TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation will host its 2023 annual Traditional Native Games competition beginning Saturday, April 29 at the Cherokee Nation’s One Fire Field in Tahlequah.
Competitions will include a cornstalk shoot, horseshoes, marbles and blowgun which will start at 10 a.m., with hatchet-throwing and stickball shootout at 11 a.m. and chunkey at noon.
Registration will be held 30 minutes before each of the games. Competitors in the hatchet throw, blowgun, stickball shootout, chunkey and cornstalk shoot must bring their own sporting materials for the games.
"We are so thrilled to be bringing back the Traditional Native Games that are hosted within the Cherokee Nation Reservation leading up to Cherokee National Holiday," said Cherokee Nation Community Tourism Manager, Crystal Walters. "These community games have not been active since 2019, so we hope that the competitions bring memorable days of laughter and fellowship this year. All games are open to the public and are at no cost to the competitor or spectator."
The Traditional Game locations also include the Saline Courthouse Museum on Saturday, May 20 in coordination with Cherokee National Treasure Anna Sixkiller's basket weaving exhibit, as well as the Nowata Fairgrounds on Saturday, June 17; the Steven Owens Sports Complex in Gore on Saturday, July 15 and the community games finals at the Cherokee Nation One Fire Field in Tahlequah on Saturday, Aug. 26.
The top three placers at each location will receive a t-shirt and an invitation to compete in the Traditional Native Games Championship. Those top three placers at the championship will receive a cash award. All games are open to the public and are at no cost to the players or audience.
For more information or to contact a coordinator:
Cornstalk shoot: Jesse Grayson, 918-718-4596; Cherokee marbles: Jared Davis, 918-871-9478; Chunkey: Steve Kozicki, 918-931-5375; Hatchet throw: Jesse Grayson, 918-718-4596; Horseshoes: Brian Wagnon, 918-506-9168; Blowgun: Perry Van Buskirk, 918-913-4868; Stickball shootout: Tonya Wapskineh, 918-399-8474 and Ashley Carter 918-316-0318.
For general information follow Cherokee National Holiday on Facebook or visit www.thecherokeeholiday.com