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COLONIAL FAMILY LIFE, AMUSEMENT, GAMES/
Transcript of COLONIAL FAMILY LIFE, AMUSEMENT, GAMES/
By Ryan Iken And Daniel Novikov
The colonists enjoyed flying kites. Sometimes they attended wrestling matches on certain occasions or fox hunts . The colonists were fond of sledding and making corn husk and rag dolls. Another popular form of entertainment was story telling. There were also competitions called “bees” which were parties that combined work and play.
There were barn raisings where men and boys displayed their building skills, and chopping bees, which were competitions to see who chopped down the biggest number of trees. Those trees were used to make houses, barns, and to clear the fields for crops. Usually, these bees were held made to help a man who just got married or was new to the community.
It helped men bond together. Also the colonists involved themselves in recreation like corn husking, which was a competition of who could husk the most corn in a given time, stone bees, where men raced to see who could remove the largest number of stones or rocks, piling bees, where two sides had to remove tree stumps and quilting parties, where one team of women had to make more quilts than the other side in a limited amount of time.
Singing Schools, where children were taught to sing merry songs and tunes, and spelling bees were top hits. As we probably would, the colonists always tried to turn work into play whenever they could. They played sports like horse racing, In horse racing men bet on which horse would win. Or the men would race themselves.
Cockfighting, and bullbaiting were also desired sports. In cock fighting, two trained male chickens fought a bloody, gory battle. Bull baiting was when a bull had to fight off packs of dogs that were fighting, jumping, and snarling at it. Dancing was a well-liked sport as well.
Colonial children played Cat’s cradle, which was a game played by forming patterns in a piece of yarn, and spin tops, which was played with a wooden spin top. The youngsters also played checkers. The kids played hopscotch,, backgammon which is a game also played on a board by moving the pieces and taking opponent’s pieces, blind man’s bluff, and hide and seek, played like blind man’s bluff, .
Games like marbles, leapfrog, and tag, where one kid chases a kid or group of kids to tap someone to make them a tagger and the cycle restarts again, were often played. There were many other games played that where always a great to play on free time.
When the chores got in the way of fun that's when the children were not happy anymore. In colonial times they had chores just like us. Except instead of us picking up our toys and cleaning our room they had to do everything.
They worked all day except when it was bedtime or they got a break. The chores that they had to do were wood chopping, filling up the buckets with water, husk corn, and many other chores that their parents told them to do.
That was only for the boys the girls had it a lot easier when doing chores and everything else around the house. All the girls had to do were clean the clothes, wash the dishes, and prepare food in the house. All the men work were in the hot sun or the cold snow or rain.
Now and back then the chores were very different. But now people that live in barns have to do the same chores as boys and girls. When someone lives in the city the chores are very different.
The chores were different, but not why they did them. For example back then they would get water from the lake and light a candle. Now we would pay for our water and electricity bills. They both had the same reasoning, to fill our needs.
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Also we will tell you about the celebrations, events, and traditions/customs in the colonial times
The journey begins
First Let us tell you about the games/ sports/, chores and other amusements in colonial times that children loved.
Next, we will tell you about colonial family life/ manners
In the colonial times there was plenty of rules. People who didn’t follow rules got punished in a many ways. In most households, manners were very important. Parents gave children etiquette, (rule) books, that had a giant list of rules to obey. In the colonies, the higher the social class, the higher the demand was for manner expectations.
In some homes ,kids sat and ate with there parents, but in most colonies, children weren’t allowed to sit at the table when they ate. There were countless other rules that in present day, we would consider foolish in, like not being allowed to dip meat in sauce. Children weren’t allowed to talk during the entire meal and couldn’t bite into an entire portion of bread without breaking it into small piece.! When children spoke, they had to stand up.
Children couldn’t cough, spit, and blow their nose at the table. They couldn’t put there elbows on the table. The little kids could only eat in small mouthfuls and couldn’t stuff their cheeks with lots of food. In public places there was a tithingman that was appointed by the church leaders.
He acted like a police officer, but he looked for people who weren’t following rules or manners. He had many jobs, one of them was to keep people awake during church services. The tithing man also checked on the behavior and studying of the children in the community.
From time to time he appeared unexpectedly at the door of a home and gave punishment to those children who had not learned their religious lessons or who were having too much fun. The tithing man could take children out of the home and recommend punishments to the parents. He had a stick with a feather at one side and a hard end at the other.
When he saw men or boys not following rules, they got smacked on the head with the rough end but the girls just got tickled with the feather. Let alone, the colonists practiced a wide array of wedding and birthing traditions. In colonial times, weddings were considered blessings and joyous occasions, but were considered lifetime opportunities.
The colonists were against divorce. In the process of dating, the couple had to talk through a courting stick in the home of the girls family. Many gifts were given to the priests who organized the weddings and birth traditions.
The families of who where being married were also given gifts like gloves and rings. The birth of a child was a joyous occasion, and was also celebrated with gifts.
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Living as a person in the 13 american colonies,
there were a hoard of parties, events, and celebrations to attend. As any person, it was hard waiting for these joyous events to occur, but when they did, the colonists had a great time. Next, the colonists also celebrated the holidays in a wide array of interesting ways. The colonists celebrated a large variety of holidays. One of those holidays was Christmas.
Christmas was celebrated with feasting, visiting, dancing, fox hunts, and games for entertainment. Also fiddlers, who played merry tunes on a little pipe called a fiddle ,tight rope walkers who walked on a very thin wire, and acrobats, who made tricks like flips, twirls, or jumped really far and high, entertaining the crowd with their athletic abilities.
Jesters entertained people by telling jokes, making faces, and playing with wierd objects. Some Puritans declared Christmas illegal and didn’t celebrate it. Some Christian groups banned non religious celebrations and had purely religious events. Gifts like cash tips, little books, and sweets were usually given to children and servants from masters and parents.
Kids were not invited to attend the celebrations and were not welcome. In fact, the colonists celebrated a large group of other events, parties, and traditions. One of them was a day called Muster Day where the boys and men healthy enough to fight practiced shooting and were recruited for the militia.
Muster days were full of wrestling matches, races, and other competitions, but these event started right after the soldiers walked along the green and shot their muskets. Only then had Muster Day officially begun. Thanksgiving was also celebrated with a big feast, thankfulness, and lots of turkey. Most celebrations mattered on religion because, for example, if you were Jewish, you would celebrate Chanukkah.
Another Jewish holiday celebrated was Purim, which was a Jewish festival held in spring to celebrate the defeat of Haman, who was an evil figure in Jewish history, and had a plot to massacre the Jews. Tu B'Shevat,which was a new year for trees, was also celebrated by Jews.
If you were Christian, then you would probably celebrate Christmas, the birth of Jesus, and New Year. If you were a Muslim you would celebrate the Muslim holiday of Prophet's Birthday, which celebrated Prophet Muhamed’s birthday. Moving on to more non traditional events and occasions, hangings were well attended events in colonial America.
The criminal usualy arrived on a horse, riding atop a coffin. The sight of the criminal dancing on the rope, swinging, turning colors, and squirming, was a real crowd pleaser. There were also random days when crops were good and everyone had plenty to eat, so the colonists set aside a special day to thank god for their good harvest. There was a lot of feasting and fun.
Sometimes, families got together to help build a neighbor’s house. When it was finished, there was a party to celebrate. Death was a common occassion in the colonies. Many women died in childbirth or of infections and diseases and men die from injuries and illnesses. Funerals were public events.
After the funeral there was socializing, eating, drinking, and crying. When the celebrations were finished it was always a disappointment but still, the colonists made lots of memories and possibly made a lot of new friends.
If you want to play games in colonial times and learn about colonial times in Williamsburg go to http://www.history.org/kids/games/.
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