Aloha! These Hawaiian sports are from the Hawaiian sports festival called Makahiki. In ancient times, the games were played to celebrate peace and unity in Hawai`i. At my junior and senior high school, we carried the tradition and played the games not only to honor of our ancestors, but also to have fun! Hawaiians believe that the games is a show of strength and representation of your homelands. That is why I brought my pareo, my tradition Hawaiian skirt, to the hot summer day of the first Kaneyama Time. Much like the lighting of the Olympic flame, Makahiki's opening ceremony starts with two chiefs. One chief must throw a spear to the other. The other chief must catch the thrown spear, acknowledging both their statuses as chiefs, and accepting the challenges of Makahiki.
So we have Chief Ryosuke to start this year's Kaneyama Makahiki.
In Makahiki, there are six favorite games that I used to love playing. The first is `Ulu Maika, or rolling stones. It is similar to bowling and croquet, where the players needs to roll stones in between two pegs. If the stone goes through the pegs, it is 3 points. If the stone hits the peg, it is 1 point. The players are about 5 meters away and given 5 tries to get the most amount of points.
Next is Haka Moa, or Chicken Fighting. Two players will lock hands with each other and hold their left leg. Within a ring and similar rules to sumo wrestling, the players must either force their opponent out of the ring, or make their opponent lose their balance and fall. It seems like this was the most popular with the boys.
Next, we have Uma, Hawaiian Arm Wrestling. With similar rules of regular arm wrestling, two players must put all their strength to pin their opponents arm to the ground. But for Makahiki, the players are on their stomachs to really test their arm strength.
Next we have ʻŌʻō ʻIhe, Spear Throwing. The players must use their throwing skills to hit a target by with a spear. In Hawai'i, we use real wooden spears and a banana tree trunk as the target. The trunk was marked to show different scores. The top of the trunk was worth three points, middle was worth two points, and bottom was worth one point. Due to safety reasons and Tohoku's lack of banana trees, I made spears out of pool noodles and a PVC pipe, and used a track and field hurdle as the target. The players are given three tries to score the highest points.
Next, we have Pā Uma, Standing Arm Wrestling. The players must lock hands and put their feet next to each other. The way to win is to make your opponent lost their footing against your own. I think it has a similar feeling to judo.
And lasty, we have the Pōhaku Hoʻoikaika, the rock shotput. Much like the rules of regular shotput, the players must throw a heavy rock. The longest throw is declared the winner.
This last game we played is technically not from the real Makahiki Games, but rather from a game that my classmates and I would play for P.E.. This is called sham battle, or in other words fake battle. It has similar rules to dodgeball, but instead of balls, we used fake spears. I think the boys liked this game the best.
For the last round, I had the boys go against me alone. It was really fun! It was very nostalgic to play this game again.