Fun with hand games

There is so much to see at the Arctic Winter Games, it's hard to decide where to spend the day.

There's freestyle skiing, snowboarding, dog mushing, basketball, hockey, indoor soccer, alpine skiing, curling, speed skating ... you get the point.

But I'm looking for a unique experience at the AWG. So I asked around.

A colleague at the CBC suggested I check out the Dene hand games--which, to be honest, sounded kind of boring.

Regardless, I went to check them out at Musokoseepi Park here in Grande Prairie. And it turns out I was wrong.



The 2008 AWG website explains the Dene hand games with the kind of clarity and brevity I'm apparently incapable of:

"Two teams of four face each other and take turns trying to deceive the other about the location of a token in one team member's hand. This is accompanied by drum beating and bodily gyrations."

Makes sense. But really, it seems so much more complicated than that.

The hand game is just one of several Dene traditions featured at the AWG. Other games include the finger pull, pole push, stick pull, and snow snake.

All of which are coming soon to a blog near you.

Follow Dan Robson on Twitter. He can also be reached at dan.robson@cbc.ca