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Old Man's Playing Ground: An Intergroup Meeting and Gaming Site on the Plains/Plateau Frontier Open Access


Other title
Peter Fidler
hoop-and-pole game
Interior Plateau
prehistoric trade
Old Man's Playing Ground
Piikáni oral tradition
Northwest Plains
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Yanicki, Gabriel M
Supervisor and department
John W. Ives (Anthropology)
Examining committee member and department
John W. Ives (Anthropology)
Duane Froese (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Lisa Philips (Anthropology)
Department of Anthropology

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Arts
Degree level
Though it has been destroyed, much can be learned from an interdisciplinary study of Old Man’s Playing Ground. Oral traditions of the Piikáni, from whom a plurality of accounts about the playing ground are known, and other First Nations of the Northwest Plains and Interior Plateau, together with textual records spanning centuries, show it to be a place of enduring cultural significance irrespective of its physical remains. Knowledge of the site and the hoop-and-arrow game played there is widespread, in keeping with historic and ethnographic accounts of multiple groups meeting and gambling at the site. Archaeological investigation of the adjacent site DlPo-8 suggests a shift at this locale from residential occupation to ceremony and trade in the Late Prehistoric period, with evidence of trade together with gambling pointing towards the site’s role as an intergroup trade fair location.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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