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Games and Pastimes of the Maori



Each child closes the thumb and three fingers on the palm of the hand, leaving the forefinger projecting, and both hands being served alike. The hands are then placed one on another, as in the upoko-titi, page 176but with the forefinger pointing upward. All players then sing the following ditty:—

"Ka haere, ka haere a Paora
Ki te wero kuku, ki te wero kaka
Ka tangi te tara koekoea."

(Paora goes, goes to spear pigeons, to spear parrots, the cuckoo sings.)

As the last word is repeated all players snatch their hands away and place them behind their backs. As they do so, each player endeavours to tag or touch the hand of another child, and any child so touched is pronounced out of the game.

As this performance followed immediately after that of the upoko-titi, it is just possible that it forms a necessary part of it, though known by a separate name. Paora is apparently a modern name inserted in an old formula.