Whanowhano - Taonga Tākaro (Traditional Māori Game)

Game Whakapapa/Atuatanga

Traditionally used for Toa (warrior) training. Leg speed and explosive power were essential for dodging strikes from attackers or moving into position to attack an opponent.

Game description

Is a small group or 1 on 1 activity.

Can be used as an ice breaker or as a warm up to more strenuous games.

The object of the game is to jump as high as you can and catch your opponent landing in the same position as you.

Number of players required

2 people minimum

Space required

Small area needed where you and your partner can face each other. If bigger group then bigger space.

Game benefits

Helps to strengthen legs and develop leg speed and explosive power through the jumping. Also develops mental dexterity aswell.

Equipment required

No equipment required


If you are still in the air when your opponent has landed you can land in that position, on the flip side, your opponent may be waiting for you to land in the same position and will be ready to snap you out.

There are 4 basic moves to the activity, all of which are started with the call "whano" and both players jump as high as they can and land in 1 of 4 positions.

1. feet together                                      2. feet apart


      Whanowhano photo 1              Whanowhano photo 2                                  

  3. Right foot forward                                  4. Left foot forward


 Whanowhano photo 3                  Whanowhano photo 4


Game 1: Both players call of whano and jump as high as they can and land in 1 of the positions above. If there is a mirror image, the 1st player to call "HI", gets the point. If both players call HI, then the player who calls loudest is wins the point!Play is restarted after each point, the game can be played for a set amount of points or time.

Whanowhano photo 5                         Whanowhano photo 6


Game 2: each player has turns calling "whano" if the pair land in mirror image the caller gets the point and you play on.

Pics below are examples of points scored,we use mirror image as it's easier to decide, can can also play left and right foot snaps.

 Whanowhano photo 7         Whanowhano photo 8    


Whanowhano photo 9             Whanowhano photo 10


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