Animals flee. His father had told him so. Boys flee. A man does not flee. (1.93)
Mau considers not trying to seek shelter from the incoming wave. However, it's the fleeing that saves his life. So, does this mean that being a boy is like being an animal and being a man is about finding humanity but paying attention the animal instinct within? It's not quite civilization = manliness, but it's something close.
Only the best men, the greatest hunters and warriors, became Grandfathers when they died. (2.59)
So, the best men are hunters and warriors? Why does killing things make them the best? We take it none of the Grandfathers were vegetarian.
Now [Mau] could kill things. And wasn't that part of being a man? (2.87)
Goodness gracious, it's kill kill kill to Mau and his tribe. Is it possible to be a great man without killing something? (Well, maybe—but probably not if you live in a tribal community that depends on hunting for survival.)