- from Native America
Among Native Americans, play is serious business.
Games and sports are often played in a sacred way. That way they will benefit the whole tribe. A game might be played to honor the dead or to gain favor with spirits. It might be played to heal illnesses or to create better weather. It also may be played to change an unwanted situation.
Games used to be training for hunting and warfare. They also made a tribe’s social ties stronger. Anyone could play, and games were all about teamwork.
There are two main types of Native American games: chance and skill. Gambling was a big part of the games of chance. They said it actually made the games more sacred. The Iroquois teach that a game of chance reminds players that the things around them don’t belong to them. They belong to the world. Playing a game and taking the chance you might lose things tells the Creator that you are grateful for the use of these things. It also says you are willing to share these things. Games are important for spiritual and social reasons, but they’re also fun. Come join Native Americans at play.