Hide and Seek


Collection Context:

The following folklore was collected during a Joint Educational Project assignment (volunteer program) at an elementary school near USC.


Informant (I) : We…um…sometimes we play…um…hide…hide and seek

Collector (C) : Ok how does that work?

I: By…someone needs to count…and then you need to and the rest of us, the rest of our friends, needs to hide somewhere.

C: Ok. And what do they count to?

I: Um…you could tell them whathever but except…uh…until 100, not 100.

C: Ok, you can’t count to 100?

I: yeah.

C: Ok, what number do you guys usually count to?

I: Um…20

C: Ok, so how do you play hide and seek?

I: ok if you find the people…um…they need to find the person. If yous know where the person, you can help them where are the person.

C: So if you  were hiding but you get found you can help the it person find everyone else?

*Informant nods*

C: Ok, so who’s it next?

I: um…who you found first.

Meaning/Why perform:

When asked, the informant expressed that hide and seek is something they play because it is “so fun.” When I asked her she also stated that she learned it from her grandpa who speaks mostly Spanish.


I think the informant accurately identified the main reason she and her friends play tag at recess when she stated that it is “so fun.” Generally, people like to play games that they find fun. However, I also think that they play this type of game because you get to run around a bit which is something that they do not get to do in class. In class they have to sit still and listen to the teacher whereas when they play hide and seek they get to come up with the rules and be in charge. They also get to help the person in charge or the it person find other people which allows the people without the control to take some of the control. This is something they cannot do in the classroom.