L My Name Is Laki

Alofa Pele!                    

L my name is Laki

I live in Le’auva’a, Samoa

My friend’s name is Laeli

We like to play Tuki Tuki Teni Teni

We speak Samonan

And now we’ll say “Tofa”


Tuki Tuki Teni Teni

Any number of children sit in a circle on the ground. Each player has a coconut shell or a rock. One shell (or more if the circle is very large) is marked as the ‘ghost’. Each player taps his/her shell on the ground while the first line of the chant is sung. The shells are banged in front of the player on their right and passed along  for the remainder of the chant. The player who has the ‘ghost’ on the word ‘toke’ must perform a hula in the middle of the circle.

Tuki Tuki Teni Teni 
Tuki tuki teni teni takaia rakau kamu 
tere rua ki mua ra. 
Tu toru e papa roroa tairi metua rakau 
kamu tare kanu tare. 
Kia akatere pakanuu e toke! 

(Chant for the hula)  
Ranitu Ranitu itiiti Ranitu 
(Repeat as many times as you like).           


Beat, beat, hurray, hurray,
Beat, beat, hurray, hurray, 
Tied to a wooden trunk
Two times before
There are three flat wooden tiles
Hooked together, together,
Let the garden earthworm roll.

(Chant for the hula)

Holy ghost,  Holy ghost, ghost, some ghosts.





Tuki Tuki Teni Teni: A Game from the Cook Islands

Mama Lisa’s World 

Welcome to my 2019 Blogging A-Z Challenge. Each day in the the month of April (except Sundays), I will bring you a memory of games and a jump rope song. It is similar to the classic A My Name Is…  Do you recognize the chant? A world of children will greet their friends and skip through the alphabet alliterating their name, a friend’s name, and their home city. They will also state their country, the language they speak, and their favorite game. Descriptions of the games are included. I chose games that are played on playgrounds or streets where children negotiate their teams and terms. You may recognize your favorite games that differ only in name.  As the alphabet progresses, it becomes apparent that the pursuit of laughter and fun are universal.



Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     IndieBound

6 thoughts

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.