Manataka American Indian Council

 

 

NATIVE GAMES

Hoop and Pole Game Striking the Bow
Is Pe Mek (Up There) Tahhtihnakico - Shooting Arrows
Lacrosse Tossing the Ball
Playing with a Ball (Shinny) To We Picikan (Slingshots)
Cup and Pin Game Sosemanuk (Snow Snake)
Sliding Game - (marbles) Wapetuuskawen - Mud Sticks

Cheyenne Basket Game

We Pitisowewepahikan - Double Ball

Choctaw Chungke'

Games of the Plains Cree

HOOP AND POLE GAME

Many of the tribes on the plains practiced this game for enjoyment as well as for the development of archery skills. The object of the game was to shoot at a small moving hoop. The game was usually played in the spring, when the ground was still hard.

EQUIPMENT

HOW TO PLAY

  1. The game is played between two teams, each comprised of two to four men. The two teams stand thirty to forty feet apart from each other.

  2. One player from Team A rolls the hoop for Team B. The shooting side must have an arrow stuck in the hoop to count.

  3. If the team makes a hit, the team receives another chance to shoot. If they make another hit, each player of the opposing team shoots an arrow over them.

  4. The game ends when one team is out of ammunition.

VARIATIONS

  1. Two Hoops in One: George Seesequasis of Beardy's Reserve describes another way hoops can be made. Make two rings by binding peeled willow branches with sinew. One should be much smaller than the other. Place the small ring inside the large one and bind it in place with willow bark. Points are awarded in the following manner: 10 points - an arrow shot through the centre, or hitting the smaller ring; 5 points - hitting the bark; 1 point - hitting the outer hoop.

  2. Rolling Game: This game does not make use of a bow and arrow. Instead, the players use long pointed darts, which are thrown at the hoop. The dart is approximately three feet in length, pointed on one end and with little fork - like projects on the other end. The game begins much like the standard method explained above. If a hit was made through the center hole it was called a "heart". If the dart hit the net the score was called a "claw". Whenever a hit is made, a player from the scoring side grabs the hoop and chases the opposing players. If he is able to touch an opposing player, that player has to retire from the game. When only one player remains to be touched with the hoop, he wins the game for his team.

  3. Free Shot: In this game, the arrow must be caught in the mesh to count as points. When a hit is made, the hoop is placed on a peg or leaned against a tree. All the members of the team who made the hit are allowed one "free shot". For each arrow that sticks on the hoop, the team receives one arrow from the opposing team.

  4. Jim Kahneeptaytayo remembers another method of scoring. If a team doesn't hit the hoop when it rolls past, the team must give 10 arrows to their opponents.


SLIDING GAME (MARBLES)

The anthropologist, David Mandelbaum, recorded this game, which was enjoyed by the Cree women during the winter season.

EQUIPMENT

HOW TO PLAY

  1. Clear an area of snow about five feet long to make a smooth slope.

  2. Ice the snow and make 12 small holes at the lower end.

  3. Give the holes different scoring values.

  4. The players take turns sliding the marbles from the higher end of the slope, and score according to the value of the hole into which the marbles fall.


TO WEPI CIKAN (SLINGSHOTS)

Slingshots were often the property of small boys and were used by all the Saskatchewan tribes.

EQUIPMENT

HOW TO PLAY

  1. After placing a small stone in a sling, the player whirls it around his head, and then releases one thong to launch the stone.

  2. The object of the game is to throw rocks with the sling so that they will "skip" on a river or lake. The winner can be the person whose rock skips the most times, or the one who simply makes the longest throw.


WAPETUUSKAWEN - MUD STICKS

Smith Atimoyoo remembers playing this game as a young boy. The game is also known as the "Warring Game".

HOW TO PLAY

  1. Players were divided into two teams. One member from each team was chosen to carry a large ball of clay which was to serve as his team's ammunition.

  2. As the players received their ammunition, they would roll small clay balls and stick them on the tip of their sticks.

  3. The young boys would pretend to be warriors, sneaking about in the bushes trying to avoid the sharp blows of their opponent's clay balls.

  4. The stick was usually held in the right hand and was pulled back and sharply released by the left hand.

VARIATION

  1. War Game: Stan Cuthand, originally from the Little Pine Reserve, explains a similar game which can be played with bull rushes knotted together at one end. Players whack one another until they give up and sit down. Those who remain standing knead the shoulders or kick the behinds of those sitting down. Endurance and the ability to bear pain without complaint are the method of receiving points in this game.

EQUIPMENT

STRIKING THE BOW

This was a very popular game among the young men of the Plains Cree tribe.

EQUIPMENT

HOW TO PLAY

  1. This game is usually played by four men, 2 on each team. Each player has 4 arrows.

  2. A bow is stuck in the ground so that it stands upright with the bowstring facing the players.

  3. One player bounces an arrow off the bowstring. It is left where is falls to act as a marker.

  4. Each man in turns throws and tries to bounce them off the bowstring so they will fall across the feathers or the head of the marker. Four tosses make one turn for each player.

  5. If a player is successful, both he and his partner receive an arrow from the opposing side. The winning team also receives four more attempts before the opposing side tries.

  6. Play continues until one team has all the arrows.


IS PE MEK (UP THERE)

Smith Atimoyoo remembers his people, the Cree, playing this game. Four boys would play, each equipped with a bow and arrow. All would choose a direction they wished to follow. The object of the game is to lead the others in your chosen direction. This game often lasted the entire day. When the boys tired of playing, they would often put their archery skills to use by killing a rabbit and making lunch on the spot.

EQUIPMENT

HOW TO PLAY

  1. The players may choose to pull straws to see who goes first.

  2. The first player shoots a special red arrow in his direction. The others try to hit it.

  3. Whoever makes the best shot has the right to shoot the red arrow in his direction.

  4. The one who has led the others the farthest in his direction wins the game.

VARIATION

  1. Some bands played this game using partners. Each set of partners had its own color of arrows.


 

CREDITS:

Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre
120 33rd St. East, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, S7K 3S9 (306) 244-1146

http://collections.ic.gc.ca/games/index.html

 


 

Cup and Pin Game Sosemanuk (Snow Snake)
Hoop and Pole Game Striking the Bow
Is Pe Mek (Up There) Tahhtihnakico - Shooting Arrows
Lacrosse Tossing the Ball
Playing with a Ball (Shinny) To We Picikan (Slingshots)
Sliding Game - (marbles) Wapetuuskawen - Mud Sticks

Cheyenne Basket Game

We Pitisowewepahikan - Double Ball

Choctaw Chungke'

Games of the Plains Cree

 

Email          Home          Index          Trading Post