White Pine Association hosts Snow Snake Competitions
North Haverhill, NH- The White Pine Association, a non-profit organization will host the second annual snow snake
competitions Sunday February 22 at 1 PM in the field next to the Haverhill Town Building, Main Street. The gym in the town
building will be used for warm up and social gathering. The White Pine Association will host a raffle; the Koasek of the Koas
Abenaki Elders Council will offer hot beverages and soups as well as a food sale. The events are free and open to the public.
Fred Wiseman’s films: Against the Darkness and 1609: The Other Side of History will be shown in the gym. Other
What is snow snake? It is a very old eastern Native American sport. Teams compete to see who can throw a snow snake -- a
stick carved especially for the competitions -- down the tunnel the farthest. When thrown, the stick looks like a snake in the
It is said; Native Americans especially eastern tribes began playing the game more than 500 years ago. It is believed that at
one time the game was used as a means of communication. Each snake has a unique appearance designed by its maker.
The snow snakes are hand crafted out of hickory or ash. The Abenaki snow snake commonly ranges from 18 inches to 24
inches however; some eastern tribes use snakes that range to six foot long. Competitors have their own tricks that make the
snake go faster and farther on the track. Everyone is pretty secretive about their techniques.
Traditionally, the snow snake was thrown in a motion similar to that of skipping a stone on a lake. Once your snow snake
stopped it would be upended to show how far it had gone. The snow snake that had gone the furthest was the winner.
Sometimes the winner would win all the other snow snakes, he would then gather up all the snow snakes, yell out and toss
them all into the air. Then the other players would rush to get their snow snake, or the one they thought was the best. Today
the teams play for fun or competition prizes.
The White Associations will offer first prize a $100.00 worth of groceries( donated by the Nulhegan Coosuk Abenaki Bands
non-profit organization AHA and $20 cash, second prize a $50.00 gift certificate to Farmway and $20 cash, third prize $30
worth of 2009 garden seeds donated by Agway North Haverhill and $20 in cash.
“There are now many eastern tribes hosting snow snake competitions” said board of trustees of the White Pine Association.
“This is our second annual game and we intend to build this competition annually.” The White Pine Association, located in
Newbury, Vermont and Haverhill, New Hampshire works to promote and preserve the history, culture, health and healing of the
Koasek of the Koas Meadows (the oxbows) and other Abenaki nations as well as celebrate all the heritages of the community.
The public is welcome to come to this community event free of charge. Doors to the gym will open at 11:30 A.M Feb 22, 2009.
For more information please call 802-728-3619 or 603-989-3393