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Games People Play

Sports and Competition in Native American Art

For many Native American tribes, physical competitions and games were not just for entertainment and amusement; they also played an important role in preparing people for such responsibilities as hunting and warfare. Games requiring hand-eye coordination honed skills with weapons, while team sports—like stickball or shinny, a kind of field hockey—encouraged cooperation among team members who may have to rely on each other while on the hunt or the warpath. This exhibition highlights images depicting a variety of such competitions from tribes across Native North America.

Curated by Christina E. Burke.

  • Philbrook

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