CONTESTS OF SKILL.
Source: Indian Games
Lewis and Clarke [Footnote: Vol. II, p. 140.] describe a game among the
Oregon Indians which can neither be called an athletic game nor a game
of chance, but which seems to have been a simple contest of skill. "Two
pins are placed on the floor, about the distance of a foot from each
other, and a small hole made behind them. The players then go about ten
feet from the hole, into which they try to roll a small piece,
resembling the men used at draughts; if they succeed in putting it into
the hole, they win the stake; if the piece rolls between the pins, but
does not go into the hole, nothing is won or lost; but the wager is
wholly lost if the chequer rolls outside the pins."
Morgan [Footnote: League of the Iroquois, p. 303.] describes a winter
contest of skill among the Iroquois, which he calls snow-snake. The
so-called snakes were made of hickory. They were from five to seven feet
in length, a quarter of an inch in thickness, tapering from an inch in
width at the head to about half an inch at the tail. The head was round,
turned up slightly and weighted with lead. This implement was shot along
the snow crust, by hand, with great speed, and a point in the game was
gained by the snake which ran the greatest distance. When there were a
number of players divided into sides, if there were two, three or more
snakes of the same side which were in advance of the snakes of the other
side, all such counted. Such contests usually took place between tribes
and aroused a great degree of spirit and the usual amount of betting. In
simpler form, Sagard Theodat describes this kind of amusement.
Previous: OTHER GAMES OF CHANCE.