From Log to Lacrosse Stick: A Factory Tour of Lacrosse Stick Making
Learn traditional Akwesasne Mohawk basket weaving with a local expert
Akwesasne is known as the Haudenosaunee community with the strongest continuous tradition of basket making. Basket-making is a cultural process; a way of learning about the cycles of nature and the right way to live in balance with the land by the careful gathering of materials.
Witness the Ancient Art of Wooden Lacrosse Stick Making
Learn how traditional wooden lacrosse sticks are made by the people who invented the game. From selecting the wood to the highly crafted end product, this tour features demonstrations of the six stages of the Lacrosse stick-making process. In Akwesasne lacrosse is not just a game, it is an ancient Haudenosaunee, Iroquois, tradition dating back centuries.
- View a variety of finished lacrosse sticks
- How to select Hickory & Ash trees
- Demonstration of splitting the logs for lacrosse sticks
- Steaming and bending the sticks into shape
- See how sticks are shaped with a carving knife
- Try your hand at stringing the sticks when completed
Set on a behind-the-scenes tour of lacrosse stick making and its Indigenous origins with Akwesasne Mohawk Evan Cree, owner of Traditional Lacrosse. Upon arrival at the traditional lacrosse stick-making tour, guests will be introduced to the host and the factory: Traditional Lacrosse. The host will share the cultural origins of Lacrosse, the history of stick making, and its significance to Akwesasne.
Next, guests will step outside to learn how specific trees are selected from the surrounding forests to make the lacrosse sticks. Stories will be told about the significance of selecting the right tree. Guests will then see how logs are split down into the individual splints used for stick making.
For the next stage of the tour, guests will go inside the factory and see how the wooden split is transformed through the various stages into a finished Lacrosse stick ready for a match. Your host will demonstrate how the splint is sawed and then steamed to make the wood more pliable. Guests will then see the steamed log bent around a jig made specifically for the process.
Guests will then see how to carve the sticks with a drawknife and an old-fashioned draw horse. After the carving process, the guests will observe the sanding, branding and sealing process making the sticks nearly ready for play. Evan will show guests how to string the stick, which form the net to catch the ball.
Finally, guests will have the opportunity to buy a souvenir from the tour, from a full-sized traditional lacrosse stick to miniature versions they can use as keychains or Christmas ornaments.
Meet Your Host
Evan Cree is the owner of Traditional Lacrosse, a lacrosse stick and trophy company based in the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation. He is a traditional lacrosse-stick maker and avid lacrosse enthusiast. Evan has played lacrosse his whole life and continues to be active in the “Old Sticks” league in his hometown. Lacrosse is in his blood, his great-grandfather owned and operated the Roundpoint Lacrosse Company, which made the majority of wooden Lacrosse sticks in the world at that time. Evan learned how to make traditional Mohawk lacrosse sticks from an elder, and it grew into his thriving business today.
- 1.5 hours
What To Bring
- Clothes suitable to be outside for 10-15 minutes
- Guided tour by stick maker host
- Materials needed for the tour
What's Not Included
- Transportation to the workshop location
- Lacrosse souvenirs/sticks (available for purchase)
- USD $39.00 per guest
- Minimum group size = 2 guests
- Maximum group size = 12 guests
Reserve Your Tour
Virtual Tour Option
You can now enjoy Evan Cree’s “Traditional Lacrosse Stick Making” tour virtually from the comfort of your own home. Simply click on the link to go to Airbnb’s Online Experiences and find out more about his virtual tour today!