The words and expressions of a waiata or haka preserve the wisdom and knowledge of our ancestors...
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Kidsfirst Vickery Street wove aspects of traditional Māori culture into their Matariki inspired kindergarten gathering, to perform waiata and haka for their whānau.
“We started our celebrations on June 6th for Matariki - learning about the stars and planting our winter garden - with our performance as the grand finale,” says Relieving Head Teacher, Jenny Moore.
Clips of Māori cultural performances on You Tube provided some performance inspiration and children had fun mimicking the moves, trying to get it just right.
“Tamariki had worked so hard to learn the new waiata (song) and haka - parents told us the children were busy practising at home, in the car, even centre stage in front of family tv!”
The kindergarten was decked out with red, white and black balloons, to bob among the glittery black paper stars cascading from the ceiling. The children had weaved these same colours into their paper headbands and pui pui (grass skirts).
Traditionally the colours of mā (white) whero (red) and mangu (black) feature strongly in Maori art and culture, with red symbolising mana (power, prestige) and often used to decorate marae and waka (canoe).
While on rosy cheeks and dimpled chins (under the beaming smiles) the performers had the black curved lines of a kowhaiwhai pattern drawn onto their faces to represent Tā moko - traditional Māori tatooing. Often on the face, Ta moko is a taonga (sacred treasure) to Māori and is an expression of cultural pride and integrity.
“The tamariki embraced all of these wonderful Maori traditions with pride,” adds Jenny. “The performance went really really well, we were thrilled.”
Tamariki had worked so hard to practice their waiata and haka performance for whānau at Kidsfirst Vickery Street.
DID YOU KNOW?
Traditionally the colours:
- mā (white)
- whero (red)
- mangu (black)
feature strongly in Māori art and culture, with red symbolising mana (power, prestige) and often used to decorate marae and waka.
KIDSFIRST KINDERGARTENS ARE A NOT FOR PROFIT ASSOCIATION THAT HAS DEVELOPED AND MAINTAINED KINDERGARTENS IN CHRISTCHURCH, CANTERBURY AND ON THE WEST COAST FOR OVER 100 YEARS - AS THE PLACE LOCAL KIDS COME TO LEARN, PLAY AND HAVE FUN.