Posted: June 6th, 2012 12:22am
It’s time to start training up and drinking your acorn water!
Stick Game season will be here before you know it and we want you to be ready. This game has been played since time immemorial, being passed down from grandfathers and fathers to their sons and grandsons. Being a player requires much dedication, training, and discipline. As a representative of their family and village, traditionally the young men worked very hard to be the best they could be; taking their training very seriously.
Some common forms of training included, running on the beach or up hills with a mouth full of water to strengthen the lungs and teach how to breathe through the nose. Also, wrestling with teammates and coaches to learn holds and escape methods was a regular prac-tice. Prayer and visits to spiritual locations were also encouraged by the teachers. Often times the young men would be kept from strangers, women and community gatherings such as dances and other events during their training. Tribes would often play amongst themselves, village against village and also against neighboring tribes: Karuk, Yurok, Hupa and Wiyot. For the past few years we have also been trying to challenge our northern neighboring tribes: Siletz, Coquille, Coos Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw but so far none have stepped up to learn and compete.
Annually we hold our Stick Game event during Tolowa Dee-ni’ Day at the end of September. We want to encourage stick players and community members alike to be involved. Either by coming to watch or to play! It’s not to late to learn the game if you haven’t already. We need more players from our area and it’s a good way to get healthy and learn about your culture!
Tribal Member: Jaytuk Steinruck
Submitted by: Amanda O’Connell & Earl Brown
*Credit of some information to Walt “Black Snake” Lara, Sr.