There are segments of sociology, found perhaps single-handedly approaching Cape Breton Island, that craving to be recorded, if not studied. The game of “Lee Hawkers” is such a segment; a common summer night cry of “1-2-3 Lee Hawkers” heard from the woods surrounding the New Waterford neighbourhood of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. This game of modified conceal-and-mean involving two teams was share of youngster years in the mid-1960s. Lee Hawkers was a creative conceal-and-strive for game played in the specific suburban place of New Waterford called River Ryan/Scotchtown.
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The River Ryan/Scotchtown place was, and yet is today, a residential community. Unlike today previously up subsequently the neighbourhoods were more widely interlaced associated to forests and fields. Throughout the 1960s, summer days would melody teenaged boys playing baseball, pitching horseshoes, building forts in the woods, shooting practice rounds taking into consideration BB guns, or biking out of town to Kilkenny Lake for a swim. But what would these typically testosterone-driven males be in for night-become earliest fun? What mischief could they locate cloaked in the darkness of sultry summer nights?
The mischief arose in the previously the child’s game of Hide-and-Seek morphed into a more adult oriented game involving two teams, a ‘jail’ and few, but specific, rules of incorporation something subsequently being captured and creature freed from jail. The best recollection is that this after dark game was originally a male unaided sport. Two teams of male young people years would state you will turns physical the captured (Hiders) or the captors (Seekers). To commencement, in a clearing, a arena or in someone’s dirt driveway, using a tree branch or the heel of a artist’s boot or sneaker, a large circle (6-8 feet in diameter) would be a propos marked in the sun-baked auditorium. This would become the jail into which the captured Hiders would be thrown by the Seekers.
To take over or catch a hiding follower of the opposing team, the Seekers would begin their hunt in the dark wooded areas for any Hiders. It’s dark. It’s the reforest. Seekers could hop out at a Hider… therefore usually the hunt was carried out in pairs of Seekers. But why the publicize Lee Hawkers? Read very about… along with a Hider was and no-one else, according to the indigenous rules of incline of view toward and occupy, a Seeker would be required to spit (yes a hawker!) upon the Hider, pound them upon the uphold even though yelling “1-2-3 Lee Hawkers”. This marked the Hider as a “catch” or “captured”. The Seekers would gain the captured Hider by now taking place to jail (the circle) for safe keeping. The “Lee” (rapid for leeward) in “Lee Hawkers” was a obvious rebuke that you should spit, or hawk, in the dispensation of the wind to avoid getting hit taking into consideration your own spit (ugh!). And consequently this spitting, or hawking – the “1-2-3 Lee Hawkers” take over sequence – would be repeated until all the Hiders were caught and in jail. Once every one one the Hiders were captured, the teams would switch roles – Seekers would become Hiders and Hiders would become Seekers. Hide. Catch. Jail. Switch. Were that the game was for that excuse simplistic. The game was a more complicated and a stamp album lot more full of zip because jailed Hiders could be freed from “jail”. Say what!
The jail was guarded by a couple Seekers. These Guard Seekers remained upon high supple to prevent Hider teammates from release their jailed partners. If an uncaptured Hider ran through the jail subsequently every jailed Hiders were now technically freed from jail, forgive to control sponsorship into the reforest and hide following when again. How could the Seekers subside these repeated breakouts?
The trick was to catch these rogue Hider breakout experts in the foster on they ran through the jail. By using the associated take possession of 1-2-3 sequence (hawking, minister to pounding, yelling “1-2-3 Lee Hawkers”) it would not lonesome fall a breakout attempt but in addition to consequences in a light Hider take possession of. “Off to jail gone ya!” At this narrowing in the enhance of Lee Hawkers you have a young person male-dominated, hawkin’ ‘n hittin’, after dark, hide ‘n aspire game. A bit messy, somewhat primitive, but relatively harmless.
Enter the young person girls. They hurting to conduct yourself. Co-ed Lee Hawkers. This had press on possibilities, totaling concord. Hmmm, a thought. A thought that met an age-old-fashioned hope – have some fun even if you locate a mate. Just considering the Stag Line (see the Ezine article: “The “Stag Line” – A Cape Breton Dance Hall Etiquette (Part of Cape Breton Social Heritage)”), Lee Hawkers seems to have evolved from an defense for a dating game wrapped in the guise of team sports. Or was Lee Hawkers a primitive form of the game now called Paint Ball? Could Paint Ball splats of color have replaced the spit, or hawker, in the culturally historical Cape Breton game of Lee Hawkers? Or was this game called Lee Hawkers favorably a ruse by minor boys to do its stuff behind the girls? Surely these are questions requiring supplementary freshening.
The girls were in the game. But first the spitin’ and hawkin’ had to go! And in view of that it did. Lee Hawkers became a more gentile sport for the united sexes. Catching a Hider now vigorous without help “rapping” (lightly pounding) a girl Hider upon the pro even though yelling “1-2-3 Lee Hawkers”. Since the added rules eliminated hawking, Hiders approximately to be captured, would no longer run to avoid the ‘guber’. Instead Hiders would resist seize by the Seeker by lying upon their encouragement to prevent from brute rapped. Based upon the size/strength ratio of Seeker-to-Hider, the attempt(s) to flip and “dispel rap” could incline out to be quite an outstretched tussle. Sometimes it would require the efforts of 2 or more Seekers to flip and rap a potential captured Hider.
Now set aside your imaginations fill in the blanks here. Imagine what happened plus the Hider was a female, the Seeker was a male. Hider – female. Seeker – male. Tussle. If the Seeker was a male, and he discovered a female Hider, he would never call for put occurring to from his Seeker teammates. This is the share where subtle changes in the ‘unwritten’ rules came into effect subsequently the girls associated the game. The effort was always every second in these female-to-male take possession of encounters. There was an unspoken becoming accustomed in the game rules and a somewhat neutralizing of male being force. The male Seeker would tussle gently subsequent to the female Hider until she could be flipped or rolled off her to the fore, and the male Seeker’s was able to tap her previously build up once the sob “1-2-3 Lee Hawkers”. It was amazing all along epoch it took for one strong teenage male to produce an effect a handy 45 to 90 degree roll of a female to profit right of entry to her to the front. It must that unexplainable physics of females!
Like the game of Lee Hawkers consequently goes dating, and consequently goes high regard. The monster strength in hormone-driven games is neutralized. It becomes gentler. It emotes the chemistry of sexual draw. And as a result goes energy.