While the Haudenosaunee communities were bustling with chores and every day living, their lives did not consist only of work. Throughout the Haudenosaunee culture were times of celebration and thanksgiving.
Art, sports, games, music and dance were staples in the Haudenosaunee people’s lives and often intertwined in their day to day activities. Every game or piece of art had a second significant purpose. Sports like lacrosse were played by men as a sort of conditioning to maintain and further develop their skills. Baskets, combs and beadwork clothing which are seen as artistic pieces today were made for practical use but with as much love and attention as any artistic piece today.
Music and dance were a major part of the Haudenosaunee lives. Ceremonies and social dances could involve 60 to 70 songs using instruments like water drums and gourd rattles.
While children played, most of their games involved role playing to learn what their mothers or fathers do. For young boys lacrosse was a way of teaching the skills of stealth, strength, agility and speed. Girls played with cornhusk dolls to prepare them for their role as nurturers. Another past time of story telling helped them to learn the stories that taught them their culture and the ways of the Haudenosaunee.