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Collection of Maori Games HC216

Ngā kēmu Māori - A collection of traditional Māori games.

  • 28 rākau 
  • 14 poi 
  • 5 porotiti (wooden ovals with black spinning cords)
  • Mū Tōrere Game - 5 bags of eight stones (four red and four white) and 5 star grid boards
  • 8 knotted strings for Whai (string games), includes instruction card

Tī rākau (also known as Tīti tōrea, tītouretua, tītītouretua and touretua)-māori stick game (kēmu)

Players (in pairs) can sit facing each other. The aim of the kēmu is to complete sets of actions/movements while keeping in time to the rhythm and beat of a waiata (song).

E papa waiari is the infamous waiata associated with using tītī tōrea - see youtube clip here

Poi: a light ball on a string of varying length which is swung or twirled rhythmically to sung accompaniment. Traditionally the ball was made of raupō (bullrish) leaves.

E rere taku poi (Fly my poi) is a popular waiata sung while swinging poi- see clips here

E rere tāku poi words 

E rere tāku poi actions 

Porotiti : spinning, humming disc -a disc with two holes through which a string is threaded and used to make the disc spin. A māori musical instrument traditionally used in healing.

Click here for an info sheet about porotiti, including how to make your own porotiti > Porotiti info sheet

Click here for an info sheet from the Christchurch City Libraries about porotiti >

Mū Tōrere: "Mū tōrere is a two-player board game. Each player has four counters. The game has a simple premise but expert players are able to see up to 40 moves ahead. Like many other Māori board games, it is played on a papa tākoro (game board) and is tightly interwoven with stories and histories." Brown, Harko (2008). Ngā Taonga Tākoro: Māori sports and games. New Zealand: Penguin Group

How to play Mū Tōrere :

Practice your Mū Tōrere skills online here

Whai (string games): In whai (also called māui, huhu and hūhi) each player creates patterns using a loop of flax string held between their hands, accompanied by particular chants. Players compete to create the most complex patterns in the most elegant way (


> Click here for the Ready to Read (green) text 'Whai (String Games)

> Māori string games: A digital story on Digital NZ

>More information about traditional māori games here and here

Date: Replica

Max Dimension: 450mm x 25mm (sticks)
Subject Area: Social Science, Māori
Specific Themes: Toys, Entertainment, Music, Skills, Matariki

Handling Collection Number: HC216

Why not also borrow our Pōtaka Tā (spinning tops)

Handling information:
Supervision Required
To Use & Handle
Additional information:
Safe Object
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