Nick C.,Alex d.,Jordyn D

Topic: I want to learn more about Native Americans and about their children games.

Questions that will help me learn about my topic:
Need help thinking of good questions? Here are some question starters.
1.What are the names of the games?A:note 1,2,3,
2.How do you play?A: note i1,2,and 3
3.How many players are there?A:2 or more
4.How many are there?A:10
5.Are there a lot of games?A:yes
6.Are the games for fun?A:Yes
7.Do the games teach a lesson?A:they teach about good,safe behavior, and other skills
8. Are they hard?
9.Why do they play games?A:to have something to do when they are not doing "school" for fun
10.Where do they play games?A:the forest and in the village

Take your notes here. Use bullet points to separate your notes. Cite your notes so that you remember where they came from!
  • (1)
    Butterfly Hide and Seek:Butterfly Hide and Seek was a quiet game. All children were taught never to hurt a butterfly. It was considered a gift of good luck if you stayed so quiet that a butterfly would trust you and land on you. Little girls played the butterfly game. One girl covered her eyes and sang a song. "Butterfly, butterfly, show me where to go." All the other little girls would
and quietly hide. The singer had to find them without saying another word. It was a game of skill. If you were observant, you could tell where people were hiding by the marks they left as they moved around.
  • 2)The Moccasin Game: The Moccasin game was a noisy game. You had to get permission from the village elders to play the Moccasin Game. To play, you needed four moccasins, a pebble, and a stick. The players were divided into two sides, the finders and the keepers.
  • The Singer: One player of each team was the singer. The singer's job was to encourage his or her own team, while jeering at the other team.
  • The Keeper: One player was the keeper. His job was to hide the pebble in one of the moccasins. The keeper would move his hands rapidly over the moccasins. Even after he dropped the pebble, he would continue to move his hands rapidly, to fool the other team. When the drum stopped, he stopped.
  • The Finder: One player was the finder. The finder had to turn each moccasin over until he found the pebble.
  • There was a complicated scoring system. Several rounds were played. A game of Moccasins could go on for hours. It was a very noisy game, and deeply enjoyed by the players.
  • 3)Lacrosse: Lacrosse was a rough game. Lacrosse was played with two poles. At the end of each pole was a piece of net, shaped like a basket. The object of the game was to toss a ball back and forth and catch it in the basket at the end of your pole. Although you could not touch the ball with anything except your net, you could use your pole to hit another player. You could trip players. It was a warrior's game. It was also a national game. Village played village, while onlookers cheered for their favorite teams and booed the opponents.
  • 4)Sep: Sep was a fall asleep game, rather like a funny bedtime story, with a prize. After a good meal at night, it was time for the kids to quiet down. Sometimes the kids were so wound from the activities of the day that they could not fall asleep easily. When that happened one of the elders might say, "Let's play Sep!"
  • Sep was a silly game that everyone loved. It worked like this - someone would sing a song
  • with very funny words. Without warning, the singer would suddenly stop singing and say, "Sep!" Everyone had to be very quiet until one of the adults picked up the song again. Any child who made a sound during Sep - the quiet period - was out of the game. There was a prize for the person who stayed in the game the longest. During the quiet times, the children would fall asleep. Then the parents and adults could talk. In the morning, the game was completed, and the prize awarded.
  • Sep could be played quietly in one wigwam, or could be played with the occupants of many wigwams at once. Because the wigwams were in a circle around a central open area, when the wigwam flaps were open, everyone could hear the silly song
  • , just as they could hear the night messages.
  • 5)they played wrestling,
  • 6)races,
  • 7)follow the leader,
  • 8)snow snake
  • 9)they played with dolls
external image cats4.jpg
10)How to Do Cat's Cradle

  • -people know the FIRST move (the Cat's Cradle) --

  • but there are lots more:

  • the Manger, Candles, the Cat's Eye, and goes on and on.

  • To play cat's cradle, you need:

  • • two people

  • • a piece of string tied at the ends to make a circle.
  • In these directions, you is the first person and she is the second person. You and she take turns:

  • when it's HER turn, the directions will switch sides.

1. external image cats1.jpg
1. You put your hands through the string. Keep your thumb out of it
  • || 2. external image cats2.jpg || 2. Then you loop the string around each hand. Keep your thumb out of the loop. ||
  • || 3. external image cats3.jpg || 3. Put the middle finger of one hand through the loop on the other hand and pull. ||
  • || 4. Put the middle finger of the OTHER hand through the loop
  • external image cats4.jpg
  • || 5. She takes her thumb and forefinger and pinches those X shaped parts. || external image cats5.jpg ||
  • || 6. Still pinching them, she moves her hands farther apart, until the string is taut. ||
  • external image cats6.jpg ||
  • || 7. This is hard, too,so there are two pictures--

  • a) she kind of points her fingers DOWN (through the sides) and then
  • b) scoops them up through the middle -- and pulls, very gently.
  • As she does the last part, you should let the cat's cradle slide out of YOUR hands. ||
  • external image cats7a.jpg
  • external image cats7.jpg ||
  • || 8. She ends up with cat's cradle on HER hands.
  • Now you take it from her. || external image cats8.jpg ||

  • || || ||

  • || external image cats9.jpg || 9. Now YOU pinch the X s from the top, not the sides. ||
  • || external image cats10.jpg || 10. Keep pinching the X s and pull your hands apart. ||
  • || external image cats11.jpg || 11. Keep hold of the X s and push your fingers towards the middle ||
  • || external image cats12.jpg || 12. Pull your fingers up through the middle and then pull your hands apart.

  • Now you have what we called Tramlines and some people call Candles. ||

  • || 13. She uses the little fingers of the opposite hands -- that is, with her right little finger, she pulls the left top string way over to the right, way beyond the outside strings. || external image cats13.jpg ||
  • || 14. With the left little finger, she pulls the right top string to the left. Now there are two little triangles. ||
  • external image cats14.jpg ||
  • || 15. Holding the ends of the triangles tightly in her little fingers (that's the hardest part!), she turns her hands and goes under with her thumb and forefinger. || external image cats16.jpg ||
  • || 16. Then, still holding on tightly with her little fingers, she pushes her thumbs and forefingers up through the middle. || external image cats17.jpg ||
  • || 17. Still holding onto the bottom string tightly with her little fingers, she spreads her thumbs and her index fingers while you let go.....and she's made The Manger! || external image cats19.jpg ||

  • || external image cats20.jpg || 18. Pinch the Xs with your thumb and forefinger. ||
  • || external image cats21.jpg || 19. Still pinching the Xs, pull them out. ||
  • || external image cats22.jpg || 20. Now, pull the Xs up a little and then --

  • (we didn't get a picture of this part) -- turn your hands over and pinching tightly, pointing your thumb and forefinger down, dive down into the middle. ||
  • external image cats23_kate.jpg 21. Spread your thumb and forefinger apart, still pointing down, and you have diamonds. 4. Put the middle finger of the OTHER hand through the loop. This is "the Cat's Cradle."
  • Now comes the first hard thing. Find the two places where the string makes an X.

11)Natives of different groups have their own special ways to play the Hoop and Pole game, but in all the games a person tosses a long dart of some kind at a circular hoop. In this version of the game the hoop is rolled along the ground, set into motion by a third player, while the two other players throw their pole as the hoop rolls in front of them. The score depends on how or if the pole falls on or through the hoop.
Some hoops are made by bending a branch into a circle and tying the ends with rawhide. Other hoops are made from bundled corn husks, cedar bark or other plants and are wrapped with rawhide or colored yarn, and some with beads attached to the inside to divide up the ring. Some hoops use rawhide lacing stretched across the hoop to divide it in two halves or into quarters. And many hoops have a web of string woven onto them, which divides up the hoop into different sections and shapes like squares, rectangles and triangles. These different shapes in the web can then be used to determine the score when the dart lands in them. Netted hoops are made by the Arapaho of Wyoming, the Cheyenne of Oklahoma, the Oglala of South Dakota, the Chippewa of North Dakot, and the Crow and the Grosventre tribes of Montana.
external image img00007.gif
Image adapted from "Games of the North American Indian", Culin:1975
yellow below
external image img00008.gif
Game image compliments of Waaban Aki Crafting
People of the Grosventre use a net of buckskin lacing. The holes of the web vary in shape and each has it’s own name and value. The large square in the center is the heart; the rectangles coming out in four directions are the buffalo bulls; the last rectangle at the edges of the hoop are buffalo cows; the four groups of small triangles in between the rectangles are the buffalo calves; the large pentagonal holes along the edge of the ring are the wolves; the small holes at the edge of the ring are the coyotes (on either side of the rectangles called cows). This game ends when the first player reaches a certain number of points decided before hand.
Other ways of keeping score would be to reach a certain number of total points or for one player to try and acquire all the poles of the other player. Using this method, each player in turn throws one pole. If one player’s pole pierces the hoop while the other misses, the player who hit the hoop takes the pole of the player that misses. If both players miss, or both players hit the hoop, they pick up their own poles and each take another turn. This game ends when one player has captured all the other poles.
Different kinds of darts were made by Native Americans of different groups too. Some poles were simply a pointed stick; some sticks were only a few inches long while other sticks were several feet long and looked more like spears. Sometimes the sticks were painted or carved, or had feathers tied to one end. Some poles have forked ends, or hooks or barbs, to catch on the hoop so that it would not pass all the way through.
  • 12)the cup and pin game is a version of the moccasin game
  • 13) the games are made of wood, and earthly and animal outcomes from indian life
  • 14)the ojibwa also played double ball
  • 15)Skilled hand-eye coordination is reflected in games, such as archery, chunkey, and snow snake, which require shooting/throwing at a moving or stationary target.
  • 16)Peon, or 'alewsa, involved two teams of two or more players each. Each of the players of one team has one black and one white short stick or bone, which are hidden in their hands. The purpose of the game is to prevent the opponents from guessing which hand the white bone is in.
  • 17)they play with bow and arrows
  • 18)mother indians made toys

    19)Ring and Pin

    (Ho-Chunk, Sauk & Foxes, Ojibwa, Cree, Cheyenne, Oglala & Teton Dakotas)

    This game required good hand-eye coordination. A ring was attached to a thong or cord which was then attached to a pin. The ring was swung in the air with an attempt to catch it on the pin. Woman and girls typically played this game. A similar European game is the cup and ball toss.
    Replica of ring and pin game

20)Stick Games

  • (Ojibwa, Cree, Sauk & Foxes, Teton Dakota, and Omaha)

One type of guessing game used small wooden sticks that were carved or painted with bands of color. The number of sticks varied from ten to more than a hundred and were divided into two bundles. The object was to guess the location of an oddly carved or painted stick. Another version would have involved guessing which bundle of sticks had more than the other.
  • Illustration of stick game pieces.
dice game
This type of dice game was played by a variety of tribes. The game was usually played by women in pairs. The game materials consisted of five plum stones with markings to indicate point value, a bowl or basket and 100 sticks or twigs for counting. The object of the game was to win the most points out of the 100.
  • The game started when players lightly tossed the stones upward using the bowl. The toss was light enough to move all the stones but not violent enough to make them fall out of the bowl. Any stones that did fall outside the bowl did not count. The player continued to toss the stones until no points were earned, then the next person took her turn.

23)Plum-pit or Bowl Toss Game
This is one of the many games of chance enjoyed by Native Americans throughout our continent. To play this game, some Native American tribes would use 5 plum pits as dice. Each plum pit would have one undecorated side, and the other side would feature a design image, with two plum pits sporting the same image and the other three with another image. Players took turns placing the plum pits in the bowl and then tossing them at once into the air, letting them fall into the bowl or onto the ground. They would be awarded points based on what combination of blank and marked sides they landed. Players would be collect counting sticks (small twigs) for each point earned.
If you don’t wish to eat five plums and decorate the pits, you can re-create this game using a margarine tub (decorated as you or the child wishes) or any bowl you choose. As dice you can use cut-out shapes or milk jug lids. Choose two designs, and with permanent marker draw design A on two lids and design B on the other three. Place the dice in the bowl, and give them a good toss.
Tally which sides are facing up, and score as follows:
1 of “A” or “B”

2 “A”s

3 “B”s and two blanks 2 “A”s and 3 “B”s

4 marked sides up

5 blank sides up

5 marked sides up
0 points 3 points 3 points 3 points 1 point 1 point 8 points
Start with 50 counting sticks, which can be craft sticks or toothpicks. Players take turns tossing the dice and collecting counting sticks, one stick for each point earned. When all counting sticks are gone, count them up to see which player has the most.
21)birchbark Triangle and Ball Game
  • Our own unique design, based on the description of a traditional toy used by Penobscot children, this game consisted of a stiff piece of birch bark cut into a triangular shape, with a hole in the center. To one corner of the bark triangle is attached a string, and a ball is attached to the other end of the string. The circular hole in the center of the bark triangle is made only slightly larger than the ball attached to the string. The object of the game is to get the ball to drop through the hole. Measures approximately 6" wide.

22)the pebble pattern
  • In order to grow up to be skilled at hunting, gathering, and staying safe in the wild, Native American children had to learn to be extremely observant of their natural surroundings. This game was played by many tribes throughout the continent to challenge and develop this skill.

  • Players would gather about thirty pebbles of varying size and color. One player would create a pattern or design out of some of the pebbles, at the appropriate level of difficulty for the other player or players. The other player(s) would study the pattern for a specified time before the pattern was covered or destroyed, and then re-create this pattern to the best their ability. As skills develop, this game becomes more and more complex!
  • You don’t have to use stones for this game. If you have a button box, paper cut-outs, or even coins, for example, you already have what you need to try this game at home.

  • 24)Keeper of the Fire
  • This game was played by many native tribes in the plains, woodland, and coastal areas of the continent. This one teaches stealth and keen listening skills, which were other important skills for survival in the wild.
  • This game can be played indoors or outdoors, and all you need is a blindfold and three items representing firewood. Craft sticks bundled with yarn or even paint stir sticks work fine. The “chief” (best if it’s an adult) will place the wood in front of the Fire Keeper, who is seated on his or her knees, hands on lap, and blindfolded. The rest of the players, the Wood Gatherers, will be seated a distance away. The chief declares, “Wood Gatherers, we need wood!”, and points to one of the wood
  • gatherers, whose job it is to stealthily creep up on the Fire Keeper and steal his wood without being detected and tagged by the Fire Keeper. One point per wood piece collected. Wood gatherers may not “rush” the Fire Keeper, as the object is stealth, and the Fire Keeper may only remove his or her hand from her lap to attempt to tag a Wood Gatherer.
  • When the Wood Gatherer’s turn is finished, he or she may play the role of the Fire Keeper.


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