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Interesting Facts about Indigenous North American Stickball

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Interesting Facts about Indigenous North American Stickball Google Doodle

Google Doodle celebrates Indigenous North American stickball, a ceremonial sport originated by Native American tribes, in celebration of US Native American Heritage Month on November 1, 2022.

Interesting and Fun Facts about Indigenous North American Stickball

  1. Indigenous North American stickball is viewed as one of the oldest team sports in North America.
  2. Stickball is known as one of North America’s oldest team sports.
  3. A few Native American tribes, for example, the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Seminole, and Yuchi were known to play. Elder tribal leaders frequently organized games of stickball to settle disputes without violence.
  4. Stickball and lacrosse are like each other, the sport of lacrosse is a tradition having a place with tribes of the Northern US and Canada; stickball, then again, continues in Oklahoma and parts of the Southeastern U.S. where the game originated.
  5. Traditional stickball games were now and again significant events that could last a few days.
  6. The origins of Indigenous North American stickball are apparently lost to time, with the first record of the (then centuries-old) game dating all the way back to the 1600s.
  7. A Cherokee story portrays the first-ever Stickball game played between land animals and birds.
  8. The land animals, including a bear, deer, and turtle, were excessively certain and predicted they’d win through sheer strength.
  9. In the meantime, the team of birds depended on flight, speed, and cunning to outmaneuver and outsmart their rivals. Eventually, the birds were successful.
  10. Historically, the “stick” of stickball was a tree branch or sapling, twisted and bound with leather to make a netted opening large enough for the ball. Also, the ball was frequently produced using cloth and wrapped with strips of leather.
  11. As a team sport, the aim of stickball is to get the ball to the rival team’s goal line, initially with the only rule being that you can’t touch the ball with your hands.
  12. One of the most historical references to the game was in 1763 when the Ottawa tribe used a game of stickball to get access to Fort Mackinac.
  13. The chief of the Ottawas, Chief Pontiac invited warriors from the fort to watch a game to pay tribute to the king’s birthday. While the fighters partook in the festivities and entertainment the Ottawa players moved close enough to rush the fort and massacre the warriors.
  14. In 1834, after the Caughnawaga Indians showed a game of stickball in Montreal, Canada, numerous Canadians took interest in the game, and in 1856 William George Beers codified the aboriginal game into modern lacrosse.
  15. These ancestral games of the Native Americans are as yet played by numerous tribes across North America today, nonetheless, it was only after around the mid-to-late-twentieth century that the Native American game of stickball started to see what some have called a “renaissance” across the southern region of North America.

Native American Heritage Day: History and Significance of American Indian Heritage Day

  1. As the game grew in popularity, stickball started to be used to settle differences and debates between tribes.
  2. Considering those stakes, stickball games would sometimes become quite violent, until extra rules were added to protect players.
  3. With time, numerous migrants from Europe checked out Indigenous North American stickball and started to play it themselves.
  4. From there, the game was named “lacrosse” and started to separate from its predecessor.
  5. In recent years, stickball has seen a recovery, serving as an essentially recreational sport to keep the tribes associated with each other.
  6. Stickball is played using sticks (fluctuating long), with a net toward one side. Two teams attempt to pass and move the ball toward their rival’s goalpost, and points are scored by touching or hitting the said post.
  7. The most important rule: is don’t touch the ball with your hands. To this day, different tribes keep on playing their own versions of Stickball.
  8. The game actually follows its ceremonial traditions and is a staple in Native American culture.
  9. A little-known fact is that modern-day field lacrosse really started from the game of Stickball, which is played generally today.
  10. On November 1, 2022, Google featured a Google Doodle on its homepage for celebrating Indigenous North American Stickball.

Google Doodle for Celebrating Indigenous North American Stickball

In celebration of US Native American Heritage Month, today’s Google Doodle observes Indigenous North American stickball.

The Google Doodle artwork was delineated by Saint Paul-based artist, Marlena Myles who is a member of the Spirit Lake Dakota/Mohegan/Muscogee tribe.

The present Google Doodle artwork focuses on telling the story of Stickball, mixing customs around the game and the modern way it is played. The style is inspired by traditional ledger art (account drawing or painting on paper or cloth) and purposefully incorporates women and men of different ages to depict the inclusivity of the sport.

The art likewise portrays the gameplay of three different versions of stickball, including the ceremonial pregame practice of sage smudging (an old Native American practice of burning dried plants) as found in the “G” letter formation.

Starting around 1990, in the US, the month of November has been dedicated to Native American Heritage Month. The event is intended to be a chance to reflect on the contributions and history of the land’s first people, and Google has decided to feature the traditional game of Indigenous North American stickball.

To best honor this historic game, Google tapped artist and member from the Spirit Lake Dakota/Mohegan/Muscogee tribe, Marlena Myles. The present Google Doodle portrays the numerous roles and types of players including Indigenous North American stickball.

For example, the initial letter G is represented by a sage or tobacco smudging ceremony, done to cleanse the players’ spirits. In the interim, different kinds of sticks are shown, including one player holding two netted sticks.

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