More than eight hundred children’s games played in our territory over the course of the 20th century, transmitted for the most part from generation to generation, are described in this volume, along with the changes occurred as a result of the wide use of television, video games, etc.
Sex segregation of players was the norm rather than the exception until recently. The pronounced seasonality of former games is also confirmed. Most of the toys were handmade using local materials available at the different stages of the annual cycle.
The content of this volume provides insight into the following areas of research: early childhood games and songs, aimed at adults to entertain the younger children; nature as a playground and children’s relationship with animals; forms of address and means of communication among participants; and selection procedures prior to playing.
Multiple types of games are subsequently detailed: racing, hiding and jumping games, and among the latter, leapfrog, skipping and hopscotch; swinging, throwing and skill games, such as knucklebones, spinning tops and knife or pointed stick throwing; hand and finger games, particularly the cat’s cradle game played with a piece of string or twine to make amazing figures; rhythmic games, including singing in a chain or in the round, imitation, staging and mimicking games; language games, guessing games and table games, resorted to in bad weather; and children’s collectible items, crafts and games organised at popular festivities.
Fieldwork conducted in 79 localities (Álava: 21; Bizkaia: 19; Gipuzkoa: 10; Navarre: 19; Northern Basque Country: 10). Research campaign carried out in 1989. Date of publication: 1993. Date of reprint: 2005.