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Hawaiian Pala'ie


It's harder than it looks. Pala'ie (loop and ball game) can be played just about anywhere you have some space to swing it around. The implement is made of the coconut leaf midribs (handle), a braided rope and the coconut tree palm cloth (a'a) (found at the base of the coconut leaves) formed into a ball slightly larger than the loop.

Ancient Hawaiians, starting with young children, used this implement as a game to improve eye-hand coordination, as a recreation activity, and in competition. While holding the handle horizontally, swing the ball in a complete circle from bottom to top. The object of the game is to do this as long as possible. Of course, getting the ball to land in the loop is also a goal. Swinging to a chant or music also helps to keep a helpful rhythm.

Pala'ie is approximately 20 inches long.