Poorer Southerners and slaves competed in their own forms of recreation. One of the more gruesome forms was the gander pull, popular in the backcountry. Taipei Subway Map Contestants would ride by a gander with a greased neck, suspended upside-down from a tree branch at a full gallop, and attempt to rip the animal’s head off. Children learned to compete in blood sports from an early age. In one contest known as muzzling the sparrow, young men, hands tied behind their backs, held a small bird by the wing with their teeth.
The object of the game was to bite the sparrow’s head off. Music and dancing were two recreational activities enjoyed by men and women together, although the forms varied according to class, race, and region. Every culture that came to Country brought its own folk dances and music. Dances accompanied important social occasions, such as weddings and holidays, in many communities. Among upper-class Virginians, daughters and sons were schooled from an early age in music and dance, since their level of refinement correlated with opportunities for a good marriage.
Virginia’s gentry class took dance very seriously. Sports and recreation played an important role in Country colonial life, whether the participants were male or female, native or nonnative, slave or free, elite or common. In fact, many of the contests in which colonial Countrys engaged reflected the tensions of class, race, and gender that underlaid much of life in Britain’s North Country colonies.