From cricket to kirikiti

  • Benjamin Sacks
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Sport and Politics book series (PASSP)


This chapter focuses on the genesis, method and meaning of kirikiti. It first considers the wider social context and specific social practices—notably customary contests and pastimes—that Samoans drew on as they reimagined cricket. The chapter then turns to kirikiti’s other principal influence—English cricket circa 1880—and traces some of the ways that kirikiti departed from it. In particular, the chapter identifies four principal dimensions of kirikiti’s ‘transcultural’ nature: modes of participation; equipment used and techniques employed; attendant elements and social context and the institution of a forfeit owed to the victor. The chapter concludes by framing kirikiti as an implicit challenge to colonial authority and European claims of superiority, as well as an embodiment of wider contest in contemporaneous Samoa.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Sacks
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

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