Games Label Copy

Sports Labels–Batch 2




Play, games and sports are essential in the creation and maintenance of identity. They provide lessons of self-esteem, integrity and responsibility.


Culture and identity are significant for variety, originality and creativity. They broaden our perspective and give us knowledge, meaning and understanding, concepts vital for civic associations.


Gaming activities build social commitment through teamwork and trust; they strengthen the bond of the person to the community. Historically, sports have been valued for their ability to bring social groups together, instill pride among disparate individuals and establish empathy.





American Indians were introduced to baseball in boarding schools in the late 19th century. Traditional racquet games that they played as children provided the agility and coordination needed to excel on the baseball diamond.


With the early popularity and growth of baseball, a number of boarding-school students joined the growing number of traveling professional teams. Traveling with teams allowed for adventure and showmanship and a chance to prove that American Indians were able to be successful competitors.





No team did more to popularize American football than the Carlisle Indian Industrial School team in the early 20th century, led by All-American halfback Jim Thorpe. With a student body of only 1,000, the team utilized stunts, tricks and the newly introduced forward pass to defeat every major college football program of the era.

American Indian football teams captured the nation’s attention in the early 20th century. Carlisle stormed its way across the Northeast with a winning percentage of .647 and a 1912 championship. Haskell Institute in Lawrence, Kansas, had very successful early years with victories against the universities of Missouri, Nebraska and Texas.


Today, many boarding schools have dropped their football programs, but there are still a number of players of American Indian and Polynesian heritage in all leagues.





Golf is a newer game in the American Indian sporting repertoire. In the last part of the 20th century, ethnic representation in major golf tournaments increased.


Rod Curl (Wintu), the first American Indian to play in the PGA, won the 1974 Colonial National Invitational, beating golf legend Jack Nicklaus. Curl’s two sons play professional golf. Notah Begay III (Diné) is perhaps the best known Native golfer today, with four major victories. Begay has played on two national teams, the Walker Cup (1995) and the Presidents Cup (2000).


Native women are also making strides in professional golf. Alexandra Schulte (Northern Ute), one of the most prominent players, attended the University of Arkansas and has played professionally since 2012.




During the early boarding-school period, the golden age of boxing was in full swing. With the sport’s growing popularity, rules were adopted to make the contests more consistent and fair. Many boarding schools fielded talented boxing teams. The Chilocco Indian Agricultural School team won Oklahoma’s first Golden Gloves team competition in 1936.


With the decline of football programs, boxing became increasingly important in the boarding-school system. Currently there are more than 100 boxing clubs in American Indian communities. The emphasis of these clubs is to encourage pride while developing healthy attitudes.



Surfing and Sledding


Surfing is one of the rare sports where nature is an opponent. There is no confirmed record of surfing’s beginnings. Most scholars agree that it developed in Polynesia and Indonesia simultaneously, eventually making its way to Hawaii before European contact. In the late 18th century, the voyages of Captain Cook brought back stories about the marvelous activity that would become known as surfing.


Surfing is deeply rooted in Hawaiian culture and an important part of their early religion. After the arrival of missionaries in the early 19th century, surfing was banned. In the early 20th century, Duke Kahanamoku became known and credited for re-introducing surfing to the modern world.





Connections to individual style and flair and an affinity for freedom of expression make skateboarding a popular sport among young American Indians.


Skating challenges physical abilities and provides a platform for personal creativity. As a growing sport on reservations, it has become an outlet for youth regularly faced with difficult social and economic circumstances.





With the introduction of the horse in the early 1600s, skills used in rodeo began to develop. Wild horses required roping and taming. Young men gained prominence and position in the tribe by showcasing their skills and courage and obtaining large herds. Indian men easily became adept in the tasks required for cattle ranching and rodeo.


In the late 19th century, rodeo events provided an opportunity for adventure as well as prestige within their community. Many individuals took up traveling with Wild West shows.


Today, Indian rodeo has a large number of participants throughout the West and Canada. There are numerous regional associations, and 700 events are held annually sanctioned by Indian National Finals Rodeo, Inc.



















Sport and Art




Sport and Art


Sport is human expression. Many American Indian groups developed creation stories that included sport as an integral activity of the earliest people, animals or gods.


The instruction supplied through creation narratives helped form people’s culture and customs. The stories told are often action-oriented, imaginative and prized for their ability to teach.

As enduring traditions, sport and art express and shape our attitudes and beliefs. They are treasured both for their own sake and for the significant lessons they provide for existence, reflection, survival and celebration.



Early Games of Skill


Competitive games have been a part of American Indian communities since time immemorial. Many early games were an important component to religious customs or seasonal gatherings.

Games of skill involved activities requiring dexterity, strategy and stamina. They were played by young men as training for a life dependent on hunting, tracking and physical combat.


Through these games, people developed ideas of tactics, teamwork and the endurance essential to success on the playing field and in everyday life.



Early Games of Chance


Games of chance were played by men and women. These activities mainly consisted of tossing, guessing and concealment, requiring participants to be intuitive and focused.


Successful players of chance games were seen as having special intellectual abilities. Participation in these activities provided individuals a chance to prove their mental prowess and outwit their opponent.


Games of chance provided more than amusement, they also allowed for bonding and sharing among tribal and family members that lived apart.



Mesoamerican Ball Games


Mesoamerican ball games are depicted in the surviving archeology records throughout Central America and Mexico. Similar ball games were also played in the pre-contact American Southwest.


Most of what is known about the games comes through tableaus and murals, and a limited number of surviving artifacts of the Classic Mesoamerican period ranging from A.D. 200 to 500.


Exactly how the game was played is not known. However, many of the early cultures left monumental arenas, suggesting the value and importance of the game.



Ball Games


Early ball construction was as diverse as the games themselves. Equipment of early ball games varied according to tribal customs and available materials. Ball games were played as simple kick games or complex racket games with teams, boundaries and goals.





Running is the oldest activity shared by all people of the Americas. Historically, people had to run for tracking, hunting, scouting, trade and war. Running also provided the means for communication of ideas and between villages.


Races of the past were more than practical organizers of communities, they were also important for the maintenance of culture. Many tribal communities have running folklore and stories that describe epic races between gods and early animals.

Indian people value the experience of running for itself and for the connection it provides to the world around them.






Territorial Field Games


The boarding-school system in the late 19th century introduced many Indian men to team field sports. Games such as football and baseball had similar physical requirements as the traditional Native games of lacrosse, double ball and shinny.


Women took part in physical arts but did not participate in rigors of competitive games until the introduction of basketball. Indian adolescents took to the new games with ease, as life at home included many games of strength, stamina and agility.



Jim Thorpe


Jim Thorpe (1887-1953) was the first All-American and a classic sports hero. He was named the “Greatest Football Player and All-around Male Athlete of the First Half of the Twentieth Century” by a 1950 Associated Press poll of sportswriters.


Posthumously honored by a United States Senate resolution as the “Athlete of the Century,” Thorpe is a member of the National Track and Field Hall of Fame, the College Football Hall of Fame, the Professional Football Hall of Fame and the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame.


Thorpe’s athletic ability has been recognized by many, but perhaps his greatest feat was being the only athlete to win gold medals in both the decathlon and pentathlon, in the 1912 Olympics.



Stickball and Lacrosse


Stickball and lacrosse are two of the oldest team sports in North America. The exact origin of the games is unknown, but their importance has been passed down through generations. Both games are part of the creation stories for tribal communities and still hold a strong connection to prayer and ritual.


Although the Southeastern stickball game has remained largely local, lacrosse has become an international sport. It is the national sport of Canada and has been a medal sport in the 1904 and 1908 Olympics.


Today there are approximately 29 countries competing in the World Lacrosse Championships. In 2014, the Iroquois Nationals defeated Australia for the bronze, securing their best result ever.





Invented in 1891 by James Naismith, basketball is one of the later sports introduced to American Indian communities. It is one of the only sports where women’s and men’s games developed simultaneously.


In the late 19th century, women attending boarding schools did not have many opportunities to play sports. Basketball was one of the exceptions, and since its introduction, American Indian women have excelled.


Steeped in tradition, American Indian women’s basketball has had many recent standouts in the largest women’s professional league, the WNBA.

































Beautiful Games item labels






Untitled, c. 1900

Graphite, paper

Collection of Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center




Dart table with darts, mid-1900s

Wood, paint

Collection of Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center



Inuit, Coral Harbour, Arctic Québec

The Wrestling Game, c. 1960s


Dr. E. Daniel Albrecht Collection



George Aden Ahgupuk


Untitled, c. 1950

Ink, hide

The blanket toss originated as a wayfinding activity for traveling or hunting parties. Eventually it became part of a celebration for the close of the whale-hunting season. Today it is a demonstration event at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics. Participants are judged on height, style and landing.

Collection of Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center




Carving, n.d.

Bone, walrus ivory

Dr. E. Daniel Albrecht Collection



William Ukpatiku

Baker Lake Inuit, b. 1935

Bone game, 1970s

Bone, cord, pigment

Dr. E. Daniel Albrecht Collection



Brian Honyouti

Hopi, b. 1947

Ball-game carving, 1985

Cottonwood root, paint

Heard Museum purchase, NA-SW-HO-F-756



Hopi, Second Mesa

Child’s double ball game, 1969

Wood, painted, string, canvas

Heard Museum purchase, NA-SW-HO-G-6a through c



Nez Perce

Bow, early 1900s

Wood, sinew, rawhide

Heard Museum purchase, NA-PT-NP-D-1




Bow, 1947

Wood, sinew

Gift of Miss Marion R. Plummer and Mr. and Mrs. Stanley W. Plummer, NA-SW-NA-D-3a




Rabbit stick, early 1900s

Wood, paint

Fred Harvey Fine Arts Collection, Heard Museum, 506CI



Santo Domingo Pueblo

Rabbit stick, c. 1800


Heard Museum purchase, NA-SW-SO-I-3









Game pieces, c. 1200-1700

Walrus ivory

These bird pieces were tossed onto a playing surface, and counting was measured depending on how they landed, either upright or sideways.

Dr. E. Daniel Albrecht Collection



Inuit, Hudson Bay

Cribbage board, 1912

Walrus ivory

Gift of the Backer Family Trust, 4663-1a through f




Sosotukpi, c. 1911-1913

Cottonwood root

This game was played by hiding the ball under one of the figures and testing the participant’s perception.

Fred Harvey Fine Arts Collection, Heard Museum, 614CI-617CI and 1006CI



Tsimshian, British Columbia, Canada

Stick game and bag, c. 1905

Mammal skin, animal bone, copper, maple

Collection of Canadian Museum of History




Playing cards, 1864-1868

Hide, paint

Gift of Mr. Robert Forhl, NA-SW-AP-G-1a through f




Bone and needle game, c. 1920

Metal, glass seed beads, thread, hide, sinew, bone

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Byron Harvey III, 3084-51A





Bruce Wynne

Spokane, 1944-2003

Card Game (Spokane), 1970

Watercolor on paper

Card games were a popular form of play among many American Indian groups, perhaps because of their availability and ease of carrying.

Heard Museum purchase, IAC338



Jane Hyden


Navajo Shoe Game, 2008

Wool, dye

Heard Museum purchase, 4544-1




Gambling tray, early 1900s

Grass, redbud bark, bracken-fern root

Heard Museum purchase, NA-CB-YO-G-2




Dice, early 1900s

Acorn, pitch, abalone shell

Heard Museum purchase, NA-CB-YO-G-4






Classic Period Maya

Jar, A.D. 300-900


This jar represents a Mayan ball player. Note the protective belt (yoke) and knee pads. The game was played with a 10-pound solid rubber ball, which was hard and probably caused many injuries as players hurled themselves into it to keep it in play while attempting to score.

Collection of Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian






Classic Period Maya

Yoke, A.D. 900-1521


The carved stone yoke depicts the protective belt worn by Mesoamerican ball players.

Collection of Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian


El Tajín, Veracruz

Palma, A.D. 750-1000


Stone palmas are believed to have been used as some type of field marker. They have been identified as some of the finest stone carvings from the early Maya culture.

Collection of Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian







Double ball, c. 1890

Hide, beads, sinew

Collection of Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian




Ball, early 1900s

Laurel wood

This ball was probably used for a racket game like lacrosse. It is well carved and the proper size.

Fred Harvey Fine Arts Collection, Heard Museum, 111CI



Chukchi, Siberia

Ball, c. 1900

Cotton, leather, suede, thread, reindeer hide, sealskin

Gift of Mrs. John C. Lincoln, NA-ES-G-13



Northwest Mexico

Game ball, c. 1920



Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Henry S. Galbraith, 3309-389




Pitch ball, late 1800s

Pitch, hair

Kick ball was common in the Southwest. The game was frequently played by kicking and running along a pre-determined course, but it was also used during travel and ceremonies.

Fred Harvey Fine Arts Collection, Heard Museum, 1073CI




Stone ball, c. 1500

Stone balls had many uses. They were used for games, counters, weapons, pestles or hammer stones. The most common use for this size and weight was the kick-ball race.

Heard Museum Collection, NA-SW-HH-G-1






George Catlin

American, 1792-1872

Footrace Behind Mandan Village, 1832-1833

Oil on canvas

Collection of Smithsonian Institution, American Art Museum



Jason Garcia

Santa Clara Pueblo, b. 1973

The Flash, 2013

Ceramic, paint

Collection of Charles King




Kokopelli, late 1800s

Cottonwood root, paint

The katsina runners are enforcers. Their aim is to keep people obedient and to dispense discipline. Runners from the pueblo have to stay in front of the katsina or be punished.


Fred Harvey Fine Arts Collection, Heard Museum, 914CI




Squash/Patun, late 1800s

Cottonwood root, paint

Fred Harvey Fine Arts Collection, Heard Museum, 935CI




Chipmunk/Koona, late 1800s

Cottonwood root, paint

Gift of Senator Barry M. Goldwater, NA-SW-HO-F-238




Dragonfly/Kwitanona, c. 1900

Cottonwood root, paint

Gift of Senator Barry M. Goldwater, NA-SW-HO-F-406



Summer Peters

Saginaw Ojibwe of Michigan, b. 1977

Billy Mills Gold, 2014

Czech glass beads, artist board, fabric acrylic

Brenda and Wilson Pipestem Collection



Drake Relays cross country trophy, 1927

Bronze, wood

The inaugural Drake Relays were held in 1910 on the campus of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. It is regarded as one of the top track and field events in the United States. Hundreds of Olympic gold medalists have competed at Drake Stadium, including Jesse Owens, Wilma Rudolph, Carl Lewis and Bruce Jenner.

Collection of U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs



Billy Mills

Haskell Indian Nations University, 1956

Collection of the U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs





Jacket and pants worn by Billy Mills

1964 Summer Olympics, Tokyo, Japan

Mills entered Haskell University in the early 1950s. Later he joined the University of Kansas track team, where he earned three All-American honors in cross country. After graduating, he joined the Marines, but he soon returned to training. In the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Mills was the first American ever to win gold in the 10,000-meter race.

Collection of Billy Mills



Track shoes worn by Billy Mills

1964 Summer Olympics, Tokyo, Japan

Collection of Billy Mills



Olympic medal won by Billy Mills

1964 Summer Olympics, Tokyo, Japan

Collection of Billy Mills and Dominic Mills-Trunnell



Patricia Mills

American, b. 1941

Wings of an Eagle, 2014

Archival print

The title for this painting comes from the feeling that overcame Billy Mills as he entered the final stretch of his 1964 gold medal–winning performance.

Collection of Patricia Mills



George Rivera

Pueblo of Pojoaque, b. 1964

Billy Mills, 2013

Bronze, stainless steel

Collection of Billy Mills






Canton Bulldogs football jersey (replica), 2014


Collection of Allan Ruegsegger, AIS Athletic Uniforms



Football uniform, early 1900s

Pants, socks, shoes, helmet, pads

Collection of Allan Ruegsegger, AIS Athletic Uniforms



Ben Wright

Cherokee, b. 1947

Jim Thorpe All American, 2013

Acrylic on board

Collection of Larry Cianciosi and Scott Derthick



Diego Romero

Cochiti Pueblo, b. 1964

Jim Thorpe bowl (“Never Forget” series), 2001

Ceramic, paint

Collection of Native American Art, Peabody Essex Museum



Trading card, 1991

U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame

Collection of Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame



Trading card, 1992

All World Sports Inc.

Collection of Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame



Olympic decathlon and pentathlon medals awarded to Jim Thorpe, 1983

1912 Summer Olympics, Stockholm, Sweden

Jim Thorpe’s victories in 1912 were overturned by the International Olympic Committee because he had played professional baseball the previous summer. It was not until 1983 that the medals were returned, after a ruling found the IOC did not follow the procedure for contesting a win. These two medals were issued to Thorpe after his ban from the 1912 Stockholm Olympics was rescinded.

Collection of Oklahoma Historical Society



Jim Thorpe

Sac and Fox/Potawatomi, 1888-1953

Jim Thorpe’s History of the Olympics

Authored by Thorpe in collaboration with Thomas F. Collison

Los Angeles: Wetzel Publishing Co., Inc., 1932


Collection of Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame



Gold medal (shot put) awarded to Jim Thorpe, 1912

Triangular Meet

Collection of Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame



Gold medal (hurdles) awarded to Jim Thorpe, 1912

Triangular Meet

Collection of Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame



Gold medal (shot put) awarded to Jim Thorpe, 1912

Middle Atlantic Association Championships

Collection of Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame



Athlete of the Century medal awarded to Jim Thorpe, 2000

Collection of Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame



Athletic letter certificates awarded to Jim Thorpe

Carlisle Industrial School

Football 1907, Baseball 1908, Track 1908

Collection of Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame






Donald “Babe” Hemlock and Carla Hemlock

Mohawk of Kahnawake, b. 1961 and b. 1961

Continuing the Legacy, 2013

Wood, pine, ash, maple, acrylic paint, glass beads, wool stroud cloth, cotton

This is the first collaboration between husband-and-wife artists Babe and Carla Hemlock. The cradleboard was made to give an additional voice to the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team and their continued struggle to play the game as Haudenosaunee-Iroquois nationals. The team travels on its own documentation to compete at the international level. In 2010, the United Kingdom denied the team entry on Haudenosaunee passports, causing them to forfeit their chance to compete in the FIL World Lacrosse Championships in Manchester, England.


Collection of the artist



Mississippi Choctaw

Hat, late 1800s

Wool, cotton, glass beads, feather

Collection of Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian



Mississippi Choctaw

Tail ornament, late 1800s

Horsehair, wood, cloth

Tail ornaments and accoutrements would be worn by players to gain the essence of the animal’s agility, strength and speed.

Collection of Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian



Oklahoma Muscogee Creek

Tail ornament, late 1800s

Mountain lion tail, yarn

Collection of Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian



Muscogee Creek

Stickball sticks, 1904

Wood, hide

Collection of Muscogee (Creek) Museum



Doug Hyde

Nez Perce/Assiniboine/Ojibwa, b. 1946

Lacrosse Player, 2013

Indiana limestone

Collection of the artist



Sidney J. White


Choctaw Stickball/Tolih, 1900

The rules and protocol of the stickball game were once maintained through oral traditions. As the game became more secular, the rules were written down for regulation and consistency.

Collection of Oklahoma Historical Society



George Catlin

American, 1796-1872

Ball-play of the Choctaw – Ball Up, 1834-1835

Oil on canvas

Collection of Smithsonian Institution, American Art Museum



Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team jersey, 1996

Collection of Muscogee (Creek) Museum



Modern lacrosse helmet, 1996

Collection of Muscogee (Creek) Museum



Modern lacrosse stick, 1996

Fiberglass, nylon

Collection of Muscogee (Creek) Museum




Lacrosse stick, 1980

Hickory wood and cord

Anonymous lender



Solomon McCombs

Muscogee Creek, 1913-1980

Stick-Ball Game, 1962

Oil on canvas

Collection of Muscogee (Creek) Museum



Frank Buffalo Hyde

Onondaga/Nez Perce

It’s Our Game!, 2014

Acrylic on canvas

Collection of the artist








Chief Meyers

Cahuilla, 1882-1971

Jersey (replica), 2012


A major league baseball player from 1909 to 1917, Meyers played in four World Series. In 1908 he reported to the New York Giants and led the team in batting for three consecutive seasons. His best season was 1912, when he batted .358 and placed third in MVP voting.

Collection of Agua Caliente Cultural Museum


Baseball glove belonging to Moses Yellowhorse, 1921-1922

Yellowhorse (Pawnee, 1898-1964) went to Chilocco Indian Boarding School in Oklahoma. After graduating, he pitched in the minor leagues, winning a championship in 1920. He played two seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Collection of Baseball Hall of Fame



Baseball glove, 1953

This glove belonged to Allie Reynolds (Creek, 1917-1994), a multiple-sport athlete. He grew up in Oklahoma, where he attended Oklahoma Agricultural & Mechanical College. He played in the major leagues from 1942 through 1954. He pitched for the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees.

Collection of Baseball Hall of Fame



Navajo textile, tribute to Babe Ruth

  1. 1920s-1930s

Wool, dye

In the late 1920s, Babe Ruth was barnstorming across the country and commissioned this textile while visiting the Southwest. Unfortunately, the textile never made it to the Babe’s wall. It is believed he did not like that the batter was swinging from the wrong side.

Collection of William Neukom






Shan Goshorn

Eastern Band Cherokee, 1957

NO HONOR, 2014

Sports pennant, arches watercolor paper, archival ink, acrylic paint

Collection of the artist



St. Louis High School jersey

Honolulu, Hawaii, c. 1940

Herman Wedemeyer (Hawaiian, 1924-1999) was a standout in both football and baseball. Wedemeyer attended St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California, and was Hawaii’s first All-American football player. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1979. Wedemeyer was well known for his part as “Duke” in the original Hawaii Five-O television series (1972-1980).

Collection of Bishop Museum



Rose Bowl jersey worn by Jim Warne, 1987

Jim Warne (Oglala Lakota, b. 1964) played on Arizona State University’s first-ever Rose Bowl championship team. He was invited to play in the college all-star game the Hula Bowl in 1987. He was nominated to the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996.

Collection of Jim Warne



Michael Dean Jenkins

Hopi/Pima, b. 1959


Cottonwood root, paint

Gift of Neil and Sarah Berman, 4750-4



Jersey worn by Jim Plunkett, 1979

Jim Plunkett (Mission/Mexican American, b. 1947) played at Stanford University. He won the Heisman Trophy in 1970 and went on to play for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, where he led the team to two Super Bowl victories, in 1981 and 1984.

Collection of the Sports Museum of Los Angeles



1927 football team, Haskell Indian Nations University

Collection of U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs



Football, early 1900s


Collection of U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs




Presidents Cup ring, 2000

Gold, diamonds

Collection of Notah Begay III



Presidents Cup trophy, 2000

Sterling silver

Collection of Notah Begay III



Framed plaque

Commemorating 2000 Presidents Cup participation

Collection of Notah Begay III






1999 Haskell Indian Nations University Women’s Basketball Team

Collection of U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs



Gina Adams

Ojibwe/Lakota, b. 1965

Honoring Modern Unidentified, 2013

Ceramic, encaustic and oil paint

“While researching a group of photographs of Native Americans, I found many to have no identity. They were unidentified; they had lost their name and culture. This work deals with those lost stories. The basketball form represents civilization and the scribed patterns signify individuals layered over the ideas of assimilation.” —Gina Adams, 2014

Collection of Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas



Gina Adams

Ojibwe/Lakota, b. 1965

Game Plan, 2014

Cotton and calico fabric

Collection of the artist




Blouse and bloomers (replica), 2010


The Fort Shaw Indian Boarding School girls’ basketball team was invited to the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. The team worked at exhibits in the fair’s Indian School Exhibit Hall and made time for playing exhibition games. Fort Shaw played to the championship game against St. Louis and won, being named “Champions of the World.”

Collection of Montana PBS



Basketball (replica), 2010


Collection of Montana PBS



Jane Hyden


Dress, 2012

Wool, dye

This dress was made to pay tribute to the artist’s granddaughter and her athletic achievements at Tuba City High School.

Collection of the artist



Jersey worn by Ryneldi Becenti, 1997

Ryneldi Becenti (Navajo, b. 1971) is the first American Indian to play in the WNBA, the first woman player to have her number hung at the Wells Fargo Arena, and the first woman to be inducted into the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame.

Collection of Sun Devil Athletics



NCAA Women’s Final Four jersey worn by Natalie Diaz, 1997

Collection of Natalie Diaz






WBC Championship belt, 2011

Worn by George (Comanche Boy) Tahdooahnippah

Comanche, b. 1978

Commercial materials

Collection of George Tahdooahnippah



Robe and trunks, 2012

Worn by George (Comanche Boy) Tahdooahnippah

Comanche, b. 1978

Collection of George Tahdooahnippah



Jamison Chas Banks

Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma/Cherokee Nation, b. 1978

Triumph of the Will 1/14, 2014

Serigraph on paper

Collection of the artist




Untitled, c. 1900

Graphite, colored pencil, paper

Collection of Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center



Jeffrey Gibson

Cherokee/Choctaw, b. 1972

American Girl, 2013

Found punching bag, wool blanket, glass beads, steel studs, artificial sinew, tin jingles, chain

“The entire series of punching bags is meant to represent individuals who have, against the odds, found an empowered independence. This is the experience I had when working with boxing—you project your obstacles onto the bag and physically work it out. The psychological aspect really made sense to me. The adorning of the bag transforms the bag itself from an everyday object into an individual whose presence and beauty disengage the desire to hit it. This is my intention and the one expressed to me by many. I use a lot of song titles in my work, increasingly so, for many reasons. I listen to music for inspiration, and the lyrics often influence my formal choices. American Girl is named after the Tom Petty song. The song is about someone dreaming of a bigger world, more opportunities and more adventure.” —Jeffrey Gibson, 2014

Collection of Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kansas



Boxing gloves, 2014

Worn by members of the Santa Fe Indian School boxing team

Commercial materials


Collection of Santa Fe Indian School






Olympic gold medal awarded to Duke Kahanamoku

1920 Summer Olympics, Antwerp, Belgium

Kahanamoku (Hawaiian, 1890-1968) earned the medal in the 800-meter swimming relay.

Collection of the Bishop Museum



Holua sled replica, n.d.

Wood, cord

As a traditional activity, Native Hawaiians ride these sleds down hillsides or naturally occurring or man-made courses constructed of lava or rocks covered with vegetation. The activity has both religious and sporting associations. A skilled rider can reach speeds of up to 50 mph.

Collection of the Bishop Museum



Surfboard used by Derek Ho, c. 1990


Derek Ho (Hawaiian, b. 1964) won the Triple Crown of Surfing in Hawaii in 1984, ’86, ’88 and ’89. In 1993, he became the first male Hawaiian and oldest world champion at age 29.

Collection of the Bishop Museum



Surfboard, 1920


Unlike lighter, modern surfboards, early examples weighed 100 pounds and had little maneuverability. The length of the board varied from 3 to 16 feet and was determined by a person’s rank in the community.

Collection of the Bishop Museum