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Games
Games of physical strength
Games of skill
Water sports
Quiet games
Games' decline
Games Sources



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Games' decline

Many of the ancient games fell into disuse in the nineteenth century as Hawaiian society experienced drastic changes. Kamehameha's unification of the Islands played a large part. As peace reigned, the armies and champions of individual chiefs were no longer fighting opposing forces and the need to train warriors for combat declined. With the breaking of the kapu in 1819, the Makahiki festival – the largest religious and sports gathering of the year – faded from the calendar. Additional changes came with the arrival of Western sailors and traders and American missionaries. Western firearms replaced personal bodyguards and the arts of lua declined. Missionary disapproval of gambling put a damper on the lively betting activity that surrounded most sports contests. Missionary education emphasized reading and writing over physical skills and promoted work over play, reinforcing the lesson with cultural views that judged Hawaiian ways as inferior. Hawaiians were also intrigued by the novelty of new games Westerners introduced, pursuing them instead of their old games. Hawaiian water sports, unique to the Islands and so much a part of the ancient lifestyle, continued to be played longer than other ancient games.



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