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LA MORRA

Morra is a hand game that dates back thousands of years to ancient Roman times. It can be played with two, three, or more players. Players throw out a hand showing zero to five fingers, and call out loud their guess at what the sum of all fingers shown will be. If one player guesses the sum, that player earns one point. The first player who reaches three points wins the game.

Morra was known to the ancient Romans as micatio, and playing it as micare digitis, "to flash with the fingers". There was even a proverb about it: dignus est quicum in tenebris mices, "he is a worthy man with whom you could play morra in the dark".

Morra is played throughout Italy, especially in Campania and Sardinia where it is called sa murra.

In northern Italy it is played while sitting, in southern Italy while standing. It is also popular in South and North American communities with large Italian populations. The Morra Society of Denver, an Italian-American Society based in Denver, Clorado, has been in existence for more than 60 years.

The word camorra (criminal organization that originated in the region of Campania in the 1700s) is almost certainly a blend of "capo" (boss) and "morra".