During the national sports days (Te Runga), which took place on Tarawa from 17 September to 2 October 2010, the competition included not only internationally known sports (football, volleyball, athletics, etc.) but also the ball game oreano, which is indigenous to the nation of Kiribati. Modern changes to the nationally significant oreano game were discussed on the occasion of current events (for example, whether to allow the use of knee, elbow and shin protection, sports shoes, etc.). In this context, Dr. Koch’s film about oreano in the 1960s came to the attention of the sports coordinators and the Kiribati Islands Oreano Association, who referred to it as a representation of tradition.
At the annual meeting of the Southern District YCL Convention on Onotoa Island, young men gathered for evening oreano training to prepare for a competition.
Dr. Gerd Koch had filmed aspects of the game in the 1960s and had published it under E 880 “Making a ball with stones (Nonouti)” and E 881 “Men’s ball game ‘oreano’ (Nonouti)” via the IWF (see also Koch’s publication “Material Culture of the Gilbert Islands” 1965:188-189 and plate 38).
Earlier descriptions of the oreano ball game can be found in the unpublished manuscripts of Henry and Honor Maude and in the writings of Augustin Krämer (1906: 283) and Richard Parkinson (1889: 92).
Koch, Gerd (1965):
Materielle Kultur der Gilbert-Inseln. Nonouti, Tabiteuea, Onotoa.
Berlin: Museum für Völkerkunde.
Krämer, Augustin (1906):
Hawaii, Ostmikronesien und Samoa. Meine zweite Südseereise (1877–1899) zum Studium der Atolle und ihrer Bewohner.
Stuttgart: Strecker & Schröder.
Parkinson, Richard (1889):
Beiträge zur Ethnologie der Gilbertinsulaner.
In: Internationales Archiv für Ethnographie 2, S. 31–48, 90–106.
Barr Smith Library Adelaide, Australia:
MSS 0003 Henry (Harry) Evans and Honor Courtney Maude, Papers 1904–1999. Part II/4. Notebooks and other source materials: Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony, Pitcairn, Tonga and other islands. Section 2: Gilbert and Ellice Islands: Games – including Banaban games, https://digital.library.adelaide.edu.au/dspace/handle/
2440/104286 (External Link).