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Indigenous Western Wabanaki Event Calendar (docx)

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Games, Toys, Recreation of Abenaki & other Northeast Tribes

Birchbark and Triangle

This traditional toy was used by Abenaki children and was made from a

piece of Maskwa, birch bark, which was cut into a triangular shape

about 6 inches wide. A small ball of buckskin which was stuffed with

deer hair would be tied to one corner of the triangle using sinew or

twine. A hole would be cut into the center of the triangle that was just

slightly larger than the ball. The child would grab one corner of the

bark triangle opposite the string and flip the ball into the air trying to

get the ball to go through the hole in the bark.

Bowl and Dice Game (Walade homwôgan)

The bowl and dice game was one of the most popular games among

Abenaki men and was often time played for great stakes such as furs,

knives, guns, wampum etc.

Bundle and Pin – Adowiz

Adowiz is an old game that has been played by Abenaki children for

many years. The bundles are 8 inches long and made from pine

needles or white cedar twigs. One variation uses a deer or moose hide

about 4 inches long which is punctured with holes, the center one being

slightly larger than the others. The piece of hide is connected to a

bundle which is tightly wound round with the cord and attached to a 9

inch long sharp pointed stick, tied near the center and held between

the thumb and forefinger like a pen.

The object of the game give it an upward toss and try to pierce the

bundle or one of the holes in the hide with the pointed end of the stick.

Buzzer Toy

The buzzer is a toy that is familiar to most people. The buzzer is made

of a flat round piece of wood, pottery, gourd or bone and is 2 to 4

inches in diameter with two holes in the center. The buzzer is

connected to two sticks that are 5 inches long with a twined sinew

strand twenty inches long doubled over. With a little practice and skill

the buzzers make a sound similar to the sound of the wind.

Snow Snake – Psôn Skoks

A winter game played by the Abenaki was called the snow snake. Most

Abenaki snow snakes were hand carved pieces of wood, usually hickory

or ash, that were approximately 18-24 inches, although some Wabanaki

tribes made snow snakes that were up to 6-7 feet long. Among the

numerous shapes are two main varieties, the spoon mouth – Amkuôn

which is about 2 feet long and flat at top and bottom with one end

concave like the bowl of a spoon and the snake head – Skoks Mdeb

which is long slender and round with one end resembling a snakes head

and the other pointed. There is also the Skegaweis which is flat

underneath, round on top and about 2 feet in length and the

P’tgukwholok which is the largest of all and is from 5 to 7 feet long and

nearly round with both ends raised slightly and pointed.


See linked printout for directions.

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Traditional-Abenaki-Games (pdf)

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