Kit Perriman


June 18, 2019

The Rodeo: Ride Your Best Horse!

Barrel Racing.

  • Professional Barrel Racing is a woman’s event, though men and boys occasionally compete at a local level.
  • The aim is for a horse and rider to complete a clover-leaf pattern around a set of barrels in the fastest time.
  • They ride around 3 x 35 gallon barrels, laid out in a triangular pattern in the middle of the arena.
  • Times are measured by an electronic eye, or by a judge with a stopwatch.  The fastest rider wins outright.
  • This sport tests for speed, strength, agility, riding skill, and control. Yee haw!

June 17, 2019

Ball Play, Stick Ball, And The Game of Lacrosse

  • Ball Play / Stick Ball is the early version of lacrosse, popular with many Native American tribes.
  • It was originally called Anetsa (“little brother of war”), and was frowned on by Christian missionaries who recognized the pagan practices and influences associated with the game.
  • Originally, huge bets were wagered on the winners – choking an opponent was a common practice – and broken limbs were expected.  These particular aspects lessened over time.
  • Ball Play is still a popular spectator event and people used to dress up for the occasion.
  • It is a full-contact sport that includes wrestling and tackling moves.
  • The participants are young men, traditionally clothed in only a team waist-cloth, with their exposed flesh covered in bear grease.
  • An elaborate ritual often took place the night before the game, which involved “scratching” the players.  Spells were cast on the opposition to make them weak.
  • Players remained hidden while the game-director cleared a large, level plain of all sticks and stones.  Two stick-goals were set up about six hundred yards apart.
  • Teams were kept even and they numbered anywhere from 20-100 participants, though 30 warriors on each side was the average.
  • They entered the field whooping and shouting and then marched slowly to the center.
  • Each player carried a pair of ball sticks.  These were made from hickory wood and had a braided net at the end.
  • Lacrosse balls were originally about the size of a golf ball and were made from stuffed deer hide.
  • Before the game started, young women dashed onto the field and gave favors of belts and handkerchiefs to their champions.
  • After a lengthy speech from the game-director the ball was thrown in the air and the contest began.
  • The game was refereed by two drivers.
  • Rules were similar to that of modern-day lacrosse.
  • The first team to score 12 goals against their rivals wins the competition.
  • Stick Ball is still vigorous, fast, and exciting.
  • Games used to last about 2 hours, then the contestants ran to the river for an icy bath.


Finger, John R. The Eastern Band of Cherokees, 1819-1900. Tennessee: U of Tennessee P, 1984.

Wikipedia, “History of Lacrosse,” at


June 14, 2019

Cowboy Wisdom #14

“You’ve got to control yourself

before you kin control your horse.”

June 13, 2019

Dixie Corn Dodgers

Dixie Corn Dodgers


2 cups coarse cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

2/3 cup milk

2 tablespoon grease (butter, bacon dripping, or vegetable oil)

Extra grease for frying


  1. Place the cornmeal, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl.
  2. Mix together.
  3. Stir in the grease and the milk.
  4. Form into 8 bullet-shape rolls.
  5. Heat the cooking grease in a heavy skillet.  When piping hot, add the corn dodgers.
  6. Brown on one side.
  7. Turn and brown on the other.
  8. Serve warm.

June 12, 2019

The Rodeo: Never Give Up!

Roping Competitions.

  • There are 3 types of roping events featured at most rodeos: Calf (Tie-down), Breakaway, and Team (Heading and Heeling) Roping.
  • These highlight the specific skills a cowboy needs to capture cattle for branding, tagging, medical, and other purposes.
  • Cowboys use looped ropes called lariats or lassos.  They are thrown on the heads of young steers, and over the horns and back legs of larger animals.
  • The oldest timed event in rodeo competition is Calf or Tie-down Roping.  Here, the cowboy ropes a running steer, dismounts, throws the calf on the ground, and ties three of its feet together. His horse slowly backs up to help keep the lariat tight.
  • Breakaway Roping is primarily for women, and boys under 12 years of age.  In this variant of the above event, a short, flagged rope is tied lightly to the saddle horn with string.  When the calf is caught around the neck, the horse stops and the rope breaks free.  The calf runs on without being thrown down or tied up.
  • Team Roping demonstrates the joint skills needed for Heading and Heeling.  It is the only event where women and men often work together.  One rider (the header) catches a full-grown running steer by the horns, while their partner (the heeler) lassos the animal’s hind legs.  Once the bull is captured, the riders face each other and lightly pull both ropes taut.  Yee haw!

June 11, 2019

Chief Seattle Speaks: Three

Seattle (3)

“There was a time when our people covered the land

as the waves of a wind-ruffled sea cover its shell-paved floor,

but that time long since passed away with the greatness of tribes

that are now but a mournful memory.”

June 10, 2019

25 Facts: The Crow

The Crow Nation.

  1. The word Crow comes from the people’s description of themselves — Apsaalooke or Absaroka — meaning Children of the Large-beaked Bird, which was widely interpreted as The Crow.
  2. Their world was created by the tricksters, Old Man Coyote.  He gave the first people their language, prayers, ceremonies, laws, and clan system.
  3. The Crow are a matrilineal society with thirteen named clans.
  4. They are the only village with a Tobacco Society among the clans.
  5. Their original homeland was in Canada, but they were pushed into Montana and Wyoming by rival bands.
  6. At first they lived in static earthen lodges.
  7. Their traditional farming lifestyle changed radically when they acquired horses in the early Eighteenth Century.  Thereafter, they became nomadic buffalo hunters who adopted the four-pole tipi.
  8. Crow tipis were typically unpainted and were transported on horse-drawn travois.
  9. They hunted buffalo, elk, and deer.
  10. Crow women decorate their dresses with distinctive elk-tooth designs on the front and back.
  11. They were prohibited from interacting with others during menstruation.
  12. They rarely practiced basketry, pottery, or weaving.
  13. Warriors secure a life-long spirit guide through a vision quest, where they are given their individual medicine bundle for protection.
  14. Crow members have access to the spirit world through their guardian spirits or medicine fathers.
  15. They traditionally relied on herbalists for medicinal cures, and on their medicine bundles for spiritual advice and healing.
  16. The Crow practice Sun Dances and Peyote Meetings as part of their religious system.
  17. A leader was expected to perform a series of coups – touching an enemy in combat, stealing a horse, taking an enemy’s weapon, and leading a war raid.
  18. Inter-tribal conflicts and rivalries sometimes resulted in armed fighting.
  19. In the old days, the Crow were a polygamous people with a casual system of marriage and divorce.
  20. The berdache tradition (cross-gender identification) was common, but often non-sexual.  They were thought of as the two-spirit people.
  21. The Crow were enemies with the Blackfeet, Cheyenne, and Sioux.
  22. They use buffalo or sheep horns to fashion a sinew-back bow used for hunting and warfare.
  23. The Shoshone and Hidatsa were allies, and the Crow generally got on well with the whites.
  24. After the Fort Laramie Treaties of 1851 and 1868 they were confined to a substantial-sized reservation.
  25. In modern times, the Crow have been heavily influenced by Catholicism.

Sources:, “Crow,” at

Wikipedia, “Crow Nation,” at


June 07, 2019

Chief Seattle Speaks: Two

Seattle (2)

“My people are few.

They resemble the scattering trees of a storm-swept plain.”

June 06, 2019

The Rodeo: In It For The Ride!

Rodeo History

  • The rodeo tradition developed as a means of testing a cowboy’s speed, skill, strength, and courage.
  • Rodeo comes from the Spanish word for round up, and the first recorded English mention appeared in 1834.
  • Spanish Americans held annual rodeos for their vaqueros to gather cattle for movement, branding, breeding, selling, or slaughter.
  • After the American Civil War the rodeo became a spectator sport, with a paying audience and professional prizes.
  • Between 1890-1910, they combined with various Wild West Shows and drew a huge popular interest.
  • “Prairie Rose” Henderson was the first woman to compete in the Cheyenne Rodeo of 1901.
  • Women riders began making frequent appearances until two of them died in the ring – Bonnie McCarrol (1929), and Marie Gibson (1933).
  • After these tragic accidents the male ring was considered too dangerous for female competitors, so they began organizing their own rodeos.
  • Today, however, women are part of the national circuit.  They still compete in their own female events, but are also involved in several mixed-sex competitions.  Yee haw!

June 05, 2019

Chief Seattle Speaks: One

Seattle (1)

“My words are like the stars that never change.”

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