Scenes from the Eastern Woodlands
A Virtual Tour ~ Circa 1550
Where would you like to go?
Playing our hoop and dart game ...
You will see one of the many games that helps boys to prepare the skills necessary to hunt or fish. Here in this clearing, one boy rolls the hoop quickly across the ground. The three other boys stand an equal distance from the path of the hoop, and try to throw their wooden javelins through the hoop's netting.
The netting of the hoop is done in a special way for this game, so that the rectangles and squares and triangles in the weave represent different animals. The score of the throw by each boy is determined by which shape (or animal) the javelin goes through. If it goes through the very center hole of the hoop, that is the best score; it is the heart of the animal herd.
The Hoop and Dart game could be played from spring through the fall in clearings or grassy areas. There are many other games of skill for all seasons. In the winter months, when snow blankets the ground, we play "snow snake" with a thin, wooden snake-like javelin. We create a straight icy track in the snow, sometimes up to a mile long, along the river terraces. We take turns hurling our skinny "snow snakes" down the track to see which ones travel the furthest.
This series is now available as a soft-cover book:
"Woodland Windows," with expanded descriptive
text and additional resource materials
Text and Graphics
© 1994 - Tara Prindle
unless otherwise cited.