Children’s Warring Kingdoms

Informant S is 21 years old from Boise Idaho. He is a Philosophy major who also plans on attending Medical School. He is half Columbian and half American.

So when I was like in 2nd grade, we would have a group of students, we had like 2 playgrounds, and they would congregate on opposite sides of the playground which would be separated by a big field. So we had a king of each playground, which was usually the most popular kid, and they would be like warring kingdoms. So one of the most important roles of these kingdoms was the messenger. Since I liked running a lot when I was little, I’d always volunteer to be messenger for the kingdom. So I’d run from 1 kingdom all the way to the other and I would transmit a message. They were usually about the king having a crush on a girl in another kingdom or a guy having a crush on a girl in another kingdom and stuff like that. And they were never really wars, but the kings and the knights would meet in the middle of the field, and they would like trade princesses depending on if the princess liked the king in the other kingdom or one of the knights or something like that. So my running back in forth usually resulted in a meeting in the middle, which would result in them trading a princess. So I was sort of like the matchmaker in elementary school.



Informant S remembers fondly in elementary school when he played the “matchmaker” and brought the 2 different groups on the playground together. Like a lot of children’s folklore, we can see them imitating things that they may have seen in movies or read in books such as kings, wars, trading princesses etc. We also see that a lot of the messages revolve around people having crushes on each other, which can also been seen as imitating grown up relationships.  We can also see the hierarchy on the playground as the most popular kids usually got to be king.