Story: Mau rākau – Māori use of weaponry

Children's play as preparation for warfare

Children's play as preparation for warfare

This photograph of Māori children leaping into the Waikato River was taken in 1906 but shows a form of play popular since ancient times. Together with other children's activities such as stick games, diving and jumping were regarded as early preparation for weapons handling and other forms of warfare.

Using this item

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Reference: Elsdon Best, Games and pastimes of the Maori. Wellington: Government Printer, 1925

Permission of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Rangi Matamua, 'Mau rākau – Māori use of weaponry - Weapons training', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/39753/childrens-play-as-preparation-for-warfare (accessed 20 May 2019)

Story by Rangi Matamua, published 5 Sep 2013