Why do so many brothers play lacrosse

SWR - Games of the World

There are many references to the game of lacrosse in the myths and legends of the North American Indians. For example, there is a report of a lacrosse competition between the animals of the forest and the birds. This legend tells how the forest animals like the bear and the deer do not accept the squirrel and the mouse as players because they are too small. The birds, on the other hand, want to include them in their crew, but have to find out that the two animals can only move on the ground, but not in the air. To solve this problem, the birds make wings for the mouse. The story thus explains the origin of the bat and the flying squirrel, whose skin the birds stretched until it could slide from one tree to the next.

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In other variants of the same story, the focus is on the individual characteristics of the players such as strength, endurance, speed and agility, which are each attributed to individual animal species. Even today, Native American lacrosse players decorate their clubs with feathers or bat wings, believing that this is how they would pass these properties over to them.

For the Indians, lacrosse, or "Baggataway" as they call it, was never just a game, but always had a spiritual meaning. Baggataway is called "The Little Brother of War". The social component of the game is unmistakable. It not only prepared the warriors for battle, but also helped to settle social tensions and disputes within and between the tribes and thus to settle them in an "unwarlike" way.

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Still, the rough style of play often led to serious injuries - sometimes even to the death of a player. But never had a greater number of warriors lost their lives than in armed conflict. But they also played to heal sick members of the tribe and to turn to the gods, because the game was ultimately seen as a divine gift.

The first descriptions come from Jesuit missionaries who came to the Huron tribe in the 17th century. Why the French colonists named the game Lacrosse is still a matter of debate. Some believe it comes from the shape of the bat, reminiscent of a bishop's staff. Others believe that it was similar to an old French folk football game called "la soule" or "la choule".

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The missionaries thought the game was pagan and tried to forbid the Indians from doing it. This was met with little success. More than that, the whites were beginning to enjoy it too.

Today lacrosse is Canada's national sport alongside ice hockey. In and in Europe, too, more and more people are enthusiastic about this game. It is particularly popular in Japan. Lacrosse is one of the fastest and toughest team sports in the world. It requires a high level of technical ability from the players.

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This combination makes the game extremely interesting not only for the players but also for the spectators. For the Indians, lacrosse is still an important part of their cultural identity.

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