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The Coming of the Maori


The maori games and pastimes were similar to those prevailing throughout Polynesia but in some instances they were not so highly developed such as boxing in Tonga, and tobogganing and surf riding in Hawaii. The new pastimes developed locally were the giant stride swing, the passing of sticks in touretua, the catch motion game of matimati, and the use of the poi ball in women's dances. The men's war dances with clubs were developed to a higher stage of physical ferocity than elsewhere. A detailed description of the various games and pastimes, with and without material accessories, has been recorded by Elsdon Best (18) but this section will deal mainly with, those in which material objects were used. However Best's classification will be followed.