Colonists, ‘afakasi and military men: sundries on ‘the Beach’
This chapter turns to three groups whose paths frequently met on cricket pitches around Samoa: white colonists; men and women with mixed Samoan and foreign ancestry, known locally as ‘afakasi; and the naval and armed forces who visited or were stationed at Samoa. Even more than foreign officials, white colonists understood kirikiti as a menace to their prospects of commercial success. ‘Afakasi men and women, conversely, used both ‘English’ cricket and kirikiti to confirm their ties to the foreign and Samoan communities respectively. Finally, Anglophone military men saw both cricket and kirikiti as an escape from boredom. These contrasting responses illustrate how the cricket pitch was a site of real and symbolic contest in Samoa—including within the broad category of ‘colonisers’.