While regalia, dancing and drumming are a focus of the powwow
on Saturday night of the three day CPN Family Reunion Festival,
Friday night offers attendees an opportunity to compete and win
prizes to the beat of a different drum. To participate, all one
needs to do is join a team and follow a simple set of instructions.
Though each year many teams are already organized prior to Festival
between families, legislative districts and other associations,
individual hand game players can still find a team, as an at-large
team is always put together the night of the competition. The hand
games are a traditional Potawatomi game played between different
bands, clans and families and involved wagers placed on each team.
One individual from a team called a picker competes against
two from the opposition, called hiders. The hiders each have a bead,
which they mix up between their hands behind their back. Once ready,
they put their hands forward and the picker from the other team
points with a decorative stick at which hands they believe the beads
The hidden beads can only be hidden in one of four combinations;
inside hands, outside hands, left hands or right hands.
To score a point for their team, the picker must correctly choose
the two hands the beads are in, with no credit earned for one correct
hand. Games go to a score of nine, but can sometimes take up to
Throughout the competition, in which several games take place
at the same time, a drum circle and singers serenade the games.
With so many teams taking place each year, the games can last for
several hours. Prizes are distributed to the winning team, though
nothing can top being known as the CPN Hand Games champions for
the whole year. If you would like to watch or participate in the
Hand Games competition, report to the Round House next to the CPN
Powwow arena following dinner on Fri., June 26, 2015 where Tribal
Chairman John Rocky Barrett will begin the competition.