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Alighting gentle

Mrs. MaNene Mdunge of uMsinga explained that this game referred to dropping yourself down from a higher position. During the game children drop down from trees.

The person consulted

The researcher spoke to Mrs MaNene Mdunge of eMachunwini, uMsinga who gave an explanation about the game.

Who play this game?

This game is played by girls between the ages of 4 – 10.

What is used to play the game?

Children need a stick and a tall tree in order to play this game.

When is this game played?

This game is played during the day if it is not raining throughout the year.

Where is this game played?

This game is played in an area which has a big tree on which children would be able to climb. There must be no stones beneath the tree.

How is this game played?

Children draw a circle beneath the tree and place the stick on the circle. All the children except one climb onto the tree. The girls left behind would be the last one to climb the tree. She first takes the stick and throws it far away from the tree. Then she climbs the tree and touches any other girl on the tree. The one who has been touched would have to climb down and run to look for the stick and bring it back to the circle. Before she climbs the tree she would also throw the stick far away and touch the next person to collect the stick. The game would go on until all the children are tired. Those who climb to the topmost branches usually evade climbing down to collect the stick.

Custom associated with this game

Traditionally, children were taught to climb onto trees so that they could be able to save themselves by climbing onto trees if they were chased by wild animals.


From a Masters dissertation by Victoria Mkhize for the School of IsiZulu, University of KwaZulu-Natal. Supervised by Professors P.J. Zungu and V. Prabhakaran.