Trobriand Island

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 a-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.

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