Indian Games, Dances & Native Songs - online book

Native American Ceremonials, Sports, and Songs with Sheet Music, Lyrics & Commentary

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102               INDIAN GAMES AND DANCES
and the game starts afresh for a second point to be made.
This game is good sport; it develops and requires skill, agility and strength.
Introductory Note. — This ball game was known to a number of tribes that formerly lived on the prairies, and called by different names. The game as here given is as it was played among the Omaha. The opening of the game was ceremonial. The person who performed the opening ceremony had to belong to the tribal group that had charge of the rites pertaining to the Wind, for the figure outlined on the ground by the movements of the ball in the opening ceremony was one of the symbols of the Wind. The Wind when spoken of ceremonially was called the Four Winds, one for each of the four points of the compass. These Four Winds were re­garded as the messengers of the Giver of Life, known as Wakon'da by the Omaha and kindred tribes. The recognition of man's connection with the forces of Nature did not disturb the pleasure of the Indian when entering upon a game; on the contrary, it tended to enhance his happiness by bringing to his mind his de­pendence upon Wakon'da, together with the feeling of being in accord with the power represented by the Wind.
Properties. — A ball about three or four inches in diameter; the Omaha and kindred tribes made the ball out of the root of the wild-grape vine. As many sticks as
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