This past weekend we had the arts school at the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum at Big Cypress. It went very well, even with the rain Saturday night and the chilly weather that followed.
Stickball is the ceremonial game played by all southeastern tribes. It varies from each tribe, but essentially there is a ball and it has to hit a goal post to score. Men have to use the sticks, but women can use their hands. It is a very energetic game.
At the museum was Troop 33 from Orlando and Troop 243 from Naples. Saturday they had several rounds of stickball. It was great to see an enthusiastic young group playing, because most of the games I have seen involve older folks. Although it is quite something to see an 80-year old lady diving for the ball like I have seen in the past, I think this is the first time I have seen a long game that involved a younger crowd that can really jump and dive after the ball. They had the troops divided up, played the big kids, the little kids, the big and little kids mixed together. Then they played the adults, which lasted about 2 minutes before an injury ended the game. Some dad probably had a lot of explaining to his wife when he got home.
Then there was some stomp dancing, story telling, and canoe poling the next day. So it was a great weekend.
I tried my new digital camera with the game, and here are the best shots. One thing that I like about the game is that everyone seems to get their two seconds of fame.
Wherever the ball lands, everyone tends to crowd around it.
All of a sudden, the ball escapes and flys out of the mass of bodies, where there might be someone waiting for it.
The lone man may get the ball and runs for it, becoming a superstar for just a second. He may even get a lucky break and throw a shot at the goal post.
Until the rest of the crowd catches up.