The Creator gave us many things for us here on Mother Earth; one of them is this game which we call dehoñtjihgwa’és or lacrosse. Dehoñtjihgwa’és is roughly translated to mean, “They bump hips.” If you ever played or watched a lacrosse game, you can see how the game got its name.
Lacrosse at Onondaga is considered sacred. It is a game that was given by the Creator, to be played for the Creator, and has been known to have healing power and is also called “The Medicine Game”.
The game in its original form is played between two groups, usually divided up between clans, young men versus old men, or nation vs nation. The men hold in their hands hand-made sticks made of hickory. The spirit of the tree connects the player to Mother Earth as they play for the Creator. The game is played on an open field with a goal at each end which a ball made of leather must pass. The game is played but with respect for your opponent’s gifts. When a game like this is played on Mother Earth, it is said that a game is also being played with our ancestors in Creator’s land.
To read more about Lacrosse on the Onondaga Nation, visit the Official site of the lacrosse team, The Onondaga Red Hawks.