Cricket, Kirikiti and Imperialism in Samoa, 1879–1939

  • Benjamin Sacks

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Sport and Politics book series (PASSP)

About this book


This book considers how Samoans embraced and reshaped the English game of cricket, recasting it as a distinctively Samoan pastime, kirikiti. Starting with cricket’s introduction to the islands in 1879, it uses both cricket and kirikiti to trace six decades of contest between and within the categories of ‘colonisers’ and ‘colonised.’ How and why did Samoans adapt and appropriate the imperial game? How did officials, missionaries, colonists, soldiers and those with mixed foreign and Samoan heritage understand and respond to the real and symbolic challenges kirikiti presented? And how did Samoans use both games to navigate foreign colonialism(s)? By investigating these questions, Benjamin Sacks suggests alternative frameworks for conceptualising sporting transfer and adoption, and advances understandings of how power, politics and identity were manifested through sport, in Samoa and across the globe.


Pacific Islands sporting labour migration cultural resistance identity formation transculturation imperialism Oceanic history transcultural diffusion English cricket colonial administration anti-colonial protest

Authors and affiliations

  • Benjamin Sacks
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-27267-8
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-27268-5
  • Series Print ISSN 2365-998X
  • Series Online ISSN 2365-9998
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