Sources of Native Information!

Photo Property of St Francis Mission
Buechel Memorial Lakota Museum
Notice Native Kids Playing a Non Native Ring Game
Copyright to Above. Absolutely No reproductions without permission
Reproduced here with Thanks to Above
Click for St Francis Mission

Photo courtesy of... St. Francis Mission, Buechel Memorial Lakota Museum (located in the state of South Dakota, on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation.) email address for the museum...
Address: 350 S. Oak Street, P.O. Box 499, St. Francis, SD 57572 , at website: ...

Reference Books and Thank You's!

In "American Indian Games" by Stewart Culin also available published in "The Journal of American Folk-Lore" he writes "In savagery we deal with the games of adults - first men, then women, - with games so complex that no child could grab their principals or objects; with games so wrought and interwoven with primitive concepts of nature and the universe that no modern mind could create or invent them.

We owe the following a very special Thank You!

  1. . Eagle, Sub-Chief of the Shawnee Nation URB.
  2. . The Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau PQ, and especially Mr Morgan Baillargeon (Curator of Plains Ethnology), and the Library Staff for their help.
  3. . The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, and especially Gwen Adams (World Cultures) for her help in forwarding material to us.


Many books of native games try to place thousands of years of history of all of the tribes in North America into one little small book of maybe 30 to 50 pages. Such a book in turn becomes so distorted it becomes useless. However, we believe that the following reference books are well worth considering as a source of information for any future research on the subject. All of the following have been used in creation of this area of our web site.

Reference Books used in making this area of our site.

  1. . A general history and collection of voyages and travels, arranged in systematic order forming a complete history of the origin and progress of navigation, discovery and commerce, by sea and land, from the earliest ages to the present time
  2. . American Indian Games by Stewart Culin. Also available as part of "The Journal of American Folk-Lore. Oct - Dec 1898. This book has little information on individual games but is an amazing wealth of knowledge on the background of native games in general. The chapter is highly recommended for anyone doing research!
  3. . Canadian Savage Folk: The natives of Canada
  4. . Dolls and toys of native America, A Journey through Childhood by Don and Debra McQuiston 1995
  5. . Ethnological results of the Point Barrow Expedition
  6. . Five months' fine weather in Canada, western U.S., and Mexico / by Mrs. E.H. Carbutt.
  7. . Gambler way. Indian gaming in mythology, history, and archaeology in North America by Kathryn Gabriel
  8. . Games of the North American Indian By Stewart Culin. This is as close to the "Bible of Native Games" as one can get. It may or may not be split into two volumes. The cover states that his classic study published in 1907 was a report of the Bureau of American Ethnology.
  9. . Games of the Plains Cree by Pat Atimoyoo
  10. . Grass Games and Moon Races By Jeanine Gendar
  11. . Handbook of American Indian Games" by Allan A MacFarlan 1958. Association Press 291 Broadway New York - We caution that it is very difficult to tell what information in this book is totally historic and what has been made modern in the 1950's when it was published. We did leave out some information that was definately modern, and we do know that the game names are modern as well. In some cases, we know the author has updated them for safety, but we just do not know which.
  12. . Indian games and Crafts by Robert Hofsinde. (Gray-Wolfe)
  13. . Indian Games and Dances with Native Songs by Alice C Fletcher
  14. . North American Indian Games" by William Harry Carter, 1974. Namind Printers
  15. . Pamunkey Indian Games and Amusements, by Mark K Rowell. Also available as part of "The Journal of American Folk-Lore" 1943 Part of Vol 56.
  16. . Report of the Ethnological Survey of Canada in year 1900
  17. . Sports and Games the American Indians Gave Us, by Alex Whiteny
  18. . The Rod and Circle by Alika Podolinksy Webber 1984
  19. . Wheeled Toys in Mexico, by Gordon F Elkholm. Also published within American Antiquity Vol 11 No 4, 1946.
  20. . When Does a Cactus Become an Angry Buffalo? Traditional Games of the Lakotas by Author: Raymond A. Bucko Published by: Montana Historical Society. Highly recommended, this is an extremely beautiful book in that it gives a very nice descriptive look into the life of the Lakota nation and other tribes, particulaly in the first half of the 20th century.
  21. . William Penn's Own Account of the Lenni Lenape or Delaware Indians
  22. . Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society. Volume VII 1937. Oklahoma Delaware Ceremonies, Feasts and Dances. By Frank G Speck.
  23. . My People the Delaware Indians. Containing Essays by Big White Owl. Available in Library of Delaware Nation at Moraviantown. I am not certain on how widely available that this book was.
  24. . A fair bit of information was gained from displays in the Canadian Museum of Civilization. We need to thank them for their help with this project. They are one of the few places where you can find the Old Native Games on display today.

In "American Indian Games" within "The Journal of American Folk-Lore" by Stewart Cullin he mentions some information that is rather hard for us to understand today. However, even in games the four directions often take part. These seem to tie in with the four seasons. Often times a fifth sixth, and seventh direction are significant. Direction 5 is the middle. Six and Seven are up and down.

We have been told that the book "Indians in Overalls" by Jaime De Angulo contains some information on at least one hand game between the Paiutes and the Pit River Indians. However, we have not yet had time to verify this.

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