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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518                 MEMOIR ON THE STUDY OF
the men and women and animals by whom they were sur­rounded.
We know from the evidence of those who have collected the games that many were played as amusements by young men and women up to a few years ago. Some are still so played, and some years further back it was a general practice for men and women in country districts to play these or similar games at fairs and festivals; it is unlikely that adults would play seri­ously at children's games, but children having seen their elders playing at these amusements would adopt them and use them in their turn, until these amusements become in turn too frivolous and childish for them. It is not so very many years since that the then educated or cultured classes amused them­selves by occupations now deemed silly and unfit even for children of the uneducated class—witness practical joking, cock-fighting, &c.
The natural instinct to dramatic action in children is paral­leled by the same instinct in grown-up people when in a state of culture where they are chiefly dependent upon their natural capacities for existence. Thus evidence of the natural dramatic power in savages and in semi-civilised races is abundant. The dances of savages are strongly dramatic. They advance in lines dancing, gesticulating, and singing, while others sit and look on ; they dance in circles joining hands, they go down on all fours imitating animal postures and noises, they wear masks, special dresses and ornaments, and these have signifi­cance for their audience. Some of these dances are peculiar to and only witnessed by men, others performed by men are witnessed by both sexes. These ceremonial dances are per­formed principally at the celebration of the initiative rites, but some also represent other customs periodically performed.
Catlin's (North American Indians) description of the Buffalo dance among the Mandan Indians shows the dancers wearing masks made of a buffalo's head and horns, and a tail hanging down behind. The dancers went through the actions of hunting, being shot with bow and arrow, skinned and cut up, accompanied by singing and yelling. This dance was performed as a ceremony when food was required and the hunters were







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