Wednesday, October 5, 2022
Home LATEST NEWS Native Americans bring back lacrosse, their ancestral sport

Native Americans bring back lacrosse, their ancestral sport

Modern lacrosse, and its stereotypical “preppy, east coast” image, at least according to some, is enjoying growing popularity among young people and college students. But there is little recognition by society at large of the game’s indigenous origins.

Native communities in parts of the United States and Canada are trying to remedy it, reclaiming it, and then educating a broader public about its origins. Gaining more agency over a sport that has been colonized and reappropriated is one way for native communities to assert their identities and build resilience.

why are we writing this

Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States, but it has lost its connection to its indigenous roots. Now some members of the Native American community are trying to restore their traditions.

Lacrosse is believed to date back to 1100 AD. C., when it was played by the Haudenosaunee, a six-nation alliance that stretched across the northeastern region of North America. While early accounts show that the game was played in a similar way to warfare, to settle disputes between communities or tribes, it was also played for enjoyment or as a game of medicine.

“Lacrosse serves multiple purposes. … It has cultural and sacred dimensions,” says Anton Streuer, a professor of Ojibwe language and culture. “Healing happens on multiple levels. There are physical, emotional and spiritual modalities.”

Saint Paul, Minn.

David Bezh Butler holds a coconut-sized shell bowl in the palm of his hand, a thin line of smoke from burning herbs swirling in the air. One by one, he passes it between the 15 Twin Cities Native Lacrosse team players gathered in a circle on the field at the Oxford Community Center.

“This is for anyone who is bringing something extra to the game,” says Mr. Butler, who describes himself as an old man in the informal meeting, as he leads the fading ritual. “Any energy you bring to the game is what you get.”

This ceremony, performed before each game, does more than set a conscious tone. It’s integral to what community lacrosse stands for here in the Twin Cities, home to one of the largest urban populations of American Indians in the country: healing and building community.

why are we writing this

Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States, but it has lost its connection to its indigenous roots. Now some members of the Native American community are trying to restore their traditions.

Unlike its modern, competitive counterpart, and its stereotypical “preppy, East Coast” image, according to players here, community lacrosse isn’t about who wins. Tribal teams also get in on the competitive variety, but here in the Twin Cities, community play is all about respect and fun. The “maker’s game,” as it is known in the community, can be played at a celebration, to honor a family member’s college graduation, or in prayer for someone struggling with health issues.

Although lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States among young people, many are unaware of the native origins of the game. But there is a growing movement within native communities in parts of the US and Canada to remedy that, by reclaiming it and then educating a broader public about its origins. Gaining more agency over a sport that has been colonized and reappropriated is one way that native communities are asserting their identities and building cultural resilience.

RELATED ARTICLES

US, Philippine Forces Conduct Combat Exercises to Prepare for Crisis

Manila, Philippines -- More than 2,500 U.S. and Filipino marines joined combat exercises Monday to respond to any sudden crises in a region on...

Fishing competition rocked by cheating scandal

Fishing competition rocked by cheating scandal - CBS News...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Progressive See extremism only elsewhere

The 9/11 elections in Sweden shocked intellectuals across the West. The Sweden Democrats, a nationalist-populist party founded in 1988 with neo-Nazi loyalties but...

Dr. Oz Closes in on Fetterman in Pennsylvania Senate Race: POLL

Republican candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz is narrowing the Democratic lieutenant's lead in the polls. government John Fetterman in the Pennsylvania Senate race, according...

In a new book, Nikki Haley criticizes the ‘hypocrisy’ of modern feminism

"Women fought for so long to have the freedom to make their own decisions," but now, every thought in their lives is "boxed in...