The Traditional Children's Games of England Scotland
& Ireland In Dictionary Form - Volume 2

With Tunes(sheet music), Singing-rhymes(lyrics), Methods Of Playing with diagrams and illustrations.

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474                  MEMOIR ON THE STUDY OF
this subject by Mr. H. Carrington Bolton, which contains hundreds of these rhymes collected from various sources.
I mention these instances of possible connection between the games of skill and ancient belief and custom, to show that the anthropological significance of traditional games is not absent from what might perhaps be considered quite modern games. This is important to my argument, because when I turn to the dramatic section of children's games there is so much evidence of the survival of ancient custom and belief, that I am supported in the arguments which I shall advance by the fact that the whole province of children's play, and not particular depart­ments, contribute to this evidence. It will be seen from the classification that many customs are dramatised or represented in a more or less imperfect form in a large number of games, and that these customs have been those which obtained a firm hold on the people, and formed an integral part of their daily life. Courtship, love, and marriage form the largest number; then the contest games for the taking of prisoners and of territory are the next in point of numbers. Funerals appear as the next most widely spread, then harvest customs, while the practice of divination, the belief ill ghosts and charms, well-worship, tree-worship, and rush-bearing, witches, and child-stealing, are fully represented. Next come imitations of sports (animal), and contest games between animals, and then a number of games in which " guessing " is a principal feature, and a large number dealing with penalties or punishments inflicted for breach of rules.
A survey of the classification scheme of traditional games introduces the important fact that games contain customs; in other words, that games of skill and chance have come down from a time when practices were in vogue which had nothing originally to do with games, and that dramatic games have come down from times when the action they dramatise was the contemporary action of the people. It becomes important, therefore, to work more closely into the details of these games, to ascertain if we can what customs are preserved, to what people or period of culture they might have belonged. In many instances enough is said under each game to show the







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