Central New York, Religion, Sports

Haudenosaunee Traditions were on Display at Wooden Lacrosse Stick Festival

Wooden stick maker Alfred Jacques holding one of his lacrosse sticks. (c) 2017 Nicholas Kuzma

Listen to hear about the events of the 2017 Haudenosaunee Wooden Lacrosse Stick Festival.

BY NICHOLAS KUZMA NEDROW, NY (NCC NEWS)- The descendants of the creators of lacrosse kept the traditions alive at a wooden stick lacrosse festival in Nedrow.

The people of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, a conglomeration of New York Native American nations, who are considered to be some of the first lacrosse players, want people to remember where the game originates.

“We want them to know that, yes, it came from here. It didn’t come from Europe, it didn’t come from anywhere. But it came from the Native people, right here,” said wooden stick maker Alfred Jacques.

Jacques said the native people believe that 800 to 1000 years ago they were given their version of lacrosse from the creator.

Jacques said the Haudenosaunnee play a completely different game than modern day lacrosse.

They call the game “Deyhontsigwa’ehs.”

Jacques said the word “lacrosse” came from the French who thought the sticks the Native players used looked like a bishop’s crosier.

The event was attended by people from the area that were lacrosse fans and were interested in Native American culture.

Fran George, who is a researcher that lives on the Onondaga Nation Reservation, was one those people.

“I love lacrosse,” said George, “I try to get up to the [Onondaga Nation] arena every time they play.”

The event included a lacrosse game, various crafts and Native American dance performances.

It was a display of various aspects of the Haudenosaunnee’s culture.

Jacques is proud of his traditions and the fact that they play lacrosee their own way.

“Its our traditional game, our way,” Jacques said.