This year the 79th Annual Tohono O’odham Nation Rodeo and Fair hosted their first Young Women’s Toka Tournament on January 28 in Sells, Arizona.
Toka is a traditional Tohono O’odham game played only by women and is similar to field hockey. The game was given to the O’odham people by their Elder Brother, I’itoi. He gifted O’odham Toka for happiness and wellness.
The inaugural Young Women’s Toka Tournament was geared towards youth 12 years and younger. There were nine teams that competed in the tournament, which was held at the Verna N. Enos Toka Field. Two of the teams traveled from the Gila River Indian Community and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
The teams that participated were Ju:k Sibanik, Ali Chugk, Sif Oidak, Wipismel, Onk Akimel, Hemako Ep, Wecij Oidag, Pisin U'uwi and S-mams Huhu'u.
The young ladies played best of seven games and the winners were:
1st Place Champions: Wipismel from Sells District
2nd Place: Ju:k Sibanik from Hikiwañ District
3rd Place: Hemako Ep from Gila River Indian Community