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stickball


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A stick-and-ball game acknowledged as the predecessor of lacrosse. It was played by the Native American communities of the south-east of North America, most prominently the Choctaws and the Cherokees. Teams might comprise nine or ten, or several hundred, male players, and playing areas could be huge and unlimited; women onlookers could perform ceremonial dances. The sport was in some of its forms bound up with rituals and ceremonies, sometimes concerning fertility rites. Sticks could be made of hickory or pecan, balls of deerskin, stuffed with squirrel hair. Artistic representations of tribal versions documented in the late 1800s show striking similarities of equipment and technique between stickball and lacrosse.

Subjects: Sport and Leisure.


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