Where does the bat and the flying squirrel come from? – Eastern Cherokee Lacrosse Legends

Eastern Cherokee is an old, traditional tribe of the North American. The Native Americans are famous for all their legends, myths and stories. What many do not know is that lacrosse is a part of many of these legends. We want to publish some Indian legends here, that are associated with lacrosse, in the near future. Today we start with the one of the Eastern Cherokee lacrosse legends.

Eastern Cherokee - Flying squirrel and batFacts

As everyone of you knows the sport lacrosse was invented by the North American Indians and used for war preparations. But lacrosse also played an important role for the Native Americans, and that is why it is part of many traditional legends of the natives. In the legends it is clear what value lacrosse had for the life of the Native Americans. It was much more than just a game.
Reading the texts, one should be a little bit careful. Earlier, the legends were transmitted orally and then the first people began to write the texts down, but they often were embellished, cut and “cleaned” before. Even with the translation of the Indian language into English, some parts of the texts certainly got lost. Because not only one person had started to write the texts, there were many different versions of a story. The collector put together several versions and fixed the “complete story”.
And now we want to tell you the legend of Eastern Cherokee.

One of the Eastern Cherokee lacrosse legends

A legend of the so called Cherokee Indians says that one day the animals challenged the birds to a ball game. The birds took up this challenge. On the day of the game the animals took place on the ground. For the animals competed a strong and massive bear, a deer, a turtle with it hard shell and many more. The fastest and most windy birds gathered in the birds group.
The Lacrosse bat Tlameha - Eastern CherokeeWhile the birds still watched their opponents from the trees, two tiny figures climbed up the tree and asked the captain of the birds if they could perhaps participate in the game. The bird looked at them and asked why they did not play in the animals group in the first place. The little creatures declared that they have already asked, but the animals only laughed because of the body size of the two tiny figures. The captain of the birds decided that the two were in the team. There was only one problem. How could the two connect to the birds without having wings or the ability to fly? The entire troupe joined together and began to look for a solution. One thought of the drum, the tension is made of leather from the woodchuck. You could just cut off a corner of the leather and use it as a wing. Once this
idea was expressed, the leather corners were immediatly cut and attached to the legs of one of the small animals. And originated Tlameha, the bat. The bat was of course immediately tested in their abilities and the birds threw a ball in the air. The bat impressed by its speed and their dexterity and quickly became an invaluable ally.
But a problem was, that there was no longer enough leather for the second creature left and also not enough time to get new leather. So they thought about that problem for the second time and got the idea to stretch the skin of the little animal. After a few minutes the birds have taken the skin of the little animal and streched the skin between the hind and for feet. Tewa was originated, the flying squirrels. This was tested as well and jumped with an elegant set of the ball, caught it with his teeth and brought it to the nearest tree top.
Then all birds were ready and the game was started. Then the game started, the flying squirrel grabbed the ball and ran with it up the tree. He played it to the birds, which could keep the ball in the air for some time until it dropped to the ground. But just before he could get there, the bat grabbed it skillfully and quickly. At the end of the game, the bat scored the goal that produced the victory of the birds.
Since then many lacrosse players ask for the support and help of the flying squirrel and the bat. That is why they attach a small bat wing at their heads or on the frame.

We hope you liked the Eastern Cherokee lacrosse legend and you are already looking forward to the next stories of the Native Americans.

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