In elementary school, instead of learning to jump rope, play jacks or hopscotch, the primary students in Tonga learn how to hiko or juggle. They start very young, about five years of age, and some continue on for the rest of their lives.
The girls and women sing a song as they juggle three, four, five, some up to seven pieces of fruit, nuts or balls. Some claim that they can juggle even more items, but since they cannot hold them in their hands, they grab them out of a bowl placed near them. The juggling forms a round shower pattern. They usually discharge the nuts from the left hand, catching them in the right hand, and then transfer them to the left again, keeping them all in the air at once.
Most Tongans cannot tell you where the origin of juggling in Tonga began. But there is a myth abou…