Lacrosse on the Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi and Beltrami’s racket

he article discusses lacrosse in the Great Lakes region, characterized by the use of a single racket, distinct from the Iroquois variant. The oldest surviving racket, collected by G. C. Beltrami in 1823, is presently preserved at the Caffi Museum in Bergamo, Italy. The Beltrami racket holds considerable cultural significance, not just as the oldest known lacrosse racket from 1823, but also for its unique characteristics. It is about half the size of a typical racket found in the Great Lakes region, and its distinctive features include an indentation at the top of the narrow inner side of the shaft, a pattern of engraved triangles, and a series of fire marks that repeatedly form the number 12. These features conceptually connect it to other items in the same collection, like the ball-headed club, the antler sword club, and the Wabeno double-headed drum. The racket’s characteristics imply that it was likely owned by a member of the Wabenowin.