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Contribution to Book
Kpelle Children at Play
Work in Progress (2015)
  • David F. Lancy, Utah State University

Although children’s play has been a relatively popular subject for anthropologists who study childhood, comprehensive studies of the entire play repertoire in a society are rare. One such study was carried out among the Kpelle people in the remote Liberian village of Gbarngasuakwelle four decades ago. A summary of that study reveals that Kpelle children have access to a rich store of traditional play-forms including make-believe, board-type games, active play, contests and folklore. A major finding affirmed that play, far from being the antithesis of work or a reversal of cultural ideals, fundamentally supports and affirms the child’s acquisition of her culture, especially adult subsistence skills.

  • Children's Play,
  • Culture,
  • Kpelle,
  • variability
Publication Date
Citation Information
David F. Lancy. "Kpelle Children at Play" Work in Progress (2015)
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