American Indian Lacrosse: Little Brother of War

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Overview

To understand the aboriginal roots of lacrosse, one must enter a world of spiritual belief and magic where players sewed inchworms into the innards of lacrosse balls and medicine men gazed at miniature lacrosse sticks to predict future events, where bits of bat wings were twisted into the stick's netting, and where famous players were—and are still—buried with their sticks. Here Thomas Vennum brings this world to life.

Johns Hopkins University...

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Overview

To understand the aboriginal roots of lacrosse, one must enter a world of spiritual belief and magic where players sewed inchworms into the innards of lacrosse balls and medicine men gazed at miniature lacrosse sticks to predict future events, where bits of bat wings were twisted into the stick's netting, and where famous players were—and are still—buried with their sticks. Here Thomas Vennum brings this world to life.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

idrottsforum.org/recensioner - Halvdan Haugsbakken

An important study and a good read... Vennum's writing style is an alluring blend of hygienic academic analysis and historical accounts, narratives and interviews, a style used deliberately throughout the book... His book is a compelling journey into the historical exploration of an old team sport.

Journal of Anthropological Research - Joe Watkins

An interesting recount of the various ways that Indians utilized the game in their cultural, social, and curative worlds.

Washington Times

In a mix of narrative, interviews, analysis, and tribal lore, Mr. Vennum has crafted a complex and entertaining book... American Indian Lacrosse offers a sweeping new perspective on a game that has functioned, at various times, as symbolic combat ritual, healing ceremony, gambling spectacle, war ruse, and intercollegiate sport.

Book News

This book presents a rare account.

American Anthropologist

Brings the game's cultural complexities and historical roles to life... A major contribution to the cultural history of sport.

Library Journal
Lacrosse is recognized as the oldest of North American sports, its roots running deep into Native American history. In tracing its origins, Vennum relates how the game frequently rose above recreational status, functioning as a substitute for warfare between tribes as well as a curative for a variety of ailments. It also afforded the tribes an opportunity ``to express social alliances, at the kinship, village, reservation, and national levels.'' Detailed explanations of the rules, techniques, equipment, and playing fields are accompanied by numerous illustrations depicting the game's development. This exhaustive, well-documented work serves as a definitive study of the sport in its traditional form. A worthy addition to core subject and Native American collections.-- William H. Hoffman, Ft. Myers-Lee Cty. P.L., Fla.
Booknews
Often viewed as a gift from the spirits and as far more than recreation alone, lacrosse has functioned in Indian life as a surrogate or "little brother" of war, as a healing ritual, and as a memorial celebration. Featuring archival illustrations, this book presents a rare account of the rules, equipment, techniques, regional differences, and legendary underpinnings of the game among tribes of the Northeast, Southeast, and Great Lakes regions, including the spiritual components of the game, with interesting sections on lacrosse legends and Indian stick making. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801887642
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 376
  • Sales rank: 643,406
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Vennum, senior ethnomusicologist emeritus at the Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., is the author of Lacrosse Legends of the First Americans. Retired and living in Tucson, Arizona, he continues research among Indian tribes in Sonora, Mexico, specifically the Seri.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     viii
Preface     ix
Prologue: Carrier Dome, Syracuse University, 21 May 1989     1
Huron Country, 1637     9
"How the Bat Got Its Wings"     27
Iroquois Country, 1794     53
The Bishop's Crook and Other Misnomers     69
Ballistas and Cannonshot     73
Fort Michilimackinac, 1763     83
A Stake in the Game     103
"The Overhead Flourish" and "The Pounce"     119
Fort Gibson, Indian Territory, 1834     133
"The Indian Gallery"     145
Breechclouts and Bare Feet     161
Cherokee Reservation, 1888     190
Little Brother of War     213
"It's a Toss-up"     237
Montreal, 1866     253
"Lo, the Poor Mohawk!"     265
Epilogue: Niagara-Wheatfield High School, 1991     295
Lacrosse Legends     301
Indian Lacrosse Stick Making     319
Notes     329
Bibliographic Note     341
Bibliography     345
Illustration Credits     351
Index     353
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2013

    This book shows the tradition and preservation of Lacrosse as a

    This book shows the tradition and preservation of Lacrosse as a forerunner to the game and the history through archival illustrations.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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