Snow Snake Games Gatherings...

Koasek Traditional Band of the Sovereign Abenaki Nation

9th Snow Snake Games, Honoring the Clans - Milford, NH

Kwai All !

I checked with this coming week's snow forecast and it doesn't look good for our planned 9th Snow Snake Games, honoring our Clans.

As announced on 27 Feb. 2016, we were seeing a snow fall for the 8th of March and if that happened we were scheduling for our 9th games for the 12 or 13th of March. Unfortunately, it is not going to happen. Hopefully next year our 10th Snow Snake Games will have enough snow. In 2008, as your Sub-Chief back then, I and my kids and family were so very proud of being on the ground breaking floor of our first games in 2008, over 300 years previous, and there are only a few around here from that historic event that was held in Randolph, Vermont; They are also, Elders, Karen Mica and Dan Osgood Sr., Ruth Descoteaux and Ret. Chief & Spiritual Elder, Howard Knight. Thank you for your continued support and dedication.

Chief Paul "Gwilawato" Bunnell

8th Annual Abenaki Snow Snake Games - March 2015

7th Annual Abenaki Snow Snake Games February 2014

6th Annual Abenaki Snow Snake Games scheduled for February 2013
to Honor Mcadam Mason
Was cancelled due to lack of snow...!

Get directions for building YOUR snowsnake
clicking here!

5th Annual Abenaki Snow Snake Games

Held on 11 February 2012 at the Pero
Home in W. Fairlee, VT
In Honor of Former Council Member - Norman Chenevert

The Snow Snake Games were held this year in honor of former Council member, Norman Chenevert, who passed away last December 26, 2011. As usual, the games were a success and most winners in all categories were our El Nu guests.

Chief Pero presented Sogalimelesess (Maple Syrup) to the winner of Girl's, Boy's, Lady's and Men's group. Chief Roger Sheehan played his hand drum each time a player threw his/her snow snake down the icy shoot many reaching over 100 yards. Chief Gary Dumas, his wife and Joanne Merrill of the Gray Wolf Clan made very special and unique snakes. One visitor age 85 years old attended all the way from Southern New Hampshire. He worked many years at Fort #4. And we thank John Moody for attending and filling us in on several traditional items of interests.

A special thank you to Chief Nathan and Sherryl Pero for their hospitality. It was a balmy 10 degrees out...!


Image of chiefs.
Chief Gary tossing his snowsnake
Chief Paul & Chief Nathan (Koasek);
El Nu Tribe Roger and Anthony Longtoe & friend
Chief Gary Dumas tossing his specially designed snow snake with Chief Nathan and others looking on.
Chief Gary's wife with snow snakes.

Picture of Joanne with snow snake.
Chief Gary's wife with snow snakes.
Joanne (Dreaming Horse) with her "Chief Gary-made" snow snake.
Shooting the snow snake.
Visitor shooting snow snake.
Shooting the snow snake at the 2012 Snow Snake Games One of our visitors getting ready to shoot his snow snake.
The group posing with their snowsnakes. Snowsnake going down the track.
Snow Snakes displayed and ready for use. Tim Conn and Hannah Bunnell shooting snow snakes while Chief Roger Sheehan of El Nu drums for good luck

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4th Annual Abenaki Snow Snake Games
Held on 19 February 2011 at the Pero Home in Fairlee, Vermont

The Koasek Traditional Band of the Sovereign Abenaki Nation held their third annual snow snake games on February 19, 2011 at the home of Nathan Pero in Fairlee, VT. (Nathan is now our Chief.) In past years we battled with snow that was too deep and extremely cold temperatures and this year we dealt with blustery winds, but that did not stop people from coming out. This year’s games were very well attended, as we played host to citizens from the Nulhegan Band of Abenaki, the Abenaki El Nu Tribe, the Antaya Nation of Quebec, as well as several students from UVM’s
anthropology class, local citizens and Anthropologist John Moody, and members of the Grey Wolf Clan of Rumney NH.

The games got off to a late start as a number of guests got lost on their way and due to the wind storm there was no phone service or electricity for the first few hours. While we waited for the games to begin everyone joined in for some drumming and singing lead by Nulhegan Chief Don Stevens and we all enjoyed a great pot luck lunch with a large array of tasty food.

The Snow Snake games themselves were a great success; a formerChief Picture of some of our youth at the 2011 Snowsnake Games. Brian Chenevert started off the games with an excellent throw. The children went next and non-stop laughter could be heard as they took turns throwing their snakes down the path. The children proudly stood their snow snake in the side of the snow snake path, wherever their snake stopped, hoping the next thrower would not beat their mark. A dozen or so extra snow snakes were made available for those guests that did not have their own snakes to throw.

The adults went next and the longest throw of the day and the winner for this year’s event was El Nu citizen Anthony Longtoe who received a Warming back up after the games. jug of maple syrup from the Pero Farm. The most memorable throws of the day were from VCNAA chairman Luke Willard who had a hard time keeping his snake on the track and received a good amount of friendly teasing from the other participants lead by his children! The afternoon was then completed with desert of maple syrup on snow served by the Pero Family. It was a great day of socializing and fun had by all.

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3rd Annual Abenaki Snow Snake Games

Held on 20 February 2010
at the school and hall in Thetford, Vermont

Preparing for the snowsnake game.


The lack snow and cold temperatures didn't stop the Koasek Traditional Band of Abenaki from hosting they’re second annual Snow Snake games in Thetford, Vermont on February 20, 2010!

One of our little ones getting ready!


The Snow Snake is a winter game played by the Abenaki. Most Abenaki snow snakes were hand carved pieces of wood, usually of hickory or ash, that were approximately 18-24 inches long, although some Wabanaki tribes made snow snakes that were up to 6 feet long. If someone wanted to start a game of snow snake he would run through the village calling out that a game would be played. Soon all those who wanted to play would join him, each bringing their own snow snake that may have taken months to make.  Then one or more of the players would take a log approximately 3 inches in diameter and drag it through the snow to form a path for the snakes to go down.

And away we go!

"For our first year’s games" said Chief Brian Chenevert," the snow was too deep to make a proper tunnel for the snow snake competition so we made a make-shift competition area in a long drive way.

This year Tribal Council Member Nathan Pero spent many hours preparing the area for the competition even trucking in snow!" The point of this year’s game was to just have fun, there were no winners or losers. The children proudly stood their snow snake in the side of the snow snake path wherever their snake stopped hoping the next thrower would not beat their mark. Tribal Citizen Bernie Mortz made a dozen extra snow snakes so those onlookers who came and did not have one could give it try.  After the games, everyone gathered for a pot luck feast at the American Legion Hall.

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2nd Annual Abenaki Snow Snake Games

Scheduled for 22 February 2009
was to be held in Woosville, NH but cancelled due to a storm.


Koasek's 1st Abenaki Snow Snake Game

Held on 17 February 2008

Getting ready for 2008 snowsnake games.

The deep snow and cold temperatures didn't stop the Koasek Traditional Band of the Abenaki Nation from reviving the ancient Snow Snake games in Randolph, Vermont on February 16, 2008, held at the home of Co-Chief Nancy Millette.

The Snow Snake is carved from a flatten piece of wood with the front curved up some with the back of the stick being notched for an easy throw.

In ancient times this game was performed aft the winter hunts. The hunters from several villages would get together for competitions. After spending many hours making a snow snake everyone would hope theirs would be the one that would travel the furthest as the looser had to give over his snow snake to the winner!

Throwing a snow snake at the 1st Snow Snake Games.

The snow snake competition didn't have any winner or losers this time around. Everyone just had fun and everyone went home with their own snow snake. The children had worked hard for months on their snow snakes and had a competition of their own. They proudly stood their snow snake in the side of the competition runway wherever the snake stopped hoping the next thrower would not slide past their mark. After the games everyone gathered for a pot luck feast, drumming and singing and great deal of fun.

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