Bamboo (2.0)

Bamboo was most likely the earliest material used for thick cards, pái, that is, tiles, onto which were engraved the insignia or motifs that constitute the groups in what we now call the Mahjong tile set in the West, and commonly má jiàng pái or má què pái in the East.

The earliest tile set so far documented was made out of bamboo and was collected by Karl Himly circa 1873(see a reconstruction of this set in the Tile Set History section). Indeed, the first tile set the Babcocks played with when they returned to the United States and sojourned on Catalina Island was a bamboo tile set.

This Gallery features bamboo tile sets made from plain and blackened bamboo, with the black tiled version the more uncommon of the two.