Segments in this Video

British Cricket (03:27)


We learn the basic rules of British cricket and the history of cricket, including its development in New Guinea.

Cricket Transformations (01:52)

In the Trobriands, the game of cricket has undergone a number of transformations from the British version. We hear an islander explain some of the changes that occurred in the game over time.

Importance of Tribal Games (01:52)

When missionaries first arrived in the Trobriands and other Indonesian Islands, they introduced games as a substitute for tribal warfare. Cricket was one such game. The games were strictly governed and policed.

Trobriand-Style Cricket (03:04)

"Kayasa" is a generic name for any period of competitive and obligatory activity. Gifts of food and other traditional practices accompany cricket in its various forms in the Trobriands. Islanders describe the game while eating and smoking.

Making Cricket Bats and Balls (02:09)

Viewers watch as islanders carve cricket bats and balls from island wood. Some bats are decorated. We learn that "magic" is part of each piece of equipment. Islanders discuss the kinds of chants heard at cricket events.

Tribal Cricket Team Dances (03:05)

Each islander cricket team has a name drawn around a particular theme. We watch the dances of a team called the Blind Men. Each team has two types of dances: variations of entrance and exit dances.

Themed Dances (03:05)

Dances and chants may draw on recent events and commonplace things for their themes. Viewers see a variety of dances, including one based on the airplane and another on a seafaring bird.

Game Preparation (02:46)

The center man of a cricket team overseas preparation for the game. He visits a specialist to find out about the weather. Players wear warrior clothing and decorate their skin and bodies.

Game Day (04:53)

Islander men prepare their bodies and faces for the upcoming game. Disguise works magic, releasing normal inhibitions. The visiting team arrives. One man marks off 22 paced between the wickets.

Start of the Cricket Match (03:47)

Under Trobriand rules, the visiting team fields first. We see the Airplane team perform their entrance dance. Their chant tells the home team how ready they are to play and win. The match begins.

How the Game Is Played (05:11)

A good play or success during the game initiates a short celebratory dance. What happens when a cricket ball is lost in the tall grass? We learn the role of the umpire in the cricket match.

Home Team Entrance (05:23)

The home team, the Scarlet Reds, make their entrance and perform their entrance dance. Home team batters are up. All 59 batters will go to bat. This is a change in the game that Trobrianders added.

Hosting a Cricket Game (04:37)

A village leader gains political capital by hosting cricket games. The games will climax in a ceremony of exchanging food. The home team will always be declared the formal winner, yet other conventions must also be met to avoid offending the visitors.

Food Exchange Ceremony (05:04)

Rain ultimately cancels the game, and the players huddle on the concrete floor of the church. The ceremony of food exchange takes place--gifts and counter gifts go several rounds. Tribes dance as part of the tradition.

Credits: Trobriand Cricket: The Sport Catches on in New Guinea (00:40)

Credits: Trobriand Cricket: The Sport Catches on in New Guinea

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Trobriand Cricket: The Sport Catches on in New Guinea

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



The people of the Trobriand Islands of Papua New Guinea have a rich history of rituals and war that has inspired study and intrigue for over 70 years. Western explorers discovered the islands in 1793, and the British came to the area in the early 20th century, seizing the southern portion of New Guinea. When their new settlement was established, many traders, anthropologists, and missionaries followed. As seen in this documentary, the missionaries had the most influence, for they introduced the sport of cricket to the islands. This sport was quickly adopted and soon served as a replacement for the tribal battles that had decimated the indigenous population for so many years. (51 minutes)

Length: 51 minutes

Item#: BVL50013

ISBN: 978-1-61753-193-4

Copyright date: ©1979

Closed Captioned

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