The game is something that many tribes enjoy even today. In the Crow tradition, at times the stakes could go as high as winning horses or lodges. This, like all things in life, is seen as a spiritual matter. Since one cannot win without the help of spiritual power, a medicine man is usually involved.
While the actual origin of the game is unknown, a variation of the game played by the Northern Cheyenne is based on two teams taking turns hiding elk teeth, sticks or bones in their hands. The object of the game is to collect scoring sticks by not allowing the opposing team to guess in which hand these objects are hidden. To aid in the hiding and add to confusion, the hiding team sings songs loudly accompanied by hand drums, rattles and hand motions. This is a fun game, where even side betting among the spectators is encouraged. Everyone attending has a vested interest in the outcome!
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