North Dakota Government site North Dakota Tourism site

Tchung-Kee

Tchung-Kee (chun-kee)

This may have been the most popular sport among the Hidatsa and Mandan boys and men, as well as other tribes. A special field was constructed outside of the village where the ground was smoothed and packed hard for a distance about 50 yards, and bushes were planted around the sides as a windbreak. Logs were placed on each side of the field to keep the playing sticks and balls from going off the field.

  1. The game was played in teams, with two opposing men competing in each turn.
  2. Each player carried two poles about 7 or 8 feet long, with bunches of feathers or leather tied onto them at regular intervals.
  3. Starting at the same end of the playing area, the men ran together, side by side, each carrying a pole in a horizontal position.
  4. One of them rolled a round, polished stone with a hole in the center in front of them, and each threw his stick, trying to spear the Tchung-kee stone.
  5. Points were counted for the “deepest” catch, as measured by the feathers or leather straps.
  6. If neither player had caught the stone on his pole, the one who came closest was considered the winner and got to throw the stone the next time.

Additional information can be found at the following sites: