Hand-crafted item. 7 3/8 inches long. Traditionally given to baby boys as recognition of their connection to Creator.
“One of the gifts that the Creator can bestow on the individual is the gift of sport. The sport that is most recognizable with the Haudenosaunee is the game of Lacrosse.
The Creator gave us many things for us here on earth, one of them is this game which we call Deyhontsigwa’ehs. Deyhontsigwa’ehs is roughly translated to mean, “They bump hips.” If you ever played or watched a lacrosse game, you can see how the game got its name.
Lacrosse at Onondaga is considered sacred. It is a game that was given by the Creator, to be played for the Creator, and has been known to have healing power. The game in its original form is played between two groups, usually divided up between clans or young men versus old men. Since women are respected for providing life and are to protect this gift, they do not play lacrosse.
Once sides are chosen, the two teams play. The men hold in their hands hand-made sticks made of hickory. The spirit of the tree connects the player to Mother Earth as they play for the Creator. The game is played on an open field with two pole at each end signifying goals which a ball made of leather must pass. The Creator is happy to see his game played. When a game like this is played on Mother Earth, it is said that a game is also being played with our ancestors in Creator’s land. There is a predetermined amount that the teams must reach before the game is considered won. Therefore the game is not timed.
Today we still play the game the way our ancestors played the game as shown above. But the growth our game has allowed our people to play lacrosse in all different arenas as our white brothers began to play. Soon the Onondagas were playing “field Lacrosse” with the local colleges and universities in the area. It was very common for Onondaga to play Syracuse Uiversity, Colgate University and Army in the early 1900’s.”