- Each member of the group finds an object from outside the performing area (preferably from the streets, fields, etc.) Any member of the group who is reluctant to work alone may team up with another or others who are similarly inclined (do not work in groups of more than 3). They choose one object between them, but each has the full number of guesses (see below). A time-limit (eg. 45 minutes) may be set, at the end of which time all the members of the group must have returned to the performing area with their objects.
- After finding his object each member of the group covers it with a handkerchief, scarf, newspaper, etc, in such a way that the identity of the object is not immediately apparent.
- Upon re-entering the performing area, each member of the group places his object in front of him and begins to play, If he moves he should take his object with him or, if this is impractical, write his name on a card and place it beside his object.
- At any time during the rite a member of the group may go over to another and attempt to guess the identity of his object (the objects may not be touched). He may only make a certain number of guesses for each object (see below), making these together or at two, three of four visits to that object. Having made the fixed number of guesses, me may make no more regarding that object, but may move to another, etc. Each member should have by his object a sheet of paper, on which other members coming to try to guess the object, write their name and the number of guesses they make. Upon returning they will be able to see whether or not they are entitled to make and more guesses, and, if they are, how many.
- The system regarding the number of guesses each member of the gorup may make for each object is: Where less than 8 people are participating, each has 4 guesses for each object. Where there are 16-24, each has 2 guesses per object, and where there are more than 24, each has 1 guess per object.
- When a player's object has been guessed, he must uncover it and stop playing. He can, however, continue to guess other people's objects as before, until his allotted number of guesses has been made.
- Members of the group should not reveal to others, or demand of others, what guesses those members have made concerning any of the objects. However, if towards the end of the rite there are one or more objects which have defied identification, the members of the group who are qualified to make guesses regarding the object(s), concerned may club together to discuss the object(s), or the guesses already made, and may pool the remaining number of guesses available to each. These members may not ask the remaining members (those no longer qualified to guess the objects concerned) about their guesses.
- The rite ends a) when all the objects have been identified, or b) when one or more objects, all the available guesses having been made, remain unidentified. the owner(s) of the objects should then reveal their identity, with all due ceremony.
The Hidden Object Rite