Ojibwa Native Americans in Olden Times for Kids and Teachers - Sep, A Funny Bedtime Story Game Illustration

Daily Life in Olden Times
for Kids

Woodland Ojibwa
(Chippewa) Native Americans
A Bedtime Story Game

Sep: Sep was a fall asleep game, rather like a funny bedtime story, with a prize. After a good meal at night, it was time for the kids to quiet down. Sometimes the kids were so wound from the activities of the day that they could not fall asleep easily. When that happened one of the elders might say, "Let's play Sep!"

Sep was a silly game that everyone loved. It worked like this - someone would sing a song with very funny words. Without warning, the singer would suddenly stop singing and say, "Sep!" Everyone had to be very quiet until one of the adults picked up the song again. Any child who made a sound during Sep - the quiet period - was out of the game.

There was a prize for the person who stayed in the game the longest. During the quiet times, the children would fall asleep. Then the parents and adults could talk. In the morning, the game was completed, and the prize awarded.

Sep could be played quietly in one wigwam, or could be played with the occupants of many wigwams at once. Because the wigwams were in a circle around a central open area, when the wigwam flaps were open, everyone could hear the silly songs, just as they could hear the night messages.

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