Native Gamboling Games

In some ways it seems rather crazy to have a special place for Native Gambling Games as most every game that the natives played was "Played for Stakes". However, generally the games in other areas involved great skill and endurance, and those were the primary aspect of the game while the gambling was secondary. In the games in the area you will notice that the gambling is the primary part of the game. Always remember that within the native culture there were very few things that you "Owned". Since you did not own something you could gamble it away as you did not own it anyway. And, if you lost everything you would probably win it back later. Gambling was indeed a great part of the native way of life, but the way that "The Stakes" affected their lives was indeed much different than that of the Europeans who believed that if they lost something it was gone forever. Almost like that item was a physical part of them.

I have no proof of the following idea, but it is an interesting thought. The native gambling was more of a "Sharing" than a "Game of chance". It really meant passing an item from person to person over time. I have often wondered if this tradition actually came from a part of teaching children and adults to share items in a very harsh environment - to teach them that nothing should be kept to themselves. Was this actually part of the method involved to teach people how to get along? I doubt that anyone knows if this is so. Such information would be long lost in history.

In Gambler way. Indian gaming in mythology, history, and archaeology in North America by Kathryn Gabriel. An imortant and overlooked aspect of traditional indian gaming is that gamboling has nearly alaways been a sacred activity, inextricably bound together with myth, legend, and ritual. Since the 16 and 17 centuries white observers of Indian culture have casually noted the connection between gambling and religion but it was not until the end of the nineteenth century that the academic community realized the supreme importance of that connection in the understanding of native gaming.

In Indian Games and Dances with Native Songs Alice C Fletcher writes about counting sticks. "These are sometimes spoken of as arrows, and there are indications that they were once arrows - the arrows of the Twin Gods" They are often pointed so they can be stuck in the ground in front of the player

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