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Page 3

Lummi Sticks

Lummi Sticks is just one name for this type of activity.

Carol Greene
Los Gatos, California / Girl Scouts of Santa Clara County

When I was twelve, I attended Camp Lone Tree, a Girl Scout camp in Michigan. The activity that stands out most in my mind was Lummi Sticks. We each searched the woods, found two straight sticks about 1 x 14 , and made them smooth with our pocket knives and sandpaper. Then we practiced the various moves with a partner until we got quite proficient at them. As I look back on this activity, we certainly had some brilliant camp directors to find such a popular activity that would keep us busy in our spare time for two weeks!

Currently, much emphasis is being placed in the schools on exploring many different multi-ethnic cultures. Lummi Sticks is a game that originated with the Lummi Indians who are the farthest north of the Puget Sound tribes. (Lummi is generally pronounced with a short u, but the tribe name has a long u sound.) Other Polynesian and New Zealand cultures have similar games with different songs.

Since it is an activity that appeals to all ages, why not try this activity with your troop. I have even taught this game to groups of sixty children at a time. The throwing moves are the only moves that I do not teach first graders. Lummi sticks can easily be made by cutting 3/4 x 36 dowels in half, but that can get costly for big groups. Here is a way to make them by recycling your old newspapers. The finished sticks are also safer since the children will be less likely to get hit with a flying stick: therefore, the children become more daring.

Supplies:
12 sheets newspaper approximately 14 x 24 each
2 sheets butcher paper, fadeless, or wrapping paper approximately 8 x 14

masking tape
permanent pens
white glue

Directions:

  1. Place 6 sheets of newspaper on top of each other.
  2. Make a fold on the bottom of the pack of newspaper about 1/4-3/8. Fold over twice more until it rolls easily. Then roll into a tight tube as straight and even as possible.
  3. Wrap strips of masking tape around the top, bottom, then 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 of the way down the tube.
  4. Make the second tube the same way.
  5. Glue the sheets of butcher paper as you roll the paper around the tubes.
  6. Decorate the tubes with the permanent pens.
    I demonstrate the stick movements by first hitting the sticks on the floor 4x, then flipping them one hand at a time 4x, then tossing sticks to the other hand 4x, then flipping both sticks at the same time.
    The children are always impressed with the flipping movements, even though they are quite easy to do. Have fun becoming skillful at Lummi Sticks!


Playing the game:
Learn the song first since it is the glue that keeps everyone together. Then partners sit cross-legged facing each other no more than two stick lengths apart, vertically hold lower half of the sticks.

Do each verse twice:  (Change the move for #3 in each new verse.)
Rhythm:  1-2-3-  Lummi stick pattern for verse one.


Ma   koo  ay   1.  Hit bottom of both sticks down on floor
G    G    E    2.  Hit top sides of both sticks together
1    2    3    3.  Hit tip of right stick on floor.


Ko   tay  o    1.  Hit bottom of both sticks down on floor
G    G    E    2.  Hit top sides of both sticks together
1    2    3    3.  Hit tip of left stick on floor.


Ay   koo  ee   1.  Hit bottom of both sticks down on floor
G    F    E    2.  Hit top sides of both sticks together
1    2    3    3.  Hit tip of right stick on floor.


tah  --   nah  1.  Hit bottom of both sticks down on floor
F         D    2.  Hit top sides of both sticks together
1    2    3    3.  Hit tip of left stick on floor.


Mah  koo  ay   1.  Hit bottom of both sticks down on floor
F    F    D    2.  Hit top sides of both sticks together
1    2    3    3.  Hit tip of right stick on floor.


Ko   tay  o    1.  Hit bottom of both sticks down on floor
F    F    D    2.  Hit top sides of both sticks together
1    2    3    3.  Hit tip of left stick on floor.


Ay  --  koo-ee 1.  Hit bottom of both sticks down on floor
F    E     D   2.  Hit top sides of both sticks together
1    2     3   3.  Hit tip of right stick on floor.


tah  --  nah   1.  Hit bottom of both sticks down on floor
E        C     2.  Hit top sides of both sticks together
1    2   3     3.  Hit tip of left stick on floor.

Other verses -- the same moves for 1 & 2, then the new move for 3 beat:
2. Tap the tips of both sticks on the floor.
3. Hit tip of R. stick to partner s R. stick, then tip of L. stick to partner s L. stick.
4. Partners hit both sticks together at the same time.
5. Turn the R. stick toward your body, let go when it is straight up, and it will fall right into your upturned palm. Do the same with the L. stick.

6. Flip both sticks at the same time.
7. Point both sticks flat toward your partner, toss both sticks to your opposite hand by throwing the left stick over the right stick.
8. Partners throw R. sticks to each other at exactly the same time, then L. sticks
9. Partners throw both sticks at the same time. (One throws sticks through the center, the other throws outside, carefully keeping the sticks vertical.)


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