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Native Americans

Entertainment - Sports, Games, Music, and Dancing

History >> Native Americans for Kids

Native Americans enjoyed a wide variety of entertainment in the form of sports, games, music, dance, and festivals. Different tribes and regions had their own games and traditions.


A large game of stickball or lacrosse
( Ball-play of the Choctaw by George Catlin)

Lacrosse

One of the most popular Native American sports was lacrosse. This is still a popular sport today. Different tribes had different names for the sport including stickball, bump hips, kabucha, and little brother of war.

The game was played with a ball that was passed around using sticks with nets attached to the end. Sometimes the game was a huge event with hundreds of players on both sides and a field that was over a mile long. Games would often last from sunrise to sunset.

The game was sometimes used to toughen up younger warriors and to settle disputes between tribes. These were brutal games with few rules. Players were often seriously injured.

Games Music and Dance

Music and dance were important parts of the Native American culture. Songs were sung at important religious rituals, but were also part of everyday life. They believed that music was the language of the spirits.

Different tribes had different styles of music and instruments. The most important aspect of Native American music was singing, chanting, and percussion (i.e. drums). Traditional instruments included drums, rattles, whistles, and flutes.

NYS Fair Iroquois Village
by Dave Pape


There were also a large variety of traditional dances. Each dance had its own special name, steps, songs, history, and meaning. Some dances included both men and women while other dances were exclusively for one or the other. Many of the dances involved the dancers moving in a circle. Sometimes the dancers would dress up in costumes and/or masks.

Some examples of dances include: Interesting Facts about Native American Entertainment and Sports Activities For more Native American History:

Culture and Overview
Agriculture and Food
Native American Art
American Indian homes and Dwellings
Homes: The Teepee, Longhouse, and Pueblo
Native American Clothing
Entertainment
Roles of Women and Men
Social Structure
Life as a Child
Religion
Mythology and Legends
Glossary and Terms

History and Events
Timeline of Native American History
King Philips War
French and Indian War
Battle of Little Bighorn
Trail of Tears
Wounded Knee Massacre
Indian Reservations
Civil Rights

Tribes
Tribes and Regions
Apache Tribe
Blackfoot
Cherokee Tribe
Cheyenne Tribe
Chickasaw
Cree
Inuit
Iroquois Indians
Navajo Nation
Nez Perce
Osage Nation
Pueblo
Seminole
Sioux Nation

People
Famous Native Americans
Crazy Horse
Geronimo
Chief Joseph
Sacagawea
Sitting Bull
Sequoyah
Squanto
Maria Tallchief
Tecumseh
Jim Thorpe
Works Cited



History >> Native Americans for Kids





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