Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Outdoor Games - Tag

When they began sailing across the Atlantic to the New World in the 1600s, British American colonials brought with them memories of games played for centuries in England & on the European continent,  Many of these indoor & outdoor games morphed & changed a bit in the colonies.  Some disappeared, but many others remain today in one form or another.

Tag is another game appearing on tapestry's, murals, and other drawings and pictures showing kids chasing each other in what appears to be tag.  There are literally hundreds of versions of tag. Nevertheless, at its essence, whoever is designated as “it” chases the other players until they successfully “tag” another player. That player is then “it” for the next round.

In the tag game ostrakinda, described by the 2nd-century Greek writer Julius Pollux, two teams stood on either side of a line. A shell was spun or tossed in the air, and one team chased the other according to which side of the shell turned up. In another form, the chaser turns his back and walks slowly away, while the others follow at a short distance and chant a rhyme or ask a question (“What’s the time, Mr. Bear?”). The chaser then turns suddenly, sometimes shouting a certain word or phrase (“Dinnertime!”), and pursues them.