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kennedy : ellice islands, 1930 
Donald Gilbert Kennedy : Ellice Islands Field Notes, 1930.

Extracts from
Kennedy, Donald Gilbert: Field Notes on the Culture of Vaitupu, Ellice Islands.
The Journal of Polynesian Society
Volume 39 Number 1.
No. 153, March 1930, pages 111 to 113.
New Plymouth, New Zealand.
Printed for the Society by Thomas Avery.
and
Kennedy, Donald Gilbert: Field Notes on the Culture of Vaitupu, Ellice Islands.
The Journal of Polynesian Society
Volume 38 Number 4.
No. 152, December 1929, Plate 14 Figure 68 and Plate 15 Figure 69.
New Plymouth, New Zealand.
Printed for the Society by Thomas Avery.

Introduction.
A Gilbert's Field Notes were published as supplements over several editions of the The Journal of Polynesian Society, beginning in 1929.
The following text is are taken from his notes on native games, only those of an aquatic nature are included here.
The images are from the previous instalment that details the local variations in canoe construction.
Note that the text indicates that on occassion the puke (the shaped bow-covering of the canoe) is used as asurfboard.

Volume 39 Number 1.
GAMES.

Page 111
...
4. TE UKUUKU AVA (Diving in the ava).
At low tide two teams proceed to the edge of the reef and select an ava (i.e. a V-shaped indentation in the reef) the bottom of which is about two fathoms deep.

One team stands on one side of the indentation (ngutu o te ava) and the other team on the other side. A mark, such as a coloured piece of coral, is pointed out on the bottom ...

Page 112
... and is called te umu (lit. the oven).
One side, by arrangement, becomes te kau leoleo o te umu (the team to guard the oven) and the other side, te kau e muli (the hiding side), so called because of the resemblance this game bears to that of hide and seek (tumuli) played ashore.

All dive in at once and swim to the bottom.
The guards of the oven take up a position on one side of te umu and near to it.
The other team take up a position on the other side but further off.
Members of this team now wait until some of the weaker guards have been forced to ascend for air. They then attempt to touch and cling to te umu.
It is the duty of the guards to seize any arm reaching towards te umu, and a player who has been so seized by a guard must ascend and consider himself out of the game until the next general dive (uku).
If one or more players of the kau e muli succeed in evading the guards and manage to touch te umu, they all ascend to their respective positions above on the edge, and the kau e muli team claims a point.
On the next general dive the same guards must again do duty.
If, however, the guards succeed in preventing any member of the kau e muli from touching te umu, their team changes position with the other and on the next dive they have their opportunity of making a point.

All young people of both sexes play this game.

5. TE SEKE (Surf-riding).
There are two methods:-

(a) Faka-tua-fonu (turtle-back fashion).
With arms outstretched and legs spread or with hands pressed down between the thighs.

(b) Using the puke (the puke is really the shaped bow-covering of the canoe, which is often used for surf riding, but the same name is applied to any board so used.)

6. TU KIMOA (After the fashion of rats).
Played in two or more fathoms of water in an ava at the edge of the outer reef, or in the lagoon.

One player dives down and places his feet on the papa (rock bottom).
Another player dives and sets his feet on the shoulders of the first player, who steadies him by grasping the ankles and holding the feet firmly on his shoulders.
The next player takes a similar position on the shoulders ...

Page 113

... of the second player and so on until one player is standing ,with his head above water.
When the bottom section of this human ladder is out of breath, he lowers the feet from his shoulders to the bottom in front of him and, ascending, takes his place as top section where he can breathe. The next player does likewise and so on, the sections continually circulating after the manner of rats running round a room, hence the name tu kimoa.

This game is played by young people of both sexes.

7. FAI TINO.
Small children often have competitions moulding the human figure in the wet sand on the reef at low tide.
This seems to be a recognised game, and when all have finished they usually indicate their choice as to the most perfect model, and the proud maker is called the winner.
...


Volume 38 Number 4.
CANOES.
 
Plate 14 Figure 68.
Vaitupu type 
bow and stern covers 
(the stern covers are on the left).

Plate 15 Figure 69.
Namumea type 
bow and stern covers 
(the stern covers are on the left).

The Journal of Polynesian Society 
Volume 39 Number 1. 
No. 153, March 1930. 
New Plymouth, New Zealand. 
Printed for the Society by Thomas Avery.

The Journal of Polynesian Society 
Volume 38 Number 4. 
No. 152, December 1929.
New Plymouth, New Zealand. 
Printed for the Society by Thomas Avery.

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home catalogue history references appendix

Geoff Cater (2010) : Donald Kennedy : Ellice Islands Field Notes, 1930.
http://www.surfresearch.com.au/1930_Kennedy_Ellice_Islands.html