Long forbidden to the "native" school population, and a private practice for European pupils, Physical Education (PE) was gradually integrated into the Algerian scholastic curriculum between the two world wars. The lendits scolaires, a group exercise competition, constituted one of its privileged forms. This form of PE, developed by Doctor P. Tissié in the Bordeaux area and then in the Basses-Pyrénées at the end of the nineteenth century, thus found a new vitality overseas. Though the Second World War seemed to put an end to their Algerian development, the lendits nevertheless started up again with renewed vigor in the 1950s, even as metropolitan PE was moving more and more toward the practice of recognized sports. This paper suggests that the persistence of the lendits in Algeria may be linked to the "republicanizing" of the French masses through school practices, already established at the end of the nineteenth century. As a fundamental part of republican schooling, the lendits would therefore be a means of integrating Muslim-French populations into the republican space.


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pp. 139-152
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