Games of Skill
Neta Chikaswen [Games of Skill] are those in which the outcomes are determined by a player’s mental and physical abilities, rather than by chance. Traditional sports of this nature were and still are used by Potawatomi and other Native nations to build communal ties through leisure, celebrate and honor sacred and ceremonial events, cure the sick and hone necessary physical and cognitive skills for survival. Games were played among a single village or entire regions assembled for tournaments, with goods shared among players and households as wagers were won and lost. From wrestling and bow shooting to foot races and horseback riding, accomplished athletes were often granted the same level of esteem as prominent warriors and leaders.
Games of Chance
Neshpa Chikaswen [Games of Chance] are those that’s outcomes are determined by a randomizing action or device. Classic Potawatomi games of this type strengthen mental acuity and strategy as well as tribal bonds and communal values. Fundamental to neshpa chikaswen [games of chance] is the act of wagering, used culturally as a means for sharing goods and ideas through social networking.