Iroquois Indians and Lacrosse

Topics: Iroquois, Lacrosse, Mohawk nation Pages: 2 (649 words) Published: October 25, 2012
Iroquois Indians and Lacrosse
Lacrosse is a sport played worldwide and is centerpiece of the Iroquois Indian culture. This sport involves using a small rubber ball and a long-handled stick called a crosse (aka lacrosse stick) and because this is a contact sport, it requires padding. The head of the lacrosse stick is strung with loose mesh that is designed to catch and hold the lacrosse ball. The object of the game is to score by shooting the call into the opponent’s goal. The stick can be used to catch, carry, and pass the ball. This game was introduced in 1750 by the Mohawk tribe. Iroquois loved to play lacrosse because it was a source of entertainment, physical conditioning, and it was also a religious celebration as a way to honor the Creator. One of the highly celebrated traditions goes back to the Iroquois Confederacy where young warriors staged a lacrosse game for one of the league founders, Hayewat-ha, to console him for the loss of his children. Not only is lacrosse played to please the Creator but also is a rite that is sacred to the Thunders, the seven honored grandfathers who move across the sky from west to east cleansing the earth with wind and rains. Often times, lacrosse is prescribed as a ritual healing, usually recommended through a dream or fortune teller. When the Iroquois would play lacrosse, there would be approximately 100 to 150+ men on a field of a few miles long. The teams would play until one team scored 2 of 3 or 3 of 5 goals. This often took days to complete just one game! Sometimes these lacrosse matches would have awards or something at stake for the win. This is a game that requires lots of energy and skill. This may or may not have helped the Indians in preparation to war or any type of threat by applying their lacrosse game tactics in skill and energy. These days, lacrosse is still very much alive all over the world and the Iroquois still have a traveling team called “The Iroquois Nationals.” This team was founded in 1983. The...
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