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Indian Bead Ring Kit
Indian Bull Roarer
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God's Eye Kit (Ojo de Dios)
Medicine Pouch Kit
Tomahawk Kit
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Native American Dream Catcher Kit
Snake & Indian Stick Game
Native American Web Weaving


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Native American


Continued from Native American's Page One...

Introduction (continued): There is not as much historical information on Native American toys as there are games. Some speculate this is because Indian children had few toys due to their nomadic lifestyle. Constantly traveling due to seasonal changes and migratory sources of food limited these wanderers to what they could carry. Toys were not essential to staying alive! Nevertheless, Indian children did have toys.

Babies had dangling toys to look at and grasp. Dolls were made from indigenous materials such as cornhusks. Young girls would decorate their dolls with clothing and beads. Older girls' mothers taught them skills such as weaving doll mats and making toy wigwams. Young Indian boys also had toys. They played with slings, small bows and arrows, spears, and fishing equipment. Indian boys later learned to make these items and were taught to hunt small prey.

As you can see, Indian children played with a purpose, and it was not simply for amusement. Their toys were designed to teach something useful, and to learn the skills they would need as adults. Still, there were toys that served no other purpose than to entertain, such as the "buzzer." This toy was made with a circular piece of antler bone with two holes in the middle. It was threaded with sinew that had small wood or bone handles at the ends. A buzzing sound could be made by holding the handles and spinning the circular piece by pulling and relaxing the sinew.

Another amusement activity was making string figures with a piece of sinew. By tying the ends together to make a loop, Indian children could weave "webs" with their fingers. The variations of "web weaving" were many. The larger the loop, the more designs could be made and the more pairs of hands could be used. One player would weave the loop around their fingers any number of ways to make different designs. Another could also play by moving parts of the loop to create a new figure. Making "string figures" is perhaps one of Man's earliest amusements and one that was played throughout the ancient world. Each string figure usually had a name and the most well-know name today is "Cat's Cradle."

Historical Folk Toys promotes understanding Native American traditions by offering craft kits and games that teach and amuse today's children -- just as parents did thousands of years ago!

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