Okla. The 2009 Cherokee Nation Traditional Native Games are
set to begin across northeast Oklahoma as representatives from local
towns and cities compete to earn September playoff spots at the
tribes annual holiday.
games competitions consists of horseshoes, Cherokee marbles, blowgun,
stickball, corn stalk shoot and hatchet throwing. They are open
to the public and begin April 25 at Colcord School.
School hosts the games May 23, while Claremores games are
slated for June 20 at Will Rogers Downs. On July 11 the games move
to Sallisaws City Park before being held Aug. 1 at the Bell
Powwow in Bell.
of the community events will receive T-shirts and invitations to
the Sept. 6 playoffs in Tahlequah, west of the Cherokee Nation Tribal
Complex, during the 57th annual Cherokee National Holiday.
champions will be rewarded with embroidered jackets, while second
place finishers get embroidered hooded sweatshirts. Third place
finishers will receive embroidered duffle bags.
Slagle, the traditional games coordinator, said he has been spearheading
the effort to bring back the games.
been going to a different community once a month, to get them (community
people) more involved in the games, he said. This is
also an effort to get more people involved in the holiday.
said some steps taken to increase participation includes opening
the games to non-Natives and holding them in bigger towns. By holding
the games in bigger towns, the tribe hopes people from surrounding
smaller communities will participate, driving up entries.
example, if were in a bigger town like Jay and someone from
a surrounding smaller community wins a competition, they can represent
their small town, not necessarily Jay, Slagle said.
of the more popular games is marbles. Slagle said the game has grown
in recent years as several area schools have seen students form
marble teams and clubs.
game is normally played in tournament style with todays marbles
being billiard balls. Participants play on an L-shaped field with
five holes about 30 feet apart. The objective of the game is to
make the marble in all five holes, then return to the first hole
before your opponent.
game Cherokees are familiar with is stickball, where men use pouched
sticks to pass and shoot a ball. Women are allowed to use their
hands. The objective is to strike a post with the ball. The field
is generally 100 yards long and has a tall post at each end. Stickball
is a full-contact sport and definitely the roughest of the traditional
register or for more information call:
Jody Reese (918) 822-2428
Marbles Lou Slagle (918) 453-1689
Stalk Shoot Debra Grayson (918) 822-2260
Shane Dominick (918) 453-5221
Throwing Pete Vann (918) 822-2260