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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one place or people, as distinct from the " line " form of games, which represent a custom obtaining between two rival villages or tribes. Thus Lam inclined to consider the joining of hands in a circle as a sign of amity, alliance, and kinship. In the case of the line games hands are clasped by all players on each side, who are thus in alliance against those on the opposite side. When hands are joined all round so that a circle is formed, all are concerned in the performance of the same ceremony. There is no division into parties, neither is difference of opinion shown either by action or words in circle games.
In the third class of game there are several distinct char­acters, and the game partakes more of the nature of what we should call a play proper, and may be considered an outcome of the circle play. There are several characters, usually a mother, a witch or old woman, an elder daughter and several younger children, a ghost, and sometimes animals, such as sheep, wolves, fox, hen, and chickens. The principal characters (not more than two or three) are played by different children, and these having each a part allotted to them, have also a certain amount of dialogue to say, and corresponding actions to perform. The remaining characters, whether children or animals, merely act their part when action is required, all doing the same thing, and have no words to say. The dialogue in these games is short and to the point. It has not been learnt from written sources, but orally, and as long as the main idea and principal incidents are not departed from, the players may, according to their capacity, add to or shorten the dialogue to heighten the situation. There is no singing in these games, though there is what perhaps might be called the remains of rhyme in the dialogue.
The fourth form, that of the arch) is played in two ways. In the first, two children clasp their hands and hold them up to form an arch. Under this all the other players run as if going through an arch or gateway, and the players are gene­rally stopped by the two who form the arch. Then a circle is formed, and all the players join hands and dance round together. In the second way, the arch is formed as above, and all the players run under. These players are then caught

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