Author Archives: sand841

The pennies game

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Mexican American
Age: 44
Occupation:
Residence: California
Date of Performance/Collection: 4-19-2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Spanish

Background:Informant was originally born in Mexico, but came to the United States when he was young. Since he stayed in Mexico for a bit of his childhood he learned a lot of games. As he grew up in California, he also learned some of adult games.

Main Piece:

Interviewer: Are there any games you might of not learned of as a kid but as an adult?

Informant: I learned the pennies game, which is a drinking game so definitely just an adult game.

Interviewer: How do you play the pennies game?

Informant: To play the game you need pennies, shot glasses, more than 2 people and some alcohol. You usually challenge the person to your right, if you can get the penny into the shot glass by flipping it off your thumb they have to take the shot. This continues until you want to stop or everyone gets drunk.

Interviewer: You drink the shot that the penny landed in? Isn’t that kind of unsanitary?

Informant: Thinking about it now, it does seem nasty but back then we assumed the alcohol would clean the penny.

Context: Interview with a family member about adult games.

Thoughts: The pennies game sounds like an older version of drinking game I have played with my friends. It sounds fun minus taking a shot with a penny in it.

Healing an ear infection or ear ache

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Mexican American
Age: 43
Occupation:
Residence: California
Date of Performance/Collection: 3-28-2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Spanish

Background: Informant, B.B is a mother of 3, she knows about this home remedy because of her mother.

Main Piece:

Interviewer:Are there any kind of home remedies that you took from your mom and used on your kids?

Informant B.B: Yes, a remedy my mom told me about when my kids kept getting ear infections was to dampen a cotton ball and stick it in their ear. Then I would grab a paper and roll it up thinly, kind of using it like a funnel and lit it on fire. It sounds crazy but it would always work

Interviewer: What was the purpose of lighting it on fire?

B.B: I think it would “suck up” the pain from the ear, I am not too sure how it works and did not believe it would work at first but to my surprise it did.

Context: My informant is a family member, when I asked her about any home remedies she knows about, this one instantly came to mind. She used it plenty of times, because of how effective it is.

Thoughts: This home remedy sounds a bit dangerous, because of the fire but I suppose the purpose of the paper is to act as a funnel and keep the fire away from direct contact with the ear so with a parent doing it, it should be safe. It is interesting how it sounds like a crazy remedy but actually works.

La Vicks / Vaporu

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Mexican American
Age: 43
Occupation:
Residence: California
Date of Performance/Collection: 3-28-2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Spanish

Background: Informant, B.B. is a Mexican American mother of 3, who turns to home remedies before going out to buy medicine.

Main piece:

Interviewer: Is there any alternative to medicine that you’ve used?

Informant, B.B: Yes, my mom always claimed vicks vapor rub was the answer for any sickness. So when I had kids I began to use it too

Interviewer: What kind of sickness is it for? How does it help?

Informant, B.B: Usually for a cold, or congestion is when we would use it. When we noticed our kids had a runny nose, we would get the vapor rub and put a dot of it under each nostril. If we noticed they had a cold and a cough, we would rub it on their chest. My mom always told me that it helps by opening up the lungs allowing them to breathe.

Context: A interview between me and my family member. I asked her about any folk medicine or folk remedies she knows of or any she has personally used.

Thoughts: Vicks vapor rub has become a meme in the latino community because latina mothers first recommendation when their kids get sick is usually vicks.

Gender predictions

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Mexican American
Age: 43
Occupation:
Residence: California
Date of Performance/Collection: 3-28-2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Spanish

Background: Informant is a Mexican-American mother of 3. Her knowledge of this gender prediction comes from her mother.

Main Piece:

Informant: When I was pregnant with my second child, everyone told me I was having another boy. They said my stomach was “carrying low”, which is an indicator of a boy. My mom really believed that I was having a boy, but I was certain I was having a girl so my mom told me to try some gender predictions.

Interviewer: What kind of gender predictions?

Informant: She told me I should first, try and see if my son was more attached to me, because if he was then that is suppose to mean I am having a girl. Another prediction she told me was to grab a thin strand of hair and loop it through my wedding ring, and hold to over my palm. If the ring started to circle it means a girl, and if it swings side to side then it means boy.

Interviewer: So did the gender predictions predict boy or girl? Were they right?

Informant: They both pointed to signs of a baby girl. They were right, but I don’t really think they are accurate. I really just had a gut feeling I was having a girl and did the gender predictions for fun.

Context: Interviewer asked informant about gender myths.

Thoughts: Gender predictions do not seem something to take too serious. They seem like, harmless fun games to do. Especially with modern technology their is fast and easy ways to actually find out the gender. I think gender predictions shouldn’t be trusted for accuracy.

Tripas de Pollo

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Mexican-American
Age: 44
Occupation:
Residence: California
Date of Performance/Collection: 4-19-2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Spanish

Background: Informant is a Mexican American who was originally born in Mexico, but came to the United States when he was young. Since he stayed in Mexico for a bit of his childhood he learned a lot of games.

Main Piece:

Interviewer: What are some childhood games you remember playing?

Informant: I remember a game I use to play called Tripas de pollo. It translates to chicken guts in english.

Interviewer: How do you play that?

Informant: To play Tripas de pollo, you just need a pen and a paper. You write down numbers, up to whatever number you want for example 1-13. You write them scattered around the page, and you have to write each number twice. You have to connect each number to its matching number with a line. You do this for every number without touching lines from other numbers. The more numbers you have the harder this is. At the end when all the lines have been connected it looks like tripas de pollo, which is the name of the game.

Context: Interview with a family member on games from his birthplace.

Thoughts: The name of the game sounds weird and not fun but once it gets explained it seems interesting. It sounds like more of a self-challenging game rather than group game but still seems fun to play.

Pikachu

--Informant Info--
Nationality: American
Age: 22
Occupation:
Residence: California
Date of Performance/Collection: 3-27-2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

Background: Informant is a 22 year old American who has lived in California his whole life.

Main Piece:

Interviewer: Do you remember any games you played during your childhood?

Informant: I remember a hand game I use to play with my sister. It was called Pikachu.

Interviewer: How do you play pikachu?

Informant: Pikachu is considered a hand game that goes along with a little song. You play with another person and you hold one of your hands against each other and the other hand would touch above and below, then side to side. Then you would play rock paper scissors and whoever won would pinch your cheek. You would do the song again and play rock paper scissors again. If the same person pinched both cheeks you get to slap them at the end. The song “Pikachu going up, going down. Pikachu going side to side” At the end of the pinching and slapping your cheeks would be red making you look similar to Pikachu.

Context: Interview with a family member, asking them about childhood games they remember

Thoughts: Pikachu sounds like a fun game. I like the fact that it incorporates more than one game, because it has rock paper scissors as well but the added twist of pinching and slapping seems mischievous enough for a children’s game.

El bolo

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Mexican American
Age: 22
Occupation:
Residence: California
Date of Performance/Collection: 4-22-2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Spanish

Background: Informant is a 22 year old first generation Mexican American

Main Piece:

Interviewer: Does your family have any traditions for family gatherings?

Informant: When we have a baptism, we usually have two piñatas. One is regular and filled with candy. But the second one is called el bolo. The second piñata is filled with money. Usually it is coins, but if the parents and godparents are nice it would be dollar bills. I think it is rare when its dollar bills though. Kids love running around trying to catch the coins, even when they get hit in the head they are determined to continue catching money. It is always fun.

Context: Interview with a family friend about family traditions.

Thoughts: I think the idea of one piñata is already fun. So I can only imagine having another one filled with money. I think I have heard of something similar to el bolo, but instead of money or candy, it is filled with toys. I think its interesting to see the creative ways people try to entertain their kids at parties.

Dia del Niño

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Mexican American
Age: 22
Occupation:
Residence: California
Date of Performance/Collection: 4-22-2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Spanish

Background: Informant is a 22 year old first generation Mexican American.

Main Piece:

Interviewer: Are there any special holidays or traditions that you celebrate with your family?

Informant: There is a holiday called Dia del niño which is celebrated on April 30th in Mexico. We don’t live in Mexico but we still celebrate in on April 30th. The day is to celebrate kids. Parents shower their kids with gifts on this day, sometimes they are small or sometimes they are big, but either way they try to make the day special somehow. My parents usually make us a special dinner.

Context: Interview with a family friend about special holiday traditions.

Thoughts: I always heard of Dia del Niño, but only as being celebrated in Mexico. I didn’t know people celebrated it here in the United States. I know it is a big celebration in Mexico, they have parades and festivals so I guess it makes senes that it is a more calmer celebration here.

Slide

--Informant Info--
Nationality: American
Age: 22
Occupation:
Residence: California
Date of Performance/Collection: 3-27-2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

Background: Informant is a 22 year old male who has lived in California his whole life.

Main Piece:

Interviewer: Did you play any hand games that were not based off of a musical riddle?

Informant: Yes, I remember playing a hand game called Slide. Well at least thats what we called it in school.

Interviewer: How do you play slide?

Informant: Slide is a game where you slide hands with whoever your playing with and then you clap, then clap your left hand to their right and and then your right hand to their left hand. You then clap again and then using your backsides of your hands clap against the backsides of their hands. You also count when you clap, so if you are at 2 then you clap each hand twice before clapping the backsides. You also clap the backsides the same amount of times as the number you’ve counted up to. It seems really easy but when you go at a fast pace it gets really hard.

Interviewer: How do you win?

Informant: Whoever messes up first loses.

Context: Interview with a family member, asking him about any childhood games he played with friends or family.

Thoughts: It is interesting to see how clapping can be such a fun game for kids. It is funny that it is also competitive. I think the game Slide has a proper name. I find it fascinating that the game requires you to multi-task, counting and clapping. Kids get really creative with games.

El Caballo Dorado

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Mexican American
Age: 22
Occupation:
Residence: California
Date of Performance/Collection: 4-22-2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Spanish

Background: Informant is a 22 year old first generation Mexican American.

Main Piece:

Interviewer: Are there any popular traditions your family has for parties?

Informant: Well for almost every party, they play this song called El Payaso del Rodeo by El Caballo Dorado. It is a song where the same dance moves are repeated, you start by stomping your foot, and when the music starts you dance to the left, then dance backwards, then forward and back again, you essentially turn after the last time you dance backwards to face different directions. This song is a staple at most parties, but especially at quinceneras.

Context: Interview with a family friend, asking about any family traditions.

Thoughts: I have heard of el caballo dorado, but I was not aware that it was not the name of the song. I always called the song and the dance el caballo dorado. It is interesting to know that some people know the actual facts of the song. Meanwhile others, like myself only know what we always been told. The caballo dorado is a fun dance, and really gets people on the dance floor.