Kaupapa o te marama – Topic of the month
Whanau and whakapapa – Family and Geneology
Āku whakaaro – My thoughts
One of the first things we learn when we study te reo Māori is our pepeha or our whakapapa. I know from high school it was the first thing we began to recite. In hindsight I didn’t didn’t fully grasp what I was really saying and furthermore why I was saying it.
I understood it was my ties and a way to tell people where my family were from in case they knew people from there. In the beginning I didn’t know my tribal ties, so I added information from the place I currently lived.
Connecting tamariki with their whakapapa
Recently myself and my daughter have separately been involved in some opportunities that have addressed our pepeha.
I had prior been promoting some te reo Māori surrounding her relationships at home as a game… These are phrases I asked and she answered but you could potentially use them at Preschool or at your whare if you don’t already…
Ko wai tō Māmā? Who is your Mum?
“Beth” she would say
Ko wai tō Pāpā? Who is your Dad?
“Greg” she would say
Ko wai tō teina? Who is your sister? (Teina is a younger sibling of the same sex)
“Manawa” she would say
Ko wai tō ingoa?
“Wairua” she would say with a smile.
She enjoyed this little game and she learnt very quickly what was being said.
Fast forward through a number of experiences in regards to this kaupapa. Mihimihi, discussions, waiata, videos and sharing her knowledge. My girl stood proudly in front of both of her Kindergartens together and recited her mihimihi acknowledging her family with strength and pride. As you can imagine this was a real Māmā Mana Moment for me!
Continuing on from this, I considered the best way to extend her learning and I came up with the idea of a book. She drove her own learning with reciting the first part of her mihi with her parents and her own name. As an adult we recite large whakapapa, but I wanted to extend on her current learning gradually.
When she was a baby she visited her marae on her fathers side but of course she doesn’t remember. We as a family have never been further south than Chch and I thought how could she understand and experience the words that she is saying until a time comes when she can visit these places and potentially feel the connections to the places…. Visual cues!
So I went about collecting the right images to make a book.
This was made so much easier by this amazing website I was told about Maori maps.
All you have to do is put in what you do know…. Town, maunga, awa, marae even a region and it tells you the other details and give you relevant pictures. For pictures that weren’t on there I used the details on the site to google the rest. For Iwi I used the images from NZ trade and enterprises, Iwi – Tribes of NZ
My daughter has been extremely excited to share parts of her heritage with her teachers at Kindy and learning some more of her pepeha with the help of her own pukapuka.
I will add more information later including grandparents. For now I want to try not to overwhelm her and just give her bits at a time that are digestible.
Ngā rauemi a Poi Princess – Poi Princess resources available:
I have a couple of rauemi that would really suit any learning surrounding this kaupapa. Check them out.