November 05, 2007

Lacrosse Museum features Indians

Lacrosse Museum pays homage to the sport's original mastersA bronze sculpture out front, "Dehontshihgwa'es (Creator's Game)," of two straining players from times past, greets visitors with the following message on a plaque: "The game of Lacrosse was given by the Creator to the Ho-de-no-saunee (Iroquois) and other Native American people many years ago. It is from the Iroquois that the modern game of Lacrosse most directly descends. May this sculpture forever honor the Iroquois and the origins of Lacrosse."

Lacrosse is the first of all team sports in North America, played throughout the Native nations east of the Mississippi and beyond, south to Florida and up through the woodlands and Great Lakes into Canada. The game is so ancient that the earliest accounts of it are embedded in myth, as noted by scholar Thomas Vennum in the film "More Than a Game: A History of Lacrosse," on regular show at the museum. In a classic account, "American Indian Lacrosse: Little Brother of War," Vennum added that some legends and myths of lacrosse have come down to us in archaic speech, much as if tennis had been set forth in the Old English of "Beowulf."

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