What Kinds of Games Did the Cherokee Indians Play?

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Cherokee Indians played many games, both when they were children and when they were considered adults. Two of the most popular games played were stick ball and marbles.

The game of stick ball closely resembles that of lacrosse. A ball is tossed into the air by a medicine man and is struck with a pair of sticks if the player was male, or with bare hands if the player was female. Points were scored depending on where a pole was struck, either the pole itself or the top, which was usually a wooden fish or a ball.

The game of marbles is a complex team-based game. Teams could have any number of players, as long as both were even. The object of the game was to get one’s marble to land in a specific sequence of five 2-inch holes and return to the starting area. The holes were arranged in an “L” shape on a field about 100 feet long and spaced about 12 yards apart. Players used one marble and were responsible for it. However, they were allowed to knock away opponents’ marbles, but only after they reached the second hole in the sequence. The game ends when one team has reached the fifth hole and returned to the starting position.