Lacrosse is a team sport of Native American origin played using a small rubber ball and a long-handled stick called a crosse or lacrosse stick. When originally played by Native Americans it was known by several different names, depending on the tribe, including "bagataway" or "the little brother of war" in the Ojibwe language, and "tewaarathon" in the Mohawk language.
In the traditional aboriginal Canadian version, each team consisted of about 100 to 1,000 men on a field that stretched from about 500 meters to 3 kilometers long. These lacrosse games lasted from sunup to sundown for two to three days straight. These games were played as part of ceremonial ritual, a kind of symbolic warfare, to give thanks to the Creator or Master.
Lacrosse played a significant role in the community and religious life of tribes across the continent for many years. Early lacrosse was characterized by deep spiritual involvement, befitting the spirit of combat in which it was undertaken. Those who took part did so in the role of warriors, with the goal of bringing glory and honor to themselves and their tribes. The game was said to be played "for the Creator" or was referred to as "The Creator's Game."