The World of Playing Cards Logo

Pekka-peli

‘Pekka’, an additional card in the set, is an ethically-incorrect gollywog look-alike card, embodying the caricature of foreign heritage without a status or family structure. In other countries the game is often known as ‘Old Maid’, ‘Black Peter’, ‘Petter-spel’ or ‘Schwarzer Peter’.

Pekka-Peli card game box, Finland

Traditional Finnish children’s card game titled ‘Pekka-game’ or ‘Funny Families’.

The Pekka-game consists of family members of four, illustrating the stereotypes of Caucasian Finns with various occupations such as the Baker, the Skipper, the Tailor, the Fisherman, the Farmer, the Pilot, the Banker, the Photographer, each with their wife, daughter and son. ‘Pekka’, an additional card in the set, is an ethically-incorrect gollywog look-alike card, embodying the caricature of foreign heritage without a status or family structure. In other countries the game is often known as ‘Old Maid’, ‘Black Peter’, ‘Petter-spel’ or ‘Schwarzer Peter’. The object of the game is to collect the sets of family members and avoid getting the loser-card ‘Pekka’.

Right: the front of the box shows the Pekka character. The captions are in Finnish and Swedish.

Pekka-Peli card game, Finland Pekka-Peli card game rules, Finland

Above: Pekka-Peli card game, produced by Peliko/Martinex Oy, Raisio, Finland. The card names are in Finnish at the top and in Swedish at the bottom of each card. Traditional card games like these have been played by Finnish children for decades. The game is here in its original form.

Finnish cards have a relatively short history, presumably because the country only finally broke loose from Russian influence in 1920.

Right: the rules for two different games are included in the set.

Cards courtesy Reetta Hiltunen.

See also:   Happy Families   Reshuffle by Reetta Hiltunen   Noddy Happy Families   Jaques' Illustrated Proverbs   Jaques' Happy Families   Black Peter   Walt Disney   Cromy Card Games   Zoo Comics.

avatar

By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

View Articles

Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.


Leave a Reply

Recommended

2000 San Playing Cards

San Playing Cards

Rock paintings and engravings of the San people, better known as the “Bushmen”.

2000 Martinique

Martinique

Original designs from the French overseas department of Martinique by local artist Martine Porry.

Happy Playing Cards

Happy Playing Cards

Cheerful, colourful designs on handmade paper from Nepal.

2005 Estonian Ethnographic Playing Cards

Estonian Ethnographic Playing Cards

Estonian national costumes and everyday items feature on this pack made in Estonia.

2002 Ganjifa™

Ganjifa™

A colourful pack of round cards with Ganjifa designs by Asha Industries, Mumbai, India, 2002.

Playing Cards from Mauritius

Playing Cards from Mauritius

Pack designed for La Maison de L’Artisanat Ltée, Mauritius, by Hervé de Cotter.

2000 Handmade playing cards

Handmade playing cards

Non-standard designs on Nepalese handmade paper for Pilgrims Book House, Kathmandu, Nepal, c.2000.

Black Peter

Black Peter

Two Black Peter games by Willy Mayrl published by Ferd Piatnik & Söhne, 1950s.

2005 Korchma Taras Bulba

Korchma Taras Bulba

The first of two decks designed by Ukrainian illustrator Vladislav Erko for “Korchma Taras Bulba” restaurant which serves traditional Ukrainian cuisine

1962 Folk Cards

Folk Cards

Folk Cards designed by Krystyna Gruchalska-Bunsch for Lot Polish Airlines, 1962.

1954 Ariel Productions Ltd

Ariel Productions Ltd

The founder of Ariel Productions, Philip Marx, was a prolific publisher of children’s books and comics towards the end of and just after the Second World War.

Round the World Happy Families

Round the World Happy Families

Round the World Happy Families by Chiefton Products Ltd of Bristol, c.1950s.

Abbatt Animal Families

Abbatt Animal Families

Abbatt Toys Animal Families, c.1970.

Schwarzer Peter no.964

Schwarzer Peter no.964

Schwarzer Peter no.964 published by Josef Hohlweg, Vienna, early 20th century.

1906 Zwarte Piet

Zwarte Piet

Zwarte Piet by Dondorf for the Dutch market, 1906.

2017 Black Peter

Black Peter

Black Peter card game designed by Willy Mayrl for Piatnik.

Gas Warm Homes

Gas Warm Homes

Gas Warm Homes Happy Families game published by British Gas, c.1980.

Bass & Bass Jeu des Familles

Bass & Bass Jeu des Familles

Bass & Bass ‘Jeu des Familles’ made by Franz-Josef Holler, Münich, 1989.

1990 Irish Legendary

Irish Legendary

Irish Legendary deck featuring figures in the Legends of Ireland, designed by Rachel Arbuckle, 1990.

1979 Familias de 7 Paises

Familias de 7 Paises

“Familias de 7 Paises” card game published by Naipes H. Fournier S.A, Vitoria, 1979.

Happy Gas Families

Happy Gas Families

Happy Gas Families published by British Gas, c.1985.

Ethiopian

Ethiopian

Ethiopian playing cards designed for the Ethiopian Tourist Organization by Afewerk Teklé.

Gibbs Happy Families

Gibbs Happy Families

Gibbs Happy Families card game promotion, both full sized and miniature versions, c.1946.

Handmade Black Peter

Handmade Black Peter

Handmade Black Peter cards.

1985 Tonalamatl

Tonalamatl

Baraja Tonalamatl Mexican Aztec playing cards based on the prehispanic Codex Borgia manuscript.

1955 Schwarzer Peter Der Wald und seine Leute

Schwarzer Peter Der Wald und seine Leute

Schwarzer Peter the Forest and its People, illustrated by Liesel Lauterborn, 1955.

1952 Wie Wird das Wetter

Wie Wird das Wetter

Wie Wird das Wetter, a Black Peter game about the weather created by Gunter Eckhardt, published by Rudolf Forkel,1952.

1910 Naval and Military Families

Naval and Military Families

Naval and Military Families produced by Prince and Princess Louis of Battenberg, printed by Ernst Nister of Nuremberg, c.1905-10.

Round the World Families

Round the World Families

Round the World Families published by the London Missionary Society, c.1945.

Mr Bok

Mr Bok

The Merry Game of Mr Bok and his Happy Families, promoting Bok furniture polish, 1930s.

1925 Trades People Happy Families

Trades People Happy Families

Happy Families card game depicting trades people from 1920s.

Merry Families

Merry Families

Merry Families #2 (Occupations), by Multum in Parvo Co. Ltd., c.1890.

1920 Parkinson’s Happy Families

Parkinson’s Happy Families

Parkinson’s Happy Families published by Parkinson’s of Doncaster, confectioners established in the early nineteenth century.

National Misfitz

National Misfitz

National Misfitz published by C.W. Faulkner & Co c.1900.

1960 Schwarzer Peter mit Hundebildern

Schwarzer Peter mit Hundebildern

Humorous dog-themed Black Peter game illustrated by Willy Mayrl, c.1960.

Many Folk Misfitz

Many Folk Misfitz

Many Folk Misfitz published by C.W. Faulkner & Co., c.1906.

1970 Casais Portugueses

Casais Portugueses

Matching game by Majora, Lisbon, c.1970, featuring figures in national dress from Portuguese provinces and colonies

1969 Ethiopian Air Lines

Ethiopian Air Lines

Ethiopian Air Lines playing cards designed by Melles Habtezghi with courts wearing regional costumes, c.1969.

Jeu des 7 Familles

Jeu des 7 Familles

Jeu des 7 Familles © K.F.S. Opera Mundi c.1960.

Happy Families

Happy Families

Happy Families published by Globe Series, c.1900.