bit of time-traveling took place at the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian
Village. For the third year in a row, the facility, located in Mitchell,
S.D., hosted its Lakota Games on Ice this past Saturday.
Mike Marshall, Rosebud Lakota Sioux, was once again the instructor
of the games, which were played centuries ago by Native Americans
during the winter months. Marshall, an artist and cultural presenter,
makes all of the objects that are used in the Lakota Games.
"I try to stay correct in the materials," Marshall told ICTMN.
"And we're playing the same they would have played it [centuries
About 50 people showed up to learn about and participate in
the games. The majority of those who took part were between 5-8
years-old. One of the most popular games they took part in was called
Pteheste. This game features an object with a buffalo horn tip that
participants slide across the ice. Traditionally, the game is played
by seeing which competitor can slide the buffalo horn the furthest
along the ice. But since there were patches of snow and not a clear
lengthy distance of ice available on Lake Mitchell on Saturday,
Marshall opted to alter the Pteheste game somewhat.
A small ramp, which was made of snow, was utilized in the altered
version of the game. Instead of calculating the furthest distance
the object slid, the winner of each round was the one who could
get their game piece closest to an arrow, which was marked on the
ice beyond the ramp.
The majority of those that took part in Saturday's festivities
were non-Native."I don't think there's a lot of tribal members in
Mitchell," Marshall said. "But kids are kids. Wherever I go and
do these games it's all the same to them."
Marshall demonstrated, and then had participants try a dozen
different games on Saturday.
An activity that he had not previously showed at the games was
called Napsiohli. For this game, participants are holding onto a
sewing awl. Then, they extend their hand and drop the awl into a
small finger ring, which is a hoop made out of willow.The competitor
that drops their awl closest to the middle of the ring is declared
the winner of the round. "It's a great material to use," Marshall
said of the willow utilized for the finger ring. "It's easily manipulated
and easy to strip."
There was one major variation, however, for those who were playing
Napsiohli, which was traditionally a women's game. "Of course, in
the old days the women were gambling when they were playing this
game," Marshall said.
The Lakota Games On Ice have been held the past three years
in part to create some awareness for the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian