This is a very old game that comes from Bellona Island which is an island in the Rennell and Bellona Province, a part of Solomon Islands.

The language is called Rennellese which is also known as Bellonese.

Game Instructions

The children sit in a circle. Everyone puts a hand in a fist one on top of the other. The hand should be in a fist with the thumb and forefinger pinching the hand below it. It should look like the thumb and forefingers are pinching an ant.

Everyone sings this song. On the last line, the hand that's on the very bottom should open out flat on the ground. Then everyone sings the song again and on the last line the hand that's 2nd from the bottom should open up and lie out flat on the hand below it. This continues all the way up the pile of hands until all of the hands are flat on top of each other.

Comments

After this game, the kids would pair off in twos sitting across from each other and play, Kini ou ta'e! (Tap your feces!) The line is said to have no actual significance.

The kids chant the line and tap thumb to thumb with the child across from them. Then chant it again and tap the index finger to the opposite child's index finger. They continue this until all fingers have tapped all the fingers of the child across from them.

You can hear this song being sung on Smithsonian Folkways. Click on the player in the box that says "Singing Games A, B, C."

More games from Bellona here.

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