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Playlore as cultural heritage : traditions and change in Australian children's play


Davey, GB and Darian-Smith, K and Pascoe Leahy, C, Playlore as cultural heritage : traditions and change in Australian children's play, Children, childhood and cultural heritage, Routledge, K Darian-Smith and C Pascoe (ed), Oxon, UK, pp. 40-54. ISBN 9780415529945 (2013) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2013 Routledge


In 1560 Flemish Renaissance artist Pieter Brueghel created the famous oil painting Children's Games. This elaborate composition depicts myriad children playing games in a town square, with over 80 forms of play portrayed in meticulous detail. What is striking is the rich variety of children’s games: leapfrog, marbles, piggyback, tree climbing, hoops, ball games and much more. Even more arresting is that almost every game Brueghel documented in the sixteenth century is still played by children half a millennium later. How is this remarkable persistency of children’s play activities possible, given the vast social and economic shifts over this period?

The continuity and change of children’s games over time and across cultures is one of the most intriguing facets of their playlore and heritage, and such issues have fascinated scholars from a range of disciplines and across a variety of cultures. This chapter considers how children’s play has been interpreted across the past two centuries and the impulses that have prompted the study of children's playlore. From this broad international overview of research into playlore, it examines specific Australian examples of the collection, display and analysis of children's games.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:history, heritage, children, childhood, play
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical studies
Research Field:Australian history
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology
UTAS Author:Pascoe Leahy, C (Dr Carla Pascoe Leahy)
ID Code:148730
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:History and Classics
Deposited On:2022-02-04
Last Modified:2022-06-15

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