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Wooden stickball sticks with leather netting and game ball / Kelly R. Bell


(a-b) Stickball "sticks" carved from a light wood (pecan and hickory are typically used for these). These are the type in which the handle is round at the base and the "cup" is composed of a shaped section that folds back on the stick only part way down its length (as opposed to being formed by a piece of wood that is folded completely in half). The folded section is secured to the handle with commercial leather laces wrapped are tied in two places. The netting in the cup is strung through drilled (not burned) holes. A pair of holes is at the end of the cup and two individual holes are on each of its sides. The artist signed each stick in ballpoint pen "Kelly R. Bell 10-20-97" on the long "handle side" of the split and "RvRo KuLkv Mekko" on the short "cup" side. This passage is in the Muskogee language, in the traditional orthography in which v=u. It translates as Fish Pond Chief; the office Mr. Bell holds at the Fish Pond Ceremonial Ground. Mr. Bell's half-brother Tema Tiger was also a ball stick maker. His technique for their construction is documented in Tomas Vennum's book "American Indian Lacrosse". (c) Ball made of commercial leather, dark brown in color. Sewn in the "baseball" pattern of two peanut shaped pieces and stitched in the "baseball" stitch with a thin nylon string. The ball is hard and its filling is undeterminable from the outside.

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Wooden stickball sticks with leather netting and game ball
Kelly R. Bell (Artist)
Native American; Muscogee (Creek)
wood, hide, nylon
Credit Line: 
Purchased with funds provided by The Fund for Folk Culture/Lila Wallace Reader's Digest Community Folklife Program
Accession No: 
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