Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sunday Stills: Sports: Samoa Cricket , kirikiti

Sunday Stills, the next challenge: Sports
Posted in Sunday Stills Challenge of the Week, the next challenge with tags Sunday Stills, Sunday Stills Challenge on January 17, 2010 by Ed

This should prove to be interesting…:-)

Last year, Samoa was hit by a terrible Tsunami. It propelled the name Samoa internationally. The CBS reality show was film in Samoa, Survivor Samoa had a challenged where the contestants had to use a Samoa Kirikiti bat to hit a ball. I have many students and friends from Samoa in Auckland. This post is dedicated to them. These photos were posted before I joined Sunday Stills.

Can you imagine that the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world is not in Polynesia but in Auckland?

The students tell me their sports, and Kirikati intrigues me most. It is like a West- Samoa fusion of cricket. It has many aspects of Western Cricket, but with Samoa flavour. It is the Samoalisation of cricket.

In Tuvalu, they call this game Kilikiti, which is the Polynesian word for cricket.

The game is played in several South Pacific countries. Teams are mixed and can be any size - up to about 50 people.

"Lava Lavas" or wraparound pieces of cloth are worn instead of whites. These are colourful cloth like the South East Asian Sarong that we wear in Sarawak, Malaysia and Thailand.

*** The game I saw one evening at Wesley Park was a mix team. There were many players in the field. And there were lots of supporters, Mums and Dads with young children and push chairs. It looked very much like a social gathering. It is good that they brought over this aspect of their culture and retained it.

You can read up on this game written by Polynesians, the real McCoy ones. There are photos of the bat. Click on the link on Kilikiti,

The Samoan cricket bat is one real heavy piece of tree and the blade cross-section is roughly an equilateral triangle. The bat is much bigger and three-sided, meaning there was no telling which direction the ball would fly in when contact was made! There is no real style in Samoan cricket, be it batting stance nor batting grip. What happens is the batsman just stands in front of the stumps and when the ball is bowled, the batsman takes a wild heave (I literally mean a wild swat) and so there is no attention paid to how the bat is gripped. See ball, hit ball.

I went back to Wesley park to try my luck to see if they were there. And they were. I think they must be having a post mortem of the match. They were sitting in a semi-circle and listening to two elders. I was taking the pix of the bats when they called out to me. One of them obliged me by holding up his bat.


Mary said...


I enjoyed your commentary and the photos.


Ed said...

Very cool..:-)

Cheryl said...

Very interesting! I've never seen anything similar to this sport here.

Dave said...

A well prepared and written article Ann. Well done! - Dave

Anonymous said...

I know cricket very well, but this strange bat makes me wonder how to ever hit that ball?

WildBlack said...

Ann that was coooool...I love cricket and I do play cricket a lot. Samosan Cricket sound very similar to baseball. :D

Tammy Vasa said...

Interesting sport.

Shirley said...

I think a game without a whole bunch of rules and posturing would be a lot of fun!

Brenda said...

thanks for the story and pics!

Ensurai said...

All games have deep meaning and have very intelligent basis. Softball for example is a terribly intelligent game. Games teach mankind about cooperation and unity besides other important tenets of life.

All children should be allowed to participate in such games. No one should be disallowed because of their disabilities. Not every one is Yao Ming. I know of coaches who are mean and "rule" participants out.

thanks for telling us about the Polynesians.

Unknown said...

Nice :) at least they didnt pull a long face when you took picture..which happens often here. Happy week..I am still trying to do a post :(

meredia said...

Perhaps your commentary would best be served if you spoke to someone real rather than making assumptions about the game - including online information which is by non-Samoan peoples who reinvented and play this sport. How do you explain the singing and dancing included in the playing... Wesley Park, Auckland is in Polynesia. New Zealand is in Polynesia.

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

Hi Alice,

Thanks for your comment, I couldn't post my reply to you. I am pleasantly surprised that you read a post I did in 2010.

This post resulted from my seeing these players in
Wesley park twice. I was then a teacher of some Pasifika aka Polynesian students. I asked them about it and they laughed that I couldn't pronounce Kiritiki. So together we did a project. These photos were mine. The stories were their, Samoan, Tonga and Tokelau.

The link doesn't exist anymore, perhaps you like to write another one.

XXX Love.