Cherokee marbles

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A Cherokee marbles game in progress.

Cherokee marbles (ᏗᎦᏓᏲᏍᏗ, digadayosdi), or five hole, is a traditional game among the Cherokee people of the United States.

The game[edit]

It is played, traditionally, with round balls made of stone, but now sometimes with standard billiard balls. An annual tournament is held during Cherokee National Holiday each Labor Day weekend.

History[edit]

The origin of the game is unknown, and it is not mentioned in the works of ethnologist James Mooney.[1]

Cherokee marbles is a similar game to the rolley hole marbles played by Anglo-Americans in Kentucky and Tennessee, though the dimensions are different and rolley hole uses three holes instead of five.[2]

More recently, the game has been introduced into the public schools in Northeast Oklahoma, by the Cherokee Nation, as part of a program to discourage methamphetamine abuse.[3]

Rules[edit]

There is an official rulebook which is used in tournament play.[4] It is played on a field about 100 feet in length, and with five holes. A player must advance to each hole, knocking other players' marbles out in a prescribed manner, and return again.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Conley, Robert J. A Cherokee Encyclopedia. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2007. Page 144.
  2. ^ Bilger, Burkhard. Noodling for Flatheads. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001. Page 210.
  3. ^ TurtleIsland.org :: View topic - Cherokee children play games to fight drugs
  4. ^ Cherokee.org | Cherokee Marbles Training Underway
  5. ^ "the People's Paths!" Cherokee News Path - Cherokee Social Games