A recent discovery in a cave just took place and it shows us how much we still have to learn about the game of lacrosse and its significance to the people who gave it to the world. This is Lacrosse History.
Recently, in a mile-long cave named Manitou near Fort Payne, Alabama, there was an amazing discovery that relates to the ancient game of Cherokee Stickball. The Cherokee Stickball game differs from the Iroquois game popularized in Canada that is more commonly known in the modern day. The main notable difference is the use of two hand-held sticks instead of one. The Manitou Cave is part of the original Cherokee lands. This cave was used for may purposes by the Cherokee people living in that area, but due to the cave being open to tourists in the late 1880s, most of the history was wiped out.
The Cherokee people were removed from these lands, and the many other lands that made up their regional nation, and forced to migrate to modern day Oklahoma in an event that history has dubbed The Trail of Tears. The name is warranted, as the death toll on the Cherokee people was unprecedented, and the loss of life was accompanied by a loss of culture. While most of the historical remnants were wiped out form the cave, there was still script visible on the walls. This text was developed by a Cherokee man named Sequoyah in the 1821, and the text was adopted in 1825 by the people of the Cherokee nation.
In 1828, someone wrote an inscription, making references to the leaders of the game. In another line of writing, the words, “we who are those that have blood come out of their nose and mouth” are also visible. Experts have derived from this passage that the players used this cave as part of the ceremonial aspects of the game, and that they returned during any intermission or upon the conclusion of the game as well. These events happened in such a small amount of time, and in such close proximity to the tragic events of Trail of Tears, that it really made me consider how incredibly sudden changes can affect a culture. These things factor into what an incredible and significant finding this is, and should give you an idea how limits resources can be in uncovering information on ancient cultures.
I really hoped you guys enjoyed this, and remember, if there’s anything else you’d like us to cover, let it be known in the comments below. Until next time, Take care. Keep laxin’.
Cave Photo Credit:
© User: Annettereynolds / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-4.0