Arts and Leisure
The Iroquois played many games to increase their athletic ability in means of strength, speed,
endurance and agility. A common winter game is Snowsnake. Taking advantage of the
weather, the Iroquois make a path through the snow, often with a log, and then quickly cold
water on it. Ice is formed, and the person whose stick slid the farthest. During the summer, the
children played a game of darts, where there are two teams, each player possessing six spears
or darts. They each try their best to shoot, with accuracy, their dart or spear through a hoop.
The team who has the best accuracy wins the game. However, most of these physical games
were played by boys, as they were the ones needed to develop hunting skills, battle
techniques and strength and agility were essential components. While on the other side, the
girls often played with husk dolls made of straw and corn husks with no faces. They
sometimes also played house to increase their mothering knowledge. The most popular and
well-known game of the Iroquois would probably be lacrosse. The Iroquois played this game
to give thanks to their Creator, although the game was much more violent than it is today.
Players often tried to hurt or sometimes even kill each other in order to win. Games are often
played to add more power to the medicines they used, settle disputes, and to hone a man’s
stamina, hand-eye coordination, and teamwork. For the Iroquois, games are created to
enhance and emphasize the children’s role in life.
Made by Helen Liu