Press "Enter" to skip to content

The Function of the Relation to Time

What does the inclusion of the “time” variable reveal? Two-thirds of the 69% games do not have a point-based system to determine the winner of the game. Games are not sanctioned by a result. We see that 26% of them take place with a limited score. These score-limit games are not timed out.

jumbo jili

These are indeterminate games that end with players’ fatigue or when they decide to stop playing. Many traditional games are played around the agricultural seasons. This observation is important to take into account from the point of view of the games. The life of the Kabylie peasants is dominated by agricultural work in the fields and the cultivation of gardens.

These seasons as determining symbols of time are inserted in the agrarian calendar. In summer, there are fighting games, agonistic games between two villages. At the start of the fall, we play more of the individual game, (spinning top, pushing a cork disk). In spring, the favorite game is the game “chemcham leapfrog” whose symbol corresponds to the rites protecting the fertility of the flock. In Great Kabylie, the same season the shepherds practice the game (tahjart) or “nnif” which consists in knocking down a tile placed in balance with stones. This ritual game is also practiced on weddings. As Danièle Jemma-Gouzon writes: “In these ancient peasant societies which have over time a conception of circular and global advantage rather than linear and unfolded rather internalized than externalized, it is the ancestors who define the past, but also make the present and secure the future” (Jemma-Gouzon, 1989, p.77). The Kabyle child grows up to learn to interpret time signals, based on practical games according to the seasons.


The Cultural Identity of the Kabylie Games
After all these data, we understand that games are carriers of Kabylie culture and socialization in addition to sexual division. From our corpus of games, it turns out that girls’ games tend to be circle games, approach games (hide and seek), or “carry” games (carrying on the back, on the shoulders, carrying one of the players from one place to another). If the games of “carrying” are practiced a lot by girls, it is because the Kabylie woman from an early age learns to carry a jug of water on her head. This makes it possible to develop her back muscles, which allows her to stand up straight. Through these early games, the Kabylie girl incorporates these values into her body through play actions.


Boys’ games, on the other hand, are mostly ball games, fighting games, or physical skill like shooting at the target. There is a clear superiority of physical games where motor skills are in full swing. Physical energy is everywhere. In men’s games, the player’s body is the target of the game 35 vs. 31%, whose target is material. These are games where the objective is to reach a goal such as Kora games, football or archery (Radjama). When the body is the target, we often see violent games, which often expose the players to beatings and injuries such as (tikare game), where the players kick each other, or the “sheep game.” “Blind” in which the player, blindfolded, receives blows from the opponents with the (glouza) the beret of the burnouses. It would seem that the ludic relationship within traditional games refers to the cultural values favored by the Kabylie people, and in particular to the strength to defend their group, their land and their village. The social function of traditional games is fundamental to the socialization of the child, even to make it conform to standards and models of attitudes. One way to internalize the community’s secret standards systems.


Traditional female games are closely linked to the socialization of the Kabylie woman. System of interaction and communication, they are in collusion with the model of social organization and representation of Kabylie culture and participate in the socialization of the younger generations. From an early age, the girl was removed from male influence. “We weave between her and men a veil of shame, which will not be torn until marriage” (Zerdoumi, 1982). From the age of six, Nefissa Zedoumi tells us, that from 6 years old, the little girl mixes less and less with boys of her age. Girls start to feel confused around their older brothers and respect the prohibition on playing with boys.

In traditional rural areas, the majority of Algerian families, especially mothers, do not educate boys and girls in the same way; there is a favoritism toward the male sex, which creates a complex in the girl.

We find the same similarity in the analysis of sport by Hargreaves (1994), p.6, 7, which states that this is an inherently controversial matter, and sociology incorporates different and contradictory theories of society. Those, which in general support conventional ideas about sport, about the nature of society, and on male and female identities; and those who question them. As a result, we can see that the history of the sociology of sport reflects the long history of male dominance in modern sports and dominant ideas about sexual difference. The history and sociology of sport reflect the male dominance of academic discourse (Hargreaves, 1994, p. 7).


In traditional society, women are educated for marriage. For her, it is a matter of giving birth to male children preferably, of serving her family, then her husband and her in-laws. It is only once she is a stepmother that she will have the right to be respected.

Ludic practices is far from pure frivolity “participates in the cultural identity of each community, which thus stages original ludic- scenarios intimately linked to its own lifestyles, beliefs and passions” (Parlebas, 2005, p.6). In this sense, traditional motor games are part of this socialization, which tends to prepare Kabylie girls for their future role as women as their society conceives it.

Data Availability Statement
The raw data supporting the conclusions of this article will be made available by the authors, without undue reservation.

Ethics Statement
Ethical review and approval was not required for the study on human participants in accordance with the local legislation and institutional requirements. Written informed consent from the participants was not required to participate in this study in accordance with the national legislation and the institutional requirements.

Author Contributions
IN and SL marked the design of the article. SL carried out the field survey and analyzed the data. IN wrote the first draft of the manuscript. IN, SL, PB, and AT organized the database, interpreted the results, and wrote the sections. All cited authors have made substantial, direct, and intellectual contributions to the work and approved for publication.