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Seneca Nation Clans

Seneca: Member of Iroquois Federation


            Seneca                         Cayuga                       Onondaga

         Oneida                             Mohawk                   Tuscarora


(Snow Snakes)

Like any other game, Go-wa-sa has its charms and taboos. It is exclusively a traditional Woodland Indian winter sport. The snowsnake when hurled upon a track, may travel for up to a mile if conditions are ideal. It is usually not played just for fun. It is a great gambling game among the Indians. As long as there is snow, the game of snowsnake can be played.

A snowsnake maker is also called a “shiner” and his skill is extremely influential in producing a winning snowsnake. There are tow types of snakes; the short snakes are called “Mudcats” are approximately three feet long, and the “Long Snakes” are approximately seven feet long.

Throwers vary in their style of throwing. The snake may be thrown over hand, underhand or with a side arm pitch. Spectators are advised to stand away from the throwers as a snake has been known to jump the “track” and penetrate a shoe or boot as the snake initially travel at a great speed.




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