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Kawhia School

Region: Waikato

Art form: Ngā Toi Māori

Project name: Kōtahitanga-Weaving people together through traditional education

Creative name: Jasmine Teei

Project Information

We will collaboratively create two Whāriki Papa (woven wall hangings) using traditional fibres from our native natural resources and contemporary fibres. This is a wānanga for rangatahi to re-connect with their cultural heritage, tikanga, history and values through traditional education of natural resources. The two Whāriki Papa will weave the past to the present.

The first Whāriki Papa will use traditional methods and tell the story of our Kāwhia tupuna from the landing of the Tainui waka. The second Whāriki Papa will reflect today, showing that what we value today is still the same as what our tupuna valued, but in a modern context. With the first Whāriki Papa, students will learn the history and traditional uses of harakeke, and the many cultural and spiritual elements associated with harakeke. Students will understand and practice the tikanga of harvesting harakeke and how sustainable harvesting protects the welfare of both the harvester and the plant itself. Through this they will learn traditional knowledge and traditional methods of extracting the fibre from the harakeke leaves to create the first Whāriki Papa. It will provide an authentic learning experience and develop a greater understanding of what their school values and be able to represent these through the collaborative art works.

As a result of participating in the project, our students will develop an understanding of, and be able to express artistically, how their personal identity has been influenced by their tupuna, their traditions, whānau, community and the environment they live in.

The marau ā-kura acknowledges the past from the landing of Tainui waka into Kāwhia to the present day as important learnings for our children. These Whāriki Papa will be a perfect way to represent our marau ā-kura, whose strengths in understanding is more through visual representation and storytelling (similar to whakairo).

Project starting: February 2023

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