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Niuē-fekai (or Savage) Island and its People

Amusements, &c

Amusements, &c.

Of their ancient games, probably ta-tika was the most noteworthy. It was known and indulged in by, I think, all branches of the race. It consisted in throwing a dart, about 5 feet long, with a light haft and heavy head, in such a manner that it struck the ground and then bounded upwards. He who threw furthest was the winner. In Plate 6 will be seen one of these tika, and in Part IV, paragraphs 45 to 50, will be found an account of Matila-foafoa and the game ta-tika, which is another version of that given by Dr. Wyatt Gill, at pp. 107 and 118 “Myths and Songs.” Surf-riding was another amusement, called Fakatu-lapa or Fakatu-peau, which again is common to the race everywhere, but seems to have been practised more in Hawaii than elsewhere. The tug-of-war was another game just like ours, and here is an ancient song sung to it:—

Lilolilo to ua ke fakatoka
He tafūa i Paluki.
Toho e Motu, toho e Tafiti
Po ko fe ka toho ki ai.
Twist thy muscles to retain,
The meeting place at Palūki,
Pulls the Motu; pulls the Tafiti,
Where will they pull it to?

In this is a reference to the constant struggles between the Motu and Tafiti peoples. Heu-manu was an amusement of chiefs, in catching pigeons by means of a decoy and hand net. This is a Samoan custom, and has the same name Seu-mann. Their songs (timē), and dances (koli), have already been referred to. Stilts are common amongst the children now, called tu-te-keka, and probably is an ancient amusement, for it is known to have been a practice of the ancestors of the Maori before they migrated to New Zealand.

Takalo is the general name for play, as it is in New Zealand fefeua is another name for the same thing.