Stories 'n Stones: The Games the Ancient Ones Played 



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                                                                                                  Stories 'n Stones:

Since 2002, Experimental Archaeologist, Larry Kinsella, and his wife, Storyteller, Marilyn Kinsella (aka Taleypo, the Storyteller) have combined their talents to produce informative, entertaining, hands-on programs for schools, libraries, museums, and special events. In each of the programs, Marilyn starts with a story that has many of the objects that Larry has replicated and used as an experimental archaeologist. Then, Larry gives a short history and demonstrates the of uses of the stone tools and weapons. Marilyn concludes the program with another story related to the theme. A Question and Answer session follows each one-hour program. The programs are geared toward third grade thru Adult. However, with some adjustments, the Kinsella's have successfully given the program  to K-2nd grades. Hands-on activities upon request.

                                     ...The Games the Ancient Ones Played


After Marilyn tells The Ball Game Between the Birds and Animals, Larry demonstrates the various game pieces that the Indians used and how they were made. One demo includes the Chunkey Stone. The last story is a star legend about boys playing with atlatls and spears. Q&A. If time and space allow, the audience will throw spears using the atlatl. Developed for the 2008 Summer Reading Program.

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The following list of games and much more info and pictures is from Native Tech. Be sure to visit to get the most comprehensive list of games on line. 

                                       Copyright Tara Prindle 113 2008 , NativeTech: Native American Technology and Art.
                                                                                Internet URL:


bullet Pin and Ring Game   "The ring and pin game has ancient Native American roots. Nearly Every Native nation across North America has its particular version which uses unique materials from the natural environment for the ring and pin. In all varieties of this game, a ring or other target is fastened to a cord. The target is thrown into the air and must be speared by the pin attached to the other end of the cord....."


bullet Bundle and Pin Game "Native Americans have many uses for the cedar tree. Cedar twigs, greenery and all, have both sacred uses (as in smudging and purification rituals) as well as secular use. One such secular use for cedar twigs is the 'bundle and pin' game. This traditional Woodland Indian game is called "T'wis", by the Passamaquoddy Natives of Maine. The T'wis is an indoor game that is composed of an oblong piece of moose hide, about four inches in length, punctured with small holes, the center one being slightly larger than the others..."


bullet Ball and Triangle "A traditional toy used by Penobscot children consisted of a stiff piece of birch bark cut into a triangular shape, with a hole in the center. To one corner of the bark triangle is attached a string, and a ball is attached to the other end of the string. The circular hole in the center of the bark triangle is made only slightly larger than the ball attached to the string..."


bullet Buzzer Game   "The buzzer is an amusement as well as a game of skill for Native American children across North America. Usually made of a flat piece of wood, pottery, gourd or bone..."


bullet Native American Board Games  This page includes "Playing Leader," "Jump the Creek," "Hunting Animals," and "Serpent and Stones..."


bullet Cornhusk Shuttlecock Game  "A game of shuttlecock, sometimes played with a wooden battledoor, is common among the tribes on the Northwest coast. The Zuni play with shuttlecocks made of corn husks, stuck with feathers, batted with the hand, and a similar object was found in a pre-European cliff-dwelling in the Canyon de Chelly..."


bullet Netted Hoop and Pole Game  "Natives of different groups have their own special ways to play the Hoop and Pole game, but in all the games a person tosses a long dart of some kind at a circular hoop. In this version of the game the hoop is rolled along the ground, set into motion by a third player, while the two other players throw their pole as the hoop rolls in front of them. The score depends on how or if the pole falls on or through the hoop..."


bullet Cornhusk Wheel & Corncob Dart Game  "Natives of different groups have their own special ways to play the Wheel & Dart game, but in all the games a person tosses a dart of some kind at a circular hoop. As in this version of the game, the cornhusk wheel tossed out onto the ground in front of the players, and the people take turns throwing their darts at it. In other versions of the game the hoop is hung from a tree, or the hoop is rolled along the ground, set into motion sometimes by a third player, while the two other players toss their darts as the hoop rolls in front of them..."


bullet Bowl and Dice Game  "The dice game has innumerable variations across North America. This traditional game is called Hubbub in southern New England. The game described in the 1600s includes five or six small dice which are tossed in a wooden bowl or basket..."


bullet Other Native American Games & Toys  A list with short descriptions of eleven more games and toys.



GAMES AND TOYS    Have Fun with NativeTech's Online Interactive Games ...

                                                                                  Home of - Games, Puzzles, and Interactive Learning for Elementary Students, Preschool Kids and Toddlers  also has many great pages about different kinds of games. Here are the links to their pages:

                           Children's Native American Games

                     About Indian Games for Kids                 About Native American Games

                    Indian Hazard Games for kids                  Hazard Games
        Learn about these two favorite Native American Games - Pa-tol-stick and Plum Stone.

               Indian Guessing Games for kids         Guessing Games
       Try your hand at these Native American Guessing Games: Ata-a-kut, The Hand Game, Hiding the Disks, I-ou-tin...

          Indian Ball Games for kids               Ball Games
       Native American ball games include: Ball and Racket, Ta Be, Double Ball, Hoop and Javelin, and Follow My Leader.


      Handbook of American Indian Games   

  by Allan and Paulette Macfarlan



Games of the North American Indians by Stewart Culin


American Indian Games: A True Book by Jay Miller


Games of the North American Indians, Vol.... by Stewart Culin



                                                                           Further Information

Chunkey Stones or Discoidals

Mississippian Discoidals

Chunkey from Wikepedia


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