Author Archives: sand841

The pennies game

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

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

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

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

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.