Traditional Anishinabe “Snowsnake” Winter Sport Set for Jan. 25 at Gun Lake Tribe

Snowsnake is traditional Anishinabe fun.

Snowsnake is traditional Anishinabe fun.

HOPKINS, MICHIGAN — The Gun Lake Band of Pottawatomi Indians and the Great Lakes Lifeways Institute invite you to attend the 2nd Annual Gun Lake Snowsnake Games, Saturday, January 25 at Camp Jijak, just south of Hopkins, Michigan.

The game of snowsnake is an incredibly fun traditional Anishinabe winter sport. The snowsnake gaming piece is a carved polished wooden pole that is slid down a track or trench built in the snow. Snowsnakes can vary from two to seven feet long and are approximately an inch in diameter. They are carved from a variety of hardwoods and treated with special waxes and oils.

The tournament track starting point consists of a three foot high ramp of hard packed snow. The track itself is a shallow iced trough which gradually declines until it is at ground level. The object of the game is for your snowsnake to travel further down the track than your competitors’ snowsnakes.  Snowsnake throws have been recorded as traveling more than a mile in less than three minutes and peaking at speeds clocked by Sports Illustrated as reaching 108 miles per hour in the first mile.

The event is free and open to anyone interested in trying their hand at the sport or just stopping by to enjoy the competition.  Age categories for the competition range from children to elders. Loaner equipment will be available for newcomers. There will be hot chocolate for all as well as ongoing sledding for kids of all ages throughout the day.

Vendor tables will also be available in the activity building for artists and crafts people to display and sell their work.

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  1. Paul Pratt 4 years ago