Timucuan Athletes

Timucuan Athletes


  • Timucuan Athletes

Published Date

  • published 1940



The everyday lives of early Timucuan Indians did not consist
entirely of hunting and fishing. The Timucuans had minor sports as well.
These included track events, archery, ball games, and a form of foot ball.

Warriors, from youth, trained long and hard to become swift and
tireless runners. Several times a year, marathons were held in which the
winners received prizes. Unlike modern races, there was no set distance
to run; the victors were those who displayed the greatest endurance.

Archery, too, had an important part in the education of the young
Indians. Although the various villages had friendly tournaments with
bow and arrow, and it was taught the youth [sic] as a pastime, the
importance of skill with this weapon had a more serious side. The
difference between a poor and a good bowman was often the difference
between famine and plenty, or between life and death.

The great American game of baseball had an ancient, if some-
what faint, counterpart in the Timucuan ball game. The "diamond" was a
cleared space in which a pole from 48 to 54 feet was erected. On top of
this was fastened a square frame woven of twigs. This was the target of
the ball players. The one striking the wicker-work first, received the
prize hung to the pole as encouragement.