Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How We Once Played

Greg Morsaw, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi

Many years ago the Potawatomi children played e'pegnege'wen (Lacrosse), the oldest ball game in North America and Double Shinny.  Lacrosse was very popular among the Potawatomi and played by almost every tribe and is considered to be part of our culture.  It was played by using a three foot Pegnegenatek (Lacrosse stick) with a curved end.  The bkwakwet (Ball) was also made of wood and great care had to be used to not damage the ball.  Double Shinny was a lot like Lacrosse only a lot less violent.
Another game was called cup and pin, players would try to catch a series of bones on a stick made of bone or wood. Players used a piece of deer hide with deer claws strung on it, and a long pin attached to the opposite end.  Children also used a pointed stick with a cluster of glass for grabbing the rings, a short cord was attached at the end for holding onto the stick.
Another game was called Snow Snake, the children would play this game on a frozen lake or on the frozen ground in the winter.  The player used a wooden stick with a rounded carved head that looked like a snake.  The player would throw the stick and who ever could throw the stick the farthest would be the winner.

Other games were birchbark hoops a game that horseshoes would originate from, in which the player would throw a awl toward a metal point held down by a piece of wood and circled by a ring made of bones.  The winner would be the one who got the most tosses inside the ring.

Boy how times have changed

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