environmentculturehistory

Games for Girls and Boys

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Normally boys spent most time away from home, in the pastures herding stock. During this time they had games to occupy themselves with. For girls, it was also not a matter of waiting for boys to return from pastures but they also had their games which they played in the absence of the boys.

Contents

Educating Games

It has been evident that the games for girls prepared them for their future adult lives while entertaining and whiling away time. Girls learnt a lot during the games they played on their own. Playing dolls prepared them to be able to take care of their children as adults when they have families of their own.

There are games played outside before dusk. It was against African traditions for children to remain in one house if there are adults talking to each other in the house. They were not even expected to laugh at the jokes cracked by adults. If by any chance a child remained in the room and laughed at the adults’ jokes, he/she would be harshly reprimanded. It was for this reason that the children had to stay outside for as long as possible.

Entertaining Lessons

When everybody was inside the house there were interesting games which involved the entire family like telling folktales. Each tale would have a lesson which the adults would be imparting to the young ones about what the young were expected to do or not expected to do. The adults also taught about riddles. Riddles taught children to be quick thinkers and to be able to draw comparisons between objects. They also taught children lullabies. This ensured that lullabies were known and preserved.

Games:

  • Skipping rope                    
  • puppy                               
  • riddles and the like
  • lullabies
  • children come home           
  • folktales,
  • hide and seek
  • top-bottom
  • river-side
  • fly-fly
  • hawk on the hill                 
  • see-saw                            
  • we are there                      
  • golden gate                        .

Source

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.