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Games and Pastimes of the Maori

Piu or Skipping

Piu or Skipping

This pastime was a common one among native children, but they do not appear to have appreciated skipping alone, as our children do. In Te Ika a Maui we read:—"Piu. Skipping. Two generally hold the rope, whilst a third skips over it; sometimes one end is tied to a post, one twirls the rope, while several jump over at the same time. It is also used by one person, the same as with us."

Tuta Nihoniho contributes the following:—In the pastime piu, or skipping, it was seldom that a person skipped alone, but several skipped at once, sometimes as many as five or six, a long rope being used, with a person at each end to swing it. The skippers repeated the page 152 Fig. 39aNatives Skipping on the Village Plaza at Koriniti on the Whanganui River. Two persons swing the cord and a number of persons skip together. See p. 153 Dominion Museum Photo page 153 following as they played:—

"Piua atu taku piu, wania atu taku piu
E kohiti nuku, e kohiti rangi
E kohiti wharawhara te taieri
Taieri tau."

Natives of the Tuhoe district state that two persons swing the cord while several children skipped at the same time, as the cord swingers sang:

"E pui E!
Ka taha te ra ki te rua."

The Rev. W. Gill speaks of the natives of the South Sea Islands as using green stems of Entada scandens as ropes. "This plant has from time immemorial supplied the young people of these islands with swings and skipping ropes. In skipping it is usual for two or three young men at each end slowly to swing round and round the long living rope, whilst a number of girls skip in perfect unison."

Thus it appears that short skipping ropes, manipulated by a lone skipper, were seldom used by the Maori. Two persons swung a long rope, and several players skipped at the same time. See Fig. 39a (p. 152).