In Mahaga Bugotu
babala is “crosswise”; gai babala, “across.”
Vala means in Mota “the fence of small stones round an oven.”
In Madagascar vala is “a wooden fence or partition.”
The Efate (New Hebrides) vala means “a ship's yards,” because set crosswise; while falafala is “a ladder,” which is made by fastening cross-sticks to a tree.
Vala in Florida means “the shoulder”; varat in Mota “the purlin of a house.”
the full root, of which many more examples might be given, we come to ara
In Mota ara means “to keep off,” while ge-ara is “a fence.”
The Saa Malaita ala means “the shoulder.”
The Maori arai means “a veil, screen, or curtain; to block up”; Mangaian arai, “to ward off”; Tahitian arai, “to interpose, obstruct”; Hawaiian alai, “to obstruct, to block up a door or passage by sitting in it, to form a circle round a person for defence, to defend.”
The Torres pi ala is “a fence round a garden.”
the final vowel we get par and pal.
Par means in Mota “to slice, cut,” as in Par mal, the name given to a class of secret societies the members of which were wont to par a mal or young cocoanut and drink the milk in common, after which they were accounted brethren.
Pal in New Britain means “a room” (just as niu in Mota means either “partition” or “room”); in Duke of York Island, “an outhouse”; in Raluana (New Guinea), “a house.”
second syllable we get pa and ba, exceedingly common and important forms.
A few examples must suffice.
In Fiji bai means “to fence round a town or garden,” while ba is “a fish-fence.”
In Maori pa means “to block up, obstruct; a fort or stockade, a weir for catching eels, a barricade; to protect”: Samoan, pa, “a wall”: Tahitian, pa, “a fence or hedge”: Hawaiian, pa, “hedge or fence in; the wall of a town”: Paumotu, pa, “a rampart or bulwark.”
of this gives us papa and baba.
In Malagasy baba is “a wall or fence in fortification”; Formosa, babas, “an earthen dam”; Tahitian, papani, “to block up”; Mota, paparis, “wall of a house”; Maori, papa, “to close up or fasten; the layers or strata of rocks.”
It is from this last that the idea of a slab may perhaps be derived, and so papa or baba commonly means “a slab, board, anything flat.”
In Wedau, New Guinea, baba means “slab, side of big canoe”; babai, “to build up with slabs”; babana, “canoe built with timbers”; Maori, papa, “anything broad or flat—a slab, board, door, or shutter”; Samoan, papa, “board, floor-mat”; Tahitian, papa, “a board, seat, the shoulder-blade”; Mangareva, papa, “foundation”; Motu, New Guinea, papapapa, ???
Page 8 ?
In water exercises
the Maori excelled, like his Polynesian brethren of warmer climes, and
this was seen in his powers as a swimmer, his dexterity in surf-riding,
and his fearlessness in jumping from a height.
This so-called diving was really jumping, as the performer simply jumped off the height and entered the water feet first.
The Maori practised the side stroke, and looked with dislike upon the ..
Swimming races (kau whakataetae) naturally formed a pleasing exercise, and children learned to swim at a very early age.
Surf-riding was practised both with and without a board, and also in small canoes, both plank and canoe being known by the same name, kopapa.
It is interesting to see natives cross swift and deep rivers by means of treading water.
Making for the opposite bank in a slanting, down-stream direction, they practically walk across in an upright position.
The breastpole (tuwhana) was also used when a number wished to ford a swift, dangerous stream. Native children were encouraged to be fearless in the water.
Where a suitable place for diving was not available, a stout pole or ricker was set up in a slanting position and extending out over the water.
Performers ran up this beam from the earth, and jumped from its upper end into the water below. These kokiri were supported on a stout post.
The moari or morere, our giant stride, was sometimes erected near deep water, so that when a player swung outward he could release his grasp on the rope and plunge into the water.
These exercises had simple songs or short jingles peculiar to them, and which were chanted by the players.
A curious incident occurred at Rua-tahuna early in last century in connection with this swinging practice.
In a local interclan quarrel several persons had been slain, and their relatives, in order to avenge their deaths, erected two moari at Kiritahi.
A song was composed, the effect of which was supposed to be a dispelling of their grief, and this song was sung by those who disported themselves on the swing.
Truly, the ways of barbaric man are passing strange.
(waka hoehoe and whakatere waka) were recreations that appealed to the
In the excitement of a well-contested canoe race, with paddles as the motive power, the Maori would find one of his keenest pleasures.
Best, Elsdon: The Maori. (second volume)
Memoirs of the Polynesian Society, Number V, Volume 2.
Wellington, New Zealand ,1924, pages 91-92.
"Surfriding on a short plank.. was also indulged in; on the east coast both plank and small canoe were styled kopapa.
The plank used seems to have been shorter than that used by the Hawaiians."
"... then, selecting a roller, he threw himself on the surfboard, grasping the fore end thereof with his hands, and so rode racing shoreward on the roller.
Sometimes a rider dispensed with his board, and rode with his arms outstretched before him.
Young women sometimes joined the sport, and an old surfrider informed me that in his youthful days, he had seen thirty to forty persons so riding shore ward at one time."
"...Surf riding was practiced throughout Polynesia.
At Tahiti it was called fa'ahe'e (Maori whakaheke) and horne, which recalls Maori horua and Hawaiian holua, a toboggan. "
Best, Elsdon: The Maori Canoe.
Dominion Museum Bulletin Number 7
Wellington, New Zealand, 1925, page 326.
"they use also... a kind of surfboard similar to that of the natives of the Sandwich Islands."
Best, Elsdon: Games and Pastimes of the
Maori: an account of various exercises, games and pastimes of the natives
of New Zealand, as practised in former times; including some information
concerning their vocal and instrumental music.
Dominion Museum Bulletin Number 8.
Wellington, New Zealand,1925, page 241.
"Surf riding whakaheke ngaru was conducted on a board termed kopapa by coastal tribes with suitable shore line..."
Smith, Stephenson Percy: "Niue: the island
and its people with traditions by Pulekula".
The Journal of the Polynesian Society
The Polynesian Society, Wellington, New Zealand, 1902.
A historical perception of the world's smallest state.
"Surl-riding (fakatu-peau) was never indulged in to the same extent as in Hawaii and riding standing was not practiced."
Smith, Stephenson Percy: "Use of the Surfboard
in New Zealand."
The Journal of the Polynesian Society.
The Polynesian Society, Wellington, New Zealand, Volume XXX, 1921, p. 50.
"I have myself see dozens of young Maoris indulging in the sport on the Taranaki Coast, and have heard of it being a popular amusement in the Bay of Plenty.
The boards used were about six feet long by about nine inches wide... One end of the board was held at the pit of the stomach, with the arms extended to words the other end, the hands grasping the sides of the board.. <...>
It is questionable if the Maoris ever used boards as large as the Hawaiians on which a man could stand upright. I can say from experience that it is a most exhilarating pastime."