Leisure Recreation and the Arts

Games, socializing with friends, storytelling, singing, and dancing were all prominent activities during the winter months when large groups of families congregated in the same pine-nutting areas.

Children were not segregated by sex at any age. Boys and girls were each more likely to play with toys that were associated with the work of their own gender— toy bows and arrows for boys and baskets and dolls for girls. As boys neared puberty, they might spend time hunting with their fathers away from camp. Lowie (1986b, p. 198) reported that Northern Shoshone boys and girls both played cat's cradle (p. 199). Girls played with buckskin dolls (p. 199), and boys particularly enjoyed four games: a kind of football, arrow shooting, the hoop game (p. 198), and racing (p. 199).

Some forms of recreation among adults involved varying degrees of sexual segregation. Madsen (1980) described the Bear Dance—originally, a hunting dance— among the Northern Shoshone as a dance in which men and women arranged themselves in separate parallel lines that alternately approached and moved away from one another. According to Lowie (1986b, p. 195), the handgame, a gambling game that involved guessing which of two markers an individual was holding, was played by both sexes among the Northern Shoshone, but apparently only in groups of the same sex.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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