

But, what is this game ?

‘A Morra’ is a hand game, (casting lots) played by two players and dating back to the times of ancient Rome and Greece.Face to face, and with one hand only, the two players in turn announce a number, showing their fingers, whoever announces the sum of the two hands, wins (from 2 to10) – if the correct number is not announced the game continues. Teams contribute to the winning of matches, and are composed of two or three people, and a match is won when there are two winning sets. Twenty five possibilities are concerned, where combinations enter. Depending on the region, there can be variations within the rules, so, harmonising comes into account when championships take place – for there are championships too! to be noted however, this game is not known all over the island, oddly enough there are regions where it was never played.

This game is not due to hazard only, for the quality of the player, along with his observation, attentiveness, intuition and alertness are certainly essential elements. Through the ages, the search for entertainment has constantly accompanied humanity. Historical notes have shown the existence of this game during pharaonic times, in ancient Egypt and the birth of figures, and during the Greek myths, ornaments have been found with it hand painted on vases too. 1005575_394094747367924_1270139649_n2

Over many periods of time it has made its appearance; Latin, Middle Ages, Renaissance, with no certitude as to when exactly it arrived along the Mediterranean. However, the Corsicans started playing with their neighbours from Sardinia, thus again a form of distraction within the villages and far into the mountains. Also, during the war when soldiers were in their trenches, they often played, a way of seeking short recreation and entertainment within times of extreme tension.

1013389_394086967368702_1965999360_nDisappearing over a certain lapse of time, it reappeared during the 90’s, to see the creation of a club and association in 2011. A return to ancestral customs, but also a means of communication and participation for all, this game now assembles a young formation, interested in maintaining their inherited traditions.

Credit and appreciation to Alex Casamarte and Philippe Vellutini for their precious contribution.
Photo credit: Association Corsica Morra


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