Lacrosse: Little Brother of War - Interview with Tom Vennum

Produced by Paul DeMain
LaPointe, Wisconsin (NFICTV)

Tom Vennum is a historian and senior ethnomusicologist emeritus at the Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Vennum has published previously on topics like the "Ojibwe Drum Dance," "Wild Rice and the Ojibwe People," Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe elder Bill Baker in "Just too Much of an Indian" his most recent release, and about the origins of the Native American game of Lacrosse, "American Indian Lacrosse: The Little Brother of War."

Sitting on his summer home porch on Madeline Island, near by the ancient Ojibwe village of LaPointe, Vennum talks about his Lacrosse book and its connection to music, war, spiritual beliefs, history and some of its intertribal relationships.

"To understand the aboriginal roots of lacrosse, one must enter a world of spiritual belief and magic where players sewed inchworms into the innards of lacrosse balls and medicine men gazed at miniature lacrosse sticks to predict future events, where bits of bat wings were twisted into the stick's netting, and where famous players were - and are still - buried with their sticks." - American Indian Lacrosse

I am convinced "the game was widely played in a wide variety of styles."

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