The size of this ball might suggest that it was a child's toy, but it was probably used among the Sioux in a ritual game called Throwing the Ball. Its size is comparable to that of a lacrosse ball, perhaps the best known of the Native ball games, but there are a number of other ball games performed by Native peoples. The Throwing the Ball game uses a buffalo hide ball stuffed with buffalo hair. Blue paint, or in this case, blue beads mark the four directions, which are joined by two paths in white and blue beads.
Kathleen Howe, Nuance of Sky: Edgar Heap of Birds Invites Spirit Objects to Join His Art Practice (Claremont: Pomona College Museum of Art, 2013), 12 illustrated/color.
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