At the heart of symbolism

Hopscotch, between Earth and Heaven


Game of young and older children

HopscotchHopscotch is a game which children all over the world are devoted to. In this game a child throws or tosses a stone or a marker into areas of a figure drawn on the ground and hops through it from a scratch line (or scotch).

The origins of hopscotch is old and dates back to Antiquity. The stone slabs of the Roman ways must have suited perfectly the game. It was probably the Roman soldiers who made it known to children from the conquered territories covering the present regions of France, Germany and England.

Till the 19th century, hopscotch was as much an adult as a children's game before becoming a boy's and girl's game exclusively.

The drawing varies according to countries and times, but the game forms can be grouped together into three types:

  1. The player launches the marker into one hopscotch square and then hops from one square to the other while jumping over the square containing the marker. Having reached the last square, he turns around and hops back to where he started and picks up the marker before hopping into the square containing it;
  2. The player hops while pushing the marker from one square to the other;
  3. The player jumps from square to square without using any marker.

From that time, questions could be asked. What does the drawing traced on the ground represent ? Why does one hop from square to square ? Why make use of a marker ? Why go through the hopscotch in both directions ? And so on. All these questions find their answers in symbolism in general and its reflection into ancestral games in particular.

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