Diniizhoo Diniizhoo, a Gwich’in gathering place

Other games & activities

Other games & activities:
• twirling bone
• string games
• football
• tobogganing
• card games
• dancing

Tł’yah Ìival

The Swing was a favourite game that was a pastime for women and girls. It was also part of a Gwich’in celebration following a successful hunt. It could be a competitive game as well, with an element of danger. Two ropes were attached to either side of the main swinging rope and participants tried to pull the person off the swing by pulling and jerking the swing in all directions.

Mary KassiMary Kassi described some games she played as a girl

“We got all kinds, used our own-made games just like those Eskimos, what they’re doing. Just bone, playing like that. That’s what we were doing. And string in our hands, we made all kinds of designs. And we played ball, football. We made moose skin like a ball, a big one. We filled it up with moss and those big ones, we played down that river every night. Oh! We took all the snow off and we played, you know. We played, oh, we had a good time. Sometimes elder girls joined in with us. Even women, elder women, ... [joined] in with us. Oh, we had a good time. And we slide down with toboggans. ... Sometimes we got four or five at a time in the sleigh, we slide down there. All kinds of fun we had. And dance, we went to dances, too. We danced, too, but no boyfriend though. [laughs]

Well, that’s what game I was talking about, eh? That’s all game we had. And we played cards sometimes, you know majure, something like that. Those kind, we used. That’s a lot of fun for us. ... Not all night long, got to go home before day school in the morning.”

(Mary Kassi VG1997-08-04 March 13, 1997, Old Crow, English)