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james laverance

Hockey played by the Inuit in 1721

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Hockey played amoung the Inuit of the artic regions in 1721.
"It was not till 1721 that any attempt was made to ascertain the religious condition of the Eskimos, or to Christianize them.
The "wild" Eskimos of the Arctic regions believe in the existence of two great and a number of inferior spirits. The chief ofthese, "Tongarsuk," the great spirit, is supposed to give power to the "angerkok," or priest, who is the medium ofcommunication between him and the people, by whom he is only known by name, which is never mentioned without becoming reverence.
This great spirit is supposed to assume different forms, —at one time that of a man, at another that of a bear,while often he is spoken of as purely spirit. The other great spirit, supposed to be the principle of evil, is represented as a female, but has no name.
The angerkoks profess, by means of their familiar spirit, to charm away bad luck from the hunter, to change the weather, or to heal the sick. The lesser spirits are believed to control the different elements, and from their ranks Tongarsuk selects the familiars for the priests. One of these lesser spirits, who rules the air, is supposed to be so vicious, that the Eskimos are loath to stir out after dark for fear of offending him.
They suppose the sun and moon to be brother and sister, who having quarrelled, the sun bit off one of his sister's breasts; and the maimed appearance presented by the moon is caused by her turning her wounded side to the earth. The aurora borealis is supposed to be the game of " hockey," played by the departed spirits of their friends and relatives."

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Early games were played against the Warroad Warriors University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux and Grand Forks Central Redskins Atlanta Braves etc. Cleveland Indians had that Chief Wahoo kid at rover while Chicago countered with Chief Blackhawk.

Edited by Icechipper

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