VI. HIDING GAMES
The hiding games have been divided into three sections. That has been done on the basis of whether one or several children who are “it” and the position adopted by the one who is “it”.
- 1 Games where only one child finds the others
- 2 Games where there are more than one seekers
Games where only one child finds the others
Gordeketan. Hide and Seek
It is a very common game and played by both girls and boys. Lots are drawn to decide who is going to be “it”. The game begins when the player who is “it” places their head on their arms leaning against a wall or a tree, while counting correlatively or saying a verse so that the other players can hide without being seen. “It” then looks for the players and the winner or loser is established depending on whether they are seen and how fast some of them return to the starting point and certain formulas being said.
The detailed way of getting the game underway is as follows: Once the group is ready, one of the many formulas to choose who will be “it” is used. One of the children is in charge of reciting one of those formulas and tapping the players one by one. The one who is tapped on the last word or syllable is safe. The formula is repeated until the last one who remains is the "it“.
It is a version of hide and seek found in Garde (N). The person who is “it” turns away from the others and has a hand behind his back. One of the players touches the hand with a finger and the "it" has to guess who that has been. If the “it” does not guess correctly, he has to count while the others run off and hide.
When the “it” finishes counting, he has to begin looking for the people who have hidden. If "it" sees a player, he says: "Pico, pico, Juan" [Peck, Peck, Juan] and he is eliminated. Players are safe if they get back to the wall where the game started and touch it before the “it” in order not to be arenado or eliminated.
One, two, three Red light! Green light!. Bat, bi, hiru, eguzki
It is a very common game for both sexes. This game is known as statute tag and the important thing is for the curator not to catch the other players moving. It is played as follows: One of the participants, the Curator, faces the wall and repeats the following phrase: “One, two, three. Red light! Green light!”. Meanwhile the other players, who are standing at a previously agreed distance, use that opportunity to move towards the wall.
After saying the phase, the “it” look around. If any of the other players are moving at that time, they must return to the starting point and begin again. The one who is last to the wall looses the game.
Kick the can. Pote-poteko
It is a very common game. Several stones are put in an empty can, which is closed by crushing the top together. A place is marked, which they call txinbue in Aramaio, to make the can “sing”. One stays there as the “it”. One of the other players kick or throw the can as far as possible, and while the "it" person goes to get it, the others hide.
When the “it” got the tin, he returns to the fixed point, txinbu or piru in Aramaio, and after tapping a certain number of times, if he sees a player who has not been able to hide, he kicks the can and says: “Bote, bote por 'Ander'” [“Kick the can for ‘Ander’”]. Anyone who has not been able to hide or the first to be found is the “it” in the following game. Those who are hiding, can be safe, by leaving their hiding place and reaching the can before the “it” and then have to kick it and say: “Bote, bote por mi” [“Kick the can for me”]. In Lezaun (N), one player can save all the others by saying “pote, pote por todos” [“Kick the can for everyone”]. The game ends when everyone has been found or is safe.
Games where there are more than one seekers
Tres navíos en el mar [Three Ships Ahoy]
It is a very common game that has been played throughout the Basque Country.
Two groups are formed using any of the typical selection methods. One of the groups, the one that was the loser in the selection procedure, is made up of three players and must find the other.
Prior to the selection, the playing field is defined (streets, around the place, etc.) where the players can hide. The members of the group who have to hide, shout “Tres navíos en el mar!” [Three Ships Ahoy!], when they have done so. The seekers then say: “y otros tres en busca van” [“and another three go after them”]; or “otros tres sin navegar” [“another three not sailing”] (common formulas) or “otros tres a navegar” [“another three set sail”] in Salvatierra (A). These three players have to try to find the group who is hidden together. They start from a point known as “tierra” [lande] and in Salvatierra “chitola”. When they see one of the other players, they must return to that point and touch it saying “tierra descubierta” [“land discovered”] in which case they win. If on the other hand any of the members of the group they are seeking reaches the starting point before them and shouts “tierra”, they save the whole group and the game begins again. If the opposite happens, they swap roles. The game ends when everyone has been found.
Hide and seek around the house
This game is placed in Portugalete (B). A dark area is chosen with corners, plants and trees where the players can hide. The players are divided into pairs and the start order is established by drawing lots. They start the game by each pair walking backwards so they cannot see where the other pairs are going, when they count to twenty five. The game involves that once they have moved away from the others, they stealthy move through the darkness to try to find the other pairs and frighten them.