Register Groups Members List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Forum Home - Go Back > General > Native Life > Native Issues Lakota youths revive hand games tradition Lakota youths revive hand games tradition

Reply LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-28-2008, 07:03 AM   #1
Experienced
 
Historian's Avatar
 
User InfoThanks / Tagging InfoGifts / Achievements / AwardsvBActivity Stats
Historian has a reputation beyond repute
Historian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond repute
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Earth
Posts: 1,489
Credits: 546.14
Savings: 0.00
Smile Lakota youths revive hand games tradition

Lakota youths revive hand games tradition
By Emily Fischer, Journal correspondent
Rapid City Journal, 27 January 2008
Lakota youths revive hand games tradition RapidCityJournal.com

PINE RIDGE -- Dozens of spectators envelop two teams of 10 students each, all involved in a traditional Lakota competition called hand games, at Friday's Teca Wacipi Okolakiciye powwow.

The persistent drumbeat and students' eclectic dress -- combining traditional regalia with jeans, hoodies and a few JROTC uniforms -- create an electric atmosphere, drawing the interest of students and adults alike.

Roger White Eyes, a team sponsor from Red Cloud High School, explained hand games. "It's a pretty simple game, okay," he said, then proceeded to expound on the basics. The game involves two sets of bones -- one marked and one clear -- that two "hiders" conceal in their hands while the opposing team's "guesser" chooses which hand holds the marked bone.

Hand signals and motions are a huge part of play; even the audience participates by contributing hand movements designed to distract the other team's guessing.

White Eyes said each team begins the game with eight sticks, and a team's correct guess earns them one or two of the opposing team's sticks. The team that gains all 16 sticks is declared the winner. Although the concept seems simple, each team uses unhurried strategies of deception, which can create a competition lasting more than an hour -- and occasionally, two hours.

White Eyes offered his insight after 11 years of play. "The strategy is basically just to trick them," he said. "It's kind of a psychological game, a mind game. Yet you always have a 50-50 chance."

Dominic Arthur, a participant from Red Cloud's Stick-takers team, applied a straightforward approach to the game: "I usually just go with my first instinct."

Hand games clearly attract many from a Lakota heritage, but it hasn't always been so popular. Today, the hand games tournament is a major component of each Teca Wacipi Okolakiciye powwow, which are held monthly at various schools on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Teca Wacipi Okolakiciye translates as Young Dance Club Organization and has been in existence for more than 30 years. However, hand games were not a part of the powwow festivities -- which primarily involve traditional dance competitions -- until 10 years ago, when elder Philomine Lakota contributed to the revival of hand games among Lakota youths.

Inspired by her parents, Max and Hazel Blacksmith, Lakota began playing hand games again in the mid 1980s, she said. During her time teaching at Oglala Lakota College, Lakota strived to incorporate hand games into the school system through the tribal education committee. Lakota said hand games have been around "from the beginning of time," but reviving this ancient art was not easy, because ignorance prevented widespread acceptance. But Lakota said she found hope in the youths on the reservation. "We took it to the young kids, and they readily accepted it," she said.

The hand games competition at Friday's powwow involved more than a dozen teams, suggesting that tribal youths are instrumental in bringing new life to this old game.

Becky Condon, a first-year team member for the Stick-takers, explained her reason for joining. "It's fun, interesting and cultural." This mindset seems to infiltrate the hundreds of students involved in the competition. Despite the intensity that players bring to the game, the common Lakota heritage among various teams seems to unite spirits in a light-hearted way.

Each team's drummer keeps the game moving by playing a consistent beat, and each team's students and supporters keep the game alive by appreciating and practicing one of the Lakota's ancient traditions: hand games.

About hand games

Hand games are also called stick games or moccasin games, and the Lakota name is 'Hanpapecun.'

Each of the 16 sticks represents one of the spirits in the Lakota creation story.

The bones used in play are created from elk, deer or buffalo bones, with a paint line designating the 'marked' bone.

The group's drummer sings special hand game songs, each depending on the team's guessing or hiding strategy.
__________________

"Be good, be kind, help each other."
"Respect the ground, respect the drum, respect each other."

--Abe Conklin, Ponca/Osage (1926-1995)
Historian is offline   Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Old 02-03-2008, 05:42 PM   #2
Junior Dancer
 
handgame_native's Avatar
 
User InfoThanks / Tagging InfoGifts / Achievements / AwardsvBActivity Stats
handgame_native is a name known to all
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: over the river and through the woods
Posts: 114
Credits: 0.00
Savings: 0.00
Good!
handgame_native is offline   Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
sun dance questions/feelings blairman Pow Wow FAQ's 146 04-25-2005 10:41 PM

    

Join the online community forum celebrating Native American Culture, Pow Wows, tribes, music, art, and history.

Join PowWows.com Today!

Your Guide to Native American Pow Wows Since 1996

Register For Free

Enjoy the benefits of being a member of PowWows.com!

Join our Native American online community focused on Pow Wow singing, dancing, crafts, Native American music, Native American videos, and more.

Add your Pow Wow to our Calendar

Share your photos and videos

Play games, enter contests, and much more!






New Threads

Pow Wow Calendar Search

 
Month: Year:

Location:
Facebook Profile Images

Videos

Featured Articles

Dance Styles

Crafts

Gallery