Trobriand Island Culture Cricket

.. orks only as an organizer, not a leader. B. What are the effects of outside influences on this culture? Is the culture changing? What will be gained/lost? The British missionaries who arrived in the Trobriands found that the ritualized form of inter-tribal warfare which also involved magic was barbarous and immediately forbade it. Coincidentally, they introduced the game of cricket to the Islanders. When introduced to the Trobrianders, however, something wonderful happened to the game of cricket. It underwent a remarkable cultural transformation.

It was an evolutionary process, over the last 80 years, and it continues even today. The British influence from colonists, and more especially from missionaries, became felt less and less. The islanders slowly began to recapture their native customs. Ritualized warfare was still outlawed, but the magic lived in the people, and the fight was in the men. The first thing to go in the cricket game was the limited number of players. Twelve men on a side could not accommodate all the fighters in a tribe.

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The number was expanded to 50 or so, depending on how many showed up in the host village for the game. The other side then was allowed to have the same number of warriors (players). Then the magic came back. In the old days there were many incantations and secret spells cast by the magician to empower the spear-throwers. These same spells, with some modification, began to be placed on the bats used in play.

There were no balls generally used in the old tribal wars, so no magic was available for the balls. But wait! There was magic for the throwing arm (formerly with spear in hand) and that same magic could grant strength and true-aim to a pitcher. And so on, the magic was used. Best of all was the transformation of the dancing and chanting into an element of the cricket game. What we see in the Trobriand Islands is a transformation of war into dance.

On the morning of a game, by this decade, the warriors wake up, put on their paint and battle dress, and dance in line to the village hosting the game. They enter the field, dancing and chanting, taunting the other side to dare compete. The home team then does the same. The chants and spectacle incorporate ancient tribal totems and current advertising slogans. The dancing is precise, vigorous, aggressive, and fierce.

The game is usually played for two days, involving as many innings as there are players, and no one is killed. The game ends with a feast provided by the host chief (for political reasons) and the Trobriand Cricket game is over. Hence we see that this game of cricket has undergone quite a lot of change, change to suit the Trobriand way of life. The game was transformed in many ways. Perhaps the biggest change was that the home team was always the winner – this according to our definition does not constitute a sport. In addition, the visiting teams batted first.

Each out was followed by a celebration. The bowling action was not traditional. Runners as well as batsmen. Bat and ball were not regular. They bowled alternately from each end.

There was no limit to the number of players. Scoring varied considerably with 6 runs being scored by a lost ball, or hitting the ball over the highest coconut tree. Umpire was from the batting side, and when sides changed so did the umpire. There were ritual entrance dances. There was the mascot dressed as a tourist.

Instead of trophies, there was a ceremony of exchanging food with the home team putting on the feast. But more than changing the rules and format of the game, it also meant totally different things for the Trobriands. It was introduced as a substitute for intertribal warfare and much of the game gook on war-like aspects: the throwing of the ball that replaced bowling was very similar to the action of spear throwing; the bodies were decorated in war colors and designs; and the field entry and exit dances were those of war formations. The Trobriands reinterpreted the English game of cricket to suit their own culture. The Trobriand Island Cricket is transmitted by learned rules viewed visually and oral transmission of rules, rituals and traditions.

Thus the outside influence of European missionaries during the late 19th century did change the culture of the Trobriand people. European colonialism brought with it industrial goods like chewing gum, modern form of dressing (shirts, trousers), carry bags, etc. The people were exposed to such products and adapted them to their own living. The brand name of a chewing gum, was used in chants to represent something that is sticky, in this case, it was the hands of the person who catches a ball hit by a batsman and gets him out. It is very interesting to notice that the people have incorporated words like PK in their chants!! One can also notice some of the players not in the traditional pubic dressing, but instead in shorts made out of cotton cloth.

I also noticed that the umpire had a small carry-bag wrapped around his shoulder. It is indeed fascinating to see all these products in the form that they have been incorporated into this culture. The Trobriand culture did lose a lot due to the interference of the European missionaries. Their method of establishing superiority over an opposing tribe through warfare was stopped by the missionaries. This led to a drastic cultural change.

The missionaries and the government officials now had to find something to replace the traditional warfare, and they did. They introduced the game of cricket to the people! It seems that this change brought about by the missionaries has brought about a more peaceful life in these islands. Had the missionaries not interfered in the first place, these islands would have been a different scene today! Anthropology.

Trobriand Island Culture Cricket

Trobriand Island Culture- Cricket T r o b r i a n d I s l a n d C r i c k e t Moiz Bhinderwala Westford, MA A. In one paragraph, describe the subjects of the documentary. Tell who they are, where they live and why the film was made. The subjects of this documentary Trobriand Cricket- An Ingenious Response to Colonialism, are these interesting people, natives of the Trobriand islands, which is located off the coast of Papua-New Guinea. The trobrianders are a tribe who are driven by a culture where magic holds a significant role.

Before the arrival of the European missionaries magic was widely used in inter-tribal warfare. The British missionaries who arrived in the Trobriands around the late 19th century found the ritualized warfare of the Trobrianders barbarous and immediately forbade it. Coincidentally, they introduced the game of cricket to the Islanders as a substitute for the conflict between two local groups, and to encourage morality. This game, which was introduced in its original form in the early 20th century, has changed quite a lot to fit into the culture of the Trobriand people. This film was made to highlight the Trobriand Cricket as a great example of Acculturation – how one part of a culture is transmitted through contact between groups with different cultures, in this case the contact of the British missionaries with the people of the Trobriand Islands. It depicts how the game of cricket has undergone a remarkable cultural transformation, among the people of Trobriand islands.

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Mixture of Good and Evil: The values important to this culture show that the Trobrianders believe in both the goodness and evilness of human nature. As an example for their belief in goodness, we can use the fact that the elder people are revered in this society. They may not play the game, but they are in charge of jobs like keeping in pace with the score-keeper of the game, counting off the number of batsmen left, and so on. Another example is the gifts of prestige food that these people exchange in the ceremony after the game. One more amazing aspect that their game has developed is the fact that the victory of the hosting team is understood in advance, it is predecided.

So according to our definitions, the game of cricket that these people play is not a sport. This is done in order to pay respect to the organizers of the game, especially the center man. This points out their belief in the goodness of human nature. Similarly, their belief that Man also has evil in him, is evident when the game is abandoned and the narrator tells us that there is a certain air of suspicion among the players, that the opponents from the sponsoring political movement may have brought on rain with counter-magic to purposely stop the game. Man in harmony with Nature: The Trobrianders live in harmony with the nature that surrounds them, and this is evident in their sense of dressing, decoration, their tools. They use palm fronds to count the score of a game, or to count the number of baskets of yam, when they are farming.

The bats, balls and stumps they use are carved out of light and hard wood. The clothes they wear, especially the traditional pubic covering that is expected of cricket players, which is made from the skin of a beetlenut tree. They use natural products as part of their everyday lives. The fact that man should in every way live in complete harmony with nature, is synthesized in their set of values. Present Oriented: Although we can witness all the 3 different kinds of time-orientations, the present is valued a lot more than the past or the future.

The Trobriand people do yam farming, but at the same time, during the harvest period they invest their time for the game of cricket. They prefer living in the present. They do not worry too much about future, nor do they base their values upon what has happened in the past. As the narrator says, the game of cricket is still evolving in Trobriand, it shows that the people are open to changes in the game, and not prejudiced. Doing: The Trobriands have characteristic dances and chants, which were specially created for the game of cricket.

All the out dances are danced with chants that are to taunt the batsman from the opposing team who has just got out. They criticize and ridicule the ability of a player, using these chants. This shows that for these people Doing is very important. If you do not play well, you will be taunted at. If a batsman gets run out, he is taunted by chanting: Stupidity! Stupidity! Wicket left open.

Here, the batsman who has got run out is being taunted for what he did (leaving the wickets uncovered-open) It doesnt matter how good the player was, an out dance is performed for every batsman that gets out. This shows the emphasis on action in this culture. Even the center man, magicians and the organizers for the game are respected for the work they do, not the positions they hold. This underlies the fact that it is Doing that is important to the Trobrianders. Their set of ideas for what is right or wrong, lay emphasis on action. Group oriented: The first thing to be changed in the cricket game was the limited number of players.

Twelve men on a side could not accommodate all the players in a tribe. The number was expanded to 50 or so, depending on how many showed up in the host village for the game. The other side then was allowed to have the same number. This shows their need to work as a group, to function as a group. This need is also evident at the point where the field is being prepared for the game, people work in groups to get the field ready. All dances, rituals and chants are performed as a group.

They work as one team, instead of separate individual parts. No one commands anyone, even the center man w …


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