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Greece Post
  • Native winter ways explored in Victor: Ganondagan's Native American Winter Games & Sports

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  • VICTOR — Winter traditions and pastimes of the Seneca people were shared Saturday at the annual Native American Winter Games & Sports — which serves both as an educational and recreational event for the community as well as a celebration of the ways of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois).
    Ganondagan State Historic Site, which organizes the annual event, usually hosts it at its Route 444 site, once the location of a Seneca village. This year it moved to Victor Municipal Park due to construction at Ganondagan. A Seneca Art & Culture Center is scheduled for a tentative 2015 opening at the historic site.
    The Winter Games & Sports event included dog-sledding demonstrations; opportunities to explore park trails via snowshoe; demonstrations of traditional arts, crafts and tools; Haudenosaunee storytelling; the chance to try and buy authentic native foods; and the opportunity to try one’s hand at Snowsnake, a Haudenosaunee sport steeped in tradition.
    According to Iroquois oral tradition, this Native American game originated more than 500 years ago as a form of communication between villages. The throwing of “snow snakes” — or poles — in a trough or track of snow developed into a sport during the long and cold winters when the tracks were not used for communication.
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