Back To The Future
Noting that Gender and Age division is an ancient feature that determines variations in the manufacture of cultural objects is not of particular help to me.
The introduction of the object I am looking at is institutional. It arrives in Britain with the development of monastic system in the 6th century from the Middle- East.
Product of a culture in which social competition is intense. Competition between households starts to mark and lead to further variation on manufactured cultural goods.
References to children are slight and relatively late in the record.That would appear to be a further nail in the coffin for any possible relevance here.
My knowledge of such things is in large part dependant on research within an institutional setting with its own distinct sense of order. Wild men are most frequent in the historical record and in the academic one. Most of my knowledge about wild women is post 1970’s and in large part due to feminist studies and the increasing number of female researches active in this setting.
Children I know least about, they are the most invisible in the record and physically absent from the institutions in which the archive is found.
Potential age range of such features is not of any help to me but that it can move from one social context to another is.
What I need to find instead is a form of adaption that allows an artifact the opportunity to escape the high walls of the monastery and spread through a population like wildfire.
A form of variation that can operate and replicate at a household level and can also hold its form within an institutional setting.
It’s a contender for such a role.
Localization and conforming to local social structures is certainly a feature of its adaption into British culture. Becoming a part of something else, gives it another powerful hold within society. Intense social competition means local identity is under constant threat. Having a past to hold on too in the face of such competition suggests it may have a future.
Retrospection in the situation this tale finds itself embedded in is a powerfull driver.