The story of the red indian of Bakony
In the manuscript Smoke in his Eye, the oldest Lakota Sioux chief, tells the story of the Native American games played in the forests of Bakony, Hungary, started by four boys in the early 1960s and involving hundreds of participants today. The reader can learn the goals of the game (gaining appreciation, revealing courage, and learning skilfulness and endurance) and the methods (playing a war-game based on commonly accepted rules). Over the course of the years, women and children also started to take part in the activities, which originally were exclusively for men.
The participants, who from the outset strove for authenticity, camp with self-made accessories and props. They divide themselves into tribes for two weeks each year at their usual location in a valley in the Bakony region and the nearby plateau. The weapons used for the war-game had blunt edges, and the ways in which they can be used are governed by strict, self-imposed rules. If one is wounded, one must take a forced resting period. If one is killed, one loses one’s former name and identity. War makes their game peculiar, as this is the only war-game among the many Native American roleplay camps worldwide.
Initially, the State Security services automatically connected the games to the scout movement, which was forbidden, so they considered them “counter-revolutionary” in spirit. A trial was launched in 1963 against another circle engaging in Native American roleplay. They were accused of having taken part in “preparations in conspiracy against the state,” but ultimately the case was dropped due to the general amnesty issued that year.However, the subject remained under observation by the State Security forces for a while, as did all activities which were organized and took place outside of the frameworks of the official youth organisations. Later, the State Security forces largely lost interest because of the evolving good relationship with locals and some articles which were published in magazines and which described the roleplay as a harmless, romantic activity.
Show on map
Year of creation
Featured item of
Author(s) of this page
- Beöthy, Balázs