Mandan Ring




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Mandan Ring
Squaw, Sky Shinny

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By Dan Beard

ohb348.gif (11532 bytes)
Fig. 348.
Construction of the Tchungkee

Mandan Ring is a beautiful game and originated in America. It has no ancestor on the other side of the ocean, but was introduced among the American Indians by the Mandans, who now muster scarcely enough warriors to make a good game.

The ring used by the Indian sportsmen is laboriously carved from stone, but a good iron or metal ring, four inches in diameter, can be obtained at most hardware shops or made to order by a blacksmith, or bought from a junkman. The "tchungkees," or spears, you must manufacture yourselves.

How to Make the Tchungkee.

Hart up a piece of ash or hickory about the size of a hoop-pole. Cut off the extra wood so that the stick will measure six feet in length. With a good jackknife you can whittle the stick down to something of the proportions of a billiard-cue, except that the butt end should be considerably smaller, not larger, than a medium-sized walking-stick. Taper the spear to a blunted point at the top and see that it is welt balanced. With a piece of broken glass scrape it smooth and be careful to make it straight. When, in your judgment, your tchungkee is finished, mark off four divisions, each a foot apart, and the first a foot from the top or point of the spear (Fig. 353).

Leather Barbs.

Next you must procure enough good thick leather to cut into ten pieces, each three inches long by one and one-half inch wide. With a sharp knife make a slit at one end of the leather, dividing it equally for one and one-half inch (Fig. 348). With the same sharp knife taper off the other end of the leather as shown by Fig. 349. Make twelve of these leather barbs, and then with an awl or some similar instrument bore holes as shown in Fig. 349.

These barbs are to fit on the foot-marks on the lance, and must be fastened on in the following manner: Bend the legs of the barb in opposite directions (Fig. 350); with a small brass or copper brad tack one barb at each mark on the spear; divide each foot marked on the rod into three divisions of four inches each, and one-third the distance around the spear, that is, one-third of the circumference measured from the leather barbs already nailed on; fasten another row of barbs, one at each four-inch mark (Figs. 352 and 354).

Two-thirds of the distance around the tchungkee fasten on the remaining leather barbs at the eight-inch marks. To give a good finish the legs of each barb should be tightly and evenly wound with shoemaker's waxed thread (Fig. 352). Start off with a clove hitch. Bend your line in a loop as in Fig. 355. Make another loop as shown in the next diagram. Fig. 356 shows the double loop. 

ohb355.gif (7958 bytes)
Figs. 355-364.
How to Bind the Lance, a Fish-Rod, a Bow, or for Mending Any Sort of Rod or Stick.

Place the first loop over the second as shown in Fig. 357. Thrust the rod through the double loop (Fig. 358). Draw the lines tight as in Fig. 359. Bring the end A to one side and lay the end B along the rod (Fig. 360). Take the end A and wrap the line neatly around the stick and over the line B for the required distance, leaving a small margin for a few additional wraps (Fig. 361). Now take B and make a long loop, bringing the end B up as shown in Fig. 362. Make a few additional wraps and thrust A through the protruding loop as in Fig. 363. Pull B tight so that A is brought up under the binding. Then cut both ends off close to the stick (Fig. 364). You will find that this will not unwind or leave any exposed ends. Finally give a coat of varnish or paint.

If you have followed the directions carefully your tchungkee when placed upon the ground will always present a row of upright leather barbs, while it rests on two other rows. Fig. 351, an end view, explains this.

How to Play Mandan Ring.

If there are more than two boys, choose up for sides, and toss up for first inning. This decided, the chief of the Ins takes the ring and his tchungkee, and the chief of the Outs follows him with his tchungkee, ready for use. Shoulder to shoulder they start on a run, and when under good head way the Ins' chief throws the ring so that it will roll like a hoop. Both chiefs follow and throw their lances before them as they run, in such a manner that the tchungkees slide along the ground or pavement one on each side of the ring. This they do--picking up their lances and throwing them again as long as the ring keeps rolling.

How the Score is Made.

No count can be made in the game if your lance is on the other boy's side. The object of the player is to have his lance alongside the ring when it stops, and it the ring falls over one of the leather barbs, that counts a number of points in the game, regulated by the location of the barb. The first leather counts one, the second two, etc. The loser of the first run is out, and the winner rolls the iron ring with the next boy from the opposite side. This continues a until the game is won by one side or the other. The game may be any number of points you may agree upon.

This should become a popular American boys' game, as it possesses all the qualities necessary to make a popular sport, and can be played upon my hard, smooth surface.

The composition street-paving that is now becoming common in the cities makes the best of play-grounds for Mandan Ring. Where the ground will admit the players may wear roller-skates, and in winter it makes a fine game on the ice, in which case all the players of course wear skates.







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Last modified: October 15, 2016.