Lacrosse, cornhusk dolls and a sport that involves throwing a dart through a hoop are all examples of customs of the Iroquois tribe. Some of these customs have been appropriated into modern American culture.
Lacrosse, a sport similar to field hockey, is an adaptation of a Haudenosaunee game that is played professionally in the United States. It involves catching, carrying, passing and shooting a ball with only a stick with a basket-like attachment to the head. The Iroquois version of the sport was played as part of a ritual ceremony that may have symbolized warfare. In the traditional version, a "match" consisted of two teams of 100 to 1,000 players and would last for a day or more.
In Iroquois legend, the Creator, an Iroquois deity, gave the people the game of a lacrosse as a form of medicine. In this legend, a game was held between four-legged animals, represented by a bear, a deer and a turtle, and winged animals, represented by an owl, a hawk and an eagle. Over the course of a day, the sides competed, and the winged animals eventually triumphed.
The Iroquois tribe is actually a confederation of five, sometimes six, tribes located in the northeastern United States and Canada. These tribes include the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora tribes.