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Playing Games

When we think of kids playing games today a LOT of electronic-type games come to mind.

Well…step back in time and think about traditional Indian games played on the great Montana plains.

While visiting First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park just a short drive from Great Falls, we had a chance to learn (and practice) games played long ago.

This young boy is playing a game called double ball. Notice the two balls precariously hanging over his stick while he is running. The balls would typically be made from hide and stuffed with hair. Sticks, well, they could be found on the plains as long as you had trees.

The player had to pick the ball up with this stick, run to the goal post and toss it over the post, all without being tackled by fellow players.

The second photo shows that he was successful!

Other games learned were run and scream (yes, it’s just what is sounds like) and shinny.

A note on run and scream – players were to take one breath and run and scream as loud and long as they could.

Some games compare slightly to present day sports played such as lacrosse.

The kids had a fun time learning the traditional Indian games and so did the adults. And, we learned some history at the same time.

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