• Gawa:sa’

    Translation: “Snowsnake”

    by Ja:no’s—Janine Bowen, Seneca Language Teacher


    During the long, snowy winter, Haudenosaunee men play snowsnake for amusement. Iroquois men will take turns throwing a snowsnake down a long, snow packed track. The player whose stick slides the furthest wins the throw. Teams are composed of throwers and those who make and prepare the snowsnakes, the shiners. Snowsnakes are made in a variety of ways to suit the conditions of the track. Snowsnakes are made from wood and have a lead tip for balance.


    Documented below is some film footage of Ms. Bowen's classes in February 2010 when Kory Dowdy, Adrian John and Josh Johnny-John came to the school athletic field to build a snowsnake track for Ms. Bowen’s classes. Kory, Adrian and Josh arrived early to shovel the snow into the track form so it would be ready for the students. They also brought their personal sticks for the students to use.