Iroquois - Snow Snake Games Illustration

Daily Life in Olden Times
for Kids

Northeast Iroquois Nation
Snow Snake Games


The Snow Snake Games were played in the winter, after the men returned from the annual hunt. These were huge games. Village played village. People shouted for their team. It was an exciting game of skill to the Iroquois people, and a team sport.

Before the games, each player carved their own "snake", which was a flattened piece of wood or a carved wood scrap, depending upon the age of the players and the competition level. One end was curved up a little, and the other end was notched to make it easy to throw.

When two teams met, they dragged a log through the snow to form a path or a trough. The object of the game was to throw your "snake" along the trough at a really fast speed. Teams alternated tosses. The distance that your snake traveled was added to your team score. Whichever side had the longest total distance or the best score was the winner.

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