Family Fun at Ganondagan’s Traditional Game Day

On Sunday, June 13, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Ganondagan State Historic Site will host its “Traditional Game Day,” involving visitors in sporting activities traditionally played by the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) people. The games being played will be a combination of individual and team activities. Hoop and javelin, traditionally played by men and boys to hone their hunting skills, is a sport where an individual competitor attempts to throw the spear or javelin through a small hoop, which historically was rolled along the ground by another.The Atlatl is an ancient hunting tool used by Native people for millennia. An atlatl is a tool used to leverage the energy and momentum of the competitor’s arm and body movement to send an arrow a far greater distance than would be possible unassisted, in an attempt to hit a target. Like archery, using the atlatl in a game of accuracy was likely a common activity of the ancient Native peoples.The team game that will be played is Long Ball, which is often described as a cross between dodge ball, kickball and baseball, and which uses a wooden stick and a soft leather ball.“All of the games we’ll be teaching and playing are authentic to the Haudenosaunee people and will be played with traditional equipment made out of natural materials that would have been used hundreds of years ago,” explained Michael Galban, one of Ganondagan’s Site Interpreters. “What makes this event so much fun is that people of all ages get to compete against themselves in Atlatl or Hoop and Javelin, which are games they may never have played before. We’ll also have Long Ball which is a game the whole family can enjoy. If you can run, you can play it, and everybody has a great time!”Ganondagan’s Traditional Game Day will be held at Ganondagan State Historic Site, located at 1488 State Rte. 444, Victor, NY. Participants are advised to wear sneakers or comfortable shoes and to bring a bottle of water. This event is part of Ganondagan’s Savor the Summer Series and is appropriate for all ages.Friends of Ganondagan Members pay $3, Member families pay $10; Non-Member individuals pay $5 and Non-member families pay $15. No reservations are required.For more information, visit www.ganondagan.org or call 585.742-1690.* * * *Ganondagan State Historic Site is the former location of the largest Seneca Village in New York State until 1687. It is the only the only U.S. national landmark east of the Mississippi River and the sole New York State Historic Site dedicated to Native American History and Culture. It was also designated as a national treasure during the “Save America’s Treasures” presidential tour.Today, visitors can tour an authentic replica of a 17th Century bark longhouse and hunting lodge, take self-guided tours over 600 acres that were once part of this Town of Peace belonging to the Senecas. The Senecas were “the Keepers of the Western Door” and part of the Iroquois Confederacy or Haudenosaunee, as they referred to themselves.

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