In "A memoir to be published by the Bureau of American Ethnology" in the book "Games of the North American Indian", a Dr Frank Russell describes the following game (Reference, Pima, Arizona.):
"Kwaitusiwikut - The children sometimes amuse themselves by tossing into the air corncobs in which from one to three feathers have been stuck. They do not shoot arrows at them."
Battledores, Vancouver BC
Berlin Museum, and
Museum of Science and Art
University of Pennsylvania.
In "Some games of the Zuni, Popular Science Monthly", Volume 39, Page 39, New York 1901, Mr John G Owens writes (Reference, Zuni, New Mexico):
"Po-ke-an - this game is somewhat similar to our popular game called Battledoor and Shuttlecock. Green corn husks are wrapped into a flat mass about 2 inches square, and on one side are placed two feathers, upright; then using this as a shuttlecock and the hand for a battledoor, they try how many times they can knock it into the air. Some become very skillful in this, and as they return the shuttlecock to the air they count aloud in their own language - To-pa, Quil-e, Hi, A-we-ta, Ap-ti, etc. The striking resemblance to our European game suggests a common origin, and it may easily have been introduced through contact with the Spaniards. This, however, is doubtful, and I am inclined to think that we must give the Indian the credit of Inventing this game rather than borrowing it, as similarity of product by no means proves identity or origin."
The Book of American Indian Games mentions a bat 11 to 13 inches in length with a handle 5 to 7 inches. It mentions a shuttlecock made with three feathers stuck into the light end of a piece of wood carved to have a heavy and light end.
As always, we at Faire Tyme ask ourselves, "Was this game invented by Natives?" As stated in the introduction, we now know that people like the Vikings and Irish came to North America long before Columbus. We know indeed that Columbus followed a map to come. Ships had been blown within site of the place for centuries but were afraid to land. But did one of those bring the game of Battledore? Did one of those see natives playing a fascinating game, and bring that game back to Europe? We will probably never know.
The European version of this game is available from us at this link. The native version is of course similar to the "Ancient Battledore" version there. We can make a native version using corn cobs and a native bat by special order.
To See Our European Ancient Battledore by Faire Tyme Toys click Here.
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