Lakota Woskate

Lakota Games


Welcome to the Museum's first on-line exhibit. To inaugurate our site and to test our database we have put on line Fr. Buechel's complete collection of games. Fr. Buechel collected and documents these games between the years 1915 and 1953. He also wrote notes on how the games were played and cited the works of John Walker for additional information. Some of the Lakota games did not require any equipment and so they appear only in Fr. Buechel's ethnographic notes. The museum has also provided a collection of photographs from its collection as well as a virtual library of works on Lakota games.

Fr. Buechel's Toy and Game Collection -- This page lists all of the games gathered by Fr. Buechel that are now in the Buechel collection. By clicking on each entry you will call up the database item with a picture of the item and information recorded by Fr. Buechel. You can click on the picture to enlarge it for easier viewing.

Buechel Museum Game Play Photographs -- In 1920 an unknown photographer took a series of pictures of older Lakota men playing traditional games at St. Francis, South Dakota on the mission grounds. These photographs are currently in the Buechel Memorial Lakota Museum photo collection. We present these images here in the order in which they were catalogues.

Oscar Howe Game Representations -- This gallery contains fine art images of game play produced by the Yanktonai Sioux artist Oscar Howe.

Black Elk and Traditional Games -- Nicholas Black Elk demonstrated several games for John Neihardt and his family when they visited him for the interviews that were to become Black Elk Speaks. Hilda Neihardt wrote a recollection of this time. Hilde's sister took several pictures of the game. Through the gracious permission of Hilda Neihardt we can place this images on the web to enhance the exhibit.

Research Library -- This page contains full text reporductions of works on Lakota games and gaming. Note that from early on ethnographers recognized that games were utilized according to age and gender-- there being different games for little girls and older men.

Lakota Game Collections in Other Museums -- This page provides links to other museums that hold collections of Lakota games and toys.

Buechel Collection Database -- This page contains the entrie database of Fr. Buechel's ethnographic collection. There are two categories, visitor and scholar, which allow different access to the database. Please choose the one that will best suit your needs. Out of respect for the religious objects in the collection, those items are not displayed in the visitor's website. They can be seen in the scholar's site with permission of the museum director.