Cowboys and Indians

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Cowboys and Indians is an American role playing game for children. Some of the participants pretend to be cowboys and others pretend to be Indians. Typically, the game is played using hand gestures instead of props or toys. For example, a cowboy can point his finger as if it were a rifle or shotgun. Some Indians also have guns or use bows and arrows, with appropriate hand gestures. The game was very popular in the 1950s when many television programs were set in the American West.

In response to the shootings at Newtown, Connecticut and other schools, schools are cracking down on playing the game at schools. On February 8, 2012, an eight-year-old boy was suspended from a school in Prince William County Virginia for playing the game.[1] On December 20, 2012, a six-year-old boy in Montgomery County Maryland was suspended for pointing his finger and saying "pow."[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 St. George, Donna. "In schools, a pointed finger or toy gun can spell trouble", Washington Post, February 18, 2013, p. A1.