Moana movie and Hiko jugglers

I watched the Disney animated movie "Moana" recently and enjoyed it very much. Besides having stunning visuals and animation, Moana has authentic references and depictions of Polynesian culture. Read this review of Moana. Polynesia is a region in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean, which includes islands such as Hawaii, Samoa, Cook Islands, Tonga, and Easter Island.

Moana features a Polynesian girl as the protagonist on a quest of self-discovery. After I had watched the movie, I searched my memory for something I had read about an interesting but little known part of Polynesian culture. On the South Pacific island of Tonga, the girls play a game called "Hiko".

This picture shows a Polynesian girl playing Hiko (also known as juggling).

Polynesian girl playing Hiko. Source: Wikipedia

Hiko is the Tongan art of Juggling. It is a Juggling game played with the fruits found on Tonga. Only girls juggle on Tonga. Not the boys. The girls are all jugglers! In Hiko, the girls juggle the fruits in a "shower" pattern, and they usually sing while doing so. It has been documented that it is the norm for Tongan girls to do a rapid and precise juggle of 4 to 6 fruits in the shower pattern.

I found the following documentary about Hiko on YouTube to be informative.

I hope that you have found this aspect of Polynesian culture to be fascinating.


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