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Play, missionaries and the cross-cultural encounter in global perspective, 1800-1870

Play, missionaries and the cross-cultural encounter in global perspective, 1800-1870

Martin, Mary Clare ORCID: 0000-0002-3568-6423 (2016) Play, missionaries and the cross-cultural encounter in global perspective, 1800-1870. In: Morrison, Hugh and Martin, Mary Clare ORCID: 0000-0002-3568-6423, (eds.) Creating Religious Childhoods in Anglo-World and British Colonial Contexts, 1800-1950. Studies in Childhood, 1700 to the present . Routledge, New York, pp. 61-84. ISBN 978-1472489487 (hbk.); 978-1315408781 (ebk.)

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This essay explores the place of play within the context of missionary childhoods, in global perspective, between 1800 and 1870, a period when the heterosexual missionary family was perceived as a significant component of the missionary project. A key argument is that play comprised an area of shared experience between missionaries and indigenous children. The chapter is divided into three parts: play as a social activity, play with objects, and recreation (which included missionary journeys, and festivals). The first section explores themes such as play with parents, and play as cross-cultural interaction, showing that play was frequently an approved activity which was regarded as a significant contribution to evangelization. The second section examines the kinds of objects used for play, from natural objects found in local environments, to manufactured and commercially produced objects, many with religious underpinning, which were circulated as part of a global economy. The final section briefly analyses the types of recreation available to missionaries, and all-age mission communities, and the place of children.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: The first version of this paper was presented at the "Multi-Cultural Toys" conference (accompanied by an exhibition) organised at Greenwich in 2013 by the author in conjunction with the Pollock's Toy Museum Trust. The exhibition was organised through identifying key types of toys which have existed through time and place. The process of organising material objects for display also clarified themes for the paper (such as natural objects). As a result of the conference, three Greenwich colleagues in the author's department of Education and Community Studies, wrote articles about their own play histories which were published in a special issue of Childhood in the Past (2014), also edited by the author. Subsequent versions of this paper were presented at international conferences in Nottingham (2013) , Riga (2013) and at a seminar at the IHR, London, in 2015. The paper provides an historical perspective to the Multi-Cultural Toys project, which is being prepared as a potential impact case study. The information about the book is displayed on the website of the University of Otago, New Zealand, and has received a large number of hits.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Play, Missionaries, Children, Toys, Indigenous
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > History Research Group (HRG)
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Humanities & Social Sciences (HSS)
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Last Modified: 13 Dec 2020 00:52

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