Tales of walking, eating, watching and playing. Vintage treasures and simple pleasures ... the things that make her happy.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Snakes and Ladders

They sometimes play a game of Snakes and Ladders. 
A simple board game … no skill required.
 
However, the little board they play with illustrates the virtues and vices of life … 
constantly reminding them of the effects of good deeds versus bad!
Sympathy rewarded with love,
unity brings strength,
generosity rewarded with gratitute.

The game originated in India, and was called 'Leela',
It reflected the Hindu consciousness surrounding everyday life;
Karma and Kama,
Destiny and Desire.

The ideals of the game inspired a Victorian version.
The British public started rolling the die, 
climbing ladders and sliding down snakes.

Dishonesty brings punishment (with a cane!),
indolence leads to poverty and pugnacity brings pain.

Courage is rewarded ...
Indulgence leads to illness ...
Thrift brings fulfillment ...
but don't brag about it because conceit results in friendlessness!
Disobedience brings disgrace ...
Industry is rewarded with success ...
Patience is rewarded with attainment ...
Confession leads to forgiveness ...
Temper leads to ...
regret ...
More snakes, less ladders …
Intended as a reminder that a path of good
is much more difficult to follow than a path of sins!

In Salman Rushdie’s ‘Midnight’s Children’ he says,
“All games have morals; 
and the game of Snakes and Ladders captures, 
as no other activity can hope to do, 
the eternal truth that for every ladder you hope to climb, 
a snake is waiting just around the corner, 
and for every snake a ladder will compensate”.


Perhaps they will play Tiddly Winks tonight instead ... !



24 comments:

A Treasured Past said...

That's a lovely snakes and ladders board, thanks for sharing.xx

WILLIE........! =^..^= said...

Tiddly Winks....HeHe! Joke there somewhere....!!! :).

Can't be do'in with ALL that..Up and down snakes and ladders...!
Monopoly....Now! That's the game for me...I have been a champ at it to....
'Never' been beat...I've even taken on the other three players, as they combined there assets, before the end...AND...Still won...!!! :>).

I like 'hide and seek' toooo! :).
~(^.^)~

haggiz said...

Love the snakes and ladders board, we've got an old one too but our snakes are the other way round! Really interesting to hear how the game came about. Julie x

rusty duck said...

So frustrating that game... but a lovely story behind it too.

Rosemary said...

Really interesting to learn the origins of the Snakes and Ladders board game, and very well presented by you.
We only had an ordinary board without any of the messages on how to lead a 'good life'.

YeamieWaffles said...

Oh wow Jane, this has to be one of the most educational posts I've read in a long time, I had no idea about the history and the meaning behind the game of snakes and ladders but now I do and I feel pretty enlightened! Great post Jane.

Plain Jane said...

Crikey that's wonderful - do you know when it dates from? Maybe you could invent a modern version to include inappropriate use of your mobile phone and eating too much chocolate! Love it x Jane

Ethel Johnson said...

I blame the dice! Lovely graphics. Scrabble's my favourite...No dice!
Eco Ethel xx

Lazy Daisy Jones said...

A lovely post with a glimps into a fond pastime...thank you...xx

The Dainty Dolls House said...

Love this game, although in America we call it chutes and ladders, it was only till I moved to the UK that I discovered it as snakes and ladders, which is a more fun name :) Haven't played in ages though, looks marvellous still xx

Alessandra said...

you know what? I never played snakes and ladders!!!!
....not popular in Italy!!!!!
xxxxx Ale

thriftwood said...

Just lovely! They don't make them like that any more ...

Love Claire xx

Vix said...

I never knew it originated in India, I'd love an Indian version! I'll be hunting the flea markets with renewed fervour once I get there! x

two squirrels said...

Oh I love snakes and ladders........what a fabulous post.....I have forgotten all the wonderful lessons and great little pictures note board....ahhhh the memories. Thank you sweet.
Love v

In My Wild Eden said...

So interesting. I only knew of the American version. Snakes and ladders is so much more intriguing!

Vintage Sheet Addict said...

My absolute favourite game, lovely! :) x

the woolly dog said...

Lovely board! we like playing parcheesi which is a bit like ludo.

Amanda said...

What a great board...do love a game of snakes and ladders

Madelief said...

What an interesting game Jane. We don't have it in Holland.

Happy evening!

Madelief x

Maria said...

~ OOh Mrs VJ this brings fond memories of playing board games after tea as a family when small! I remember Ludo too!! LOVE the little pictures and sentiments with this very nostalgic game here..It's so lovely! like the game of life...Hugs and summery kisses ***** Maria X

Angy is my name. said...

I loved this post!
Having never thought about the origin of game I played endlessly as a child it was interesting to note the "behind the scenes" of it all....
All games have morals. What an interesting concept.
Obvious in Monopoly, Chess ... even Poker
But not sure about Snap or Dominoes? Have to be super philosophical there methinks :-)

I'll be seeing things differently now when I play
GO Fish with my nieces ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

What fascinating stuff! It seems intensely Victorian though. What moral certainty!

nilly said...

I've never seen this version of the Snakes & Ladders board before. I loved to play this as a child but fear this moral version would have upset me a bit. (I took life very seriously back then!)

Leslie said...

Just wondering what a board like this would be worth? My father has one almost exactly the same he wants to sell. Same pictures as you have, different colours though.