“At the heart of Maori culture is the sense of inclusion and the importance of expressing generosity to others. These values are an inherent part of modern-day Mataariki celebrations”
Dr Meihana Durie.
With Mataariki, Maori New Year celebrations are upon us, and at kindergarten I have done a project with the children on making a Korowai (Cloak). I sat down with each child and we talked about Mataariki and what it meant to be grateful/thankful. I asked the children what they were grateful/thankful for and here are some of their responses:
“Being nice, playing with Carter and the trolley and tools. Cuddling my Mum and Dad and kissing them” Maxwell.
“Hugs with my Mum. Love playing with my sister and playing golf with my Dad” Mayson.
“My family and friends” Adam.
“Mum, Dad and sister. Dancing like panda’s” Alfie.
“My breakfast” Georgie.
“My room, coming to kindy and playing with my friends. Making Lego with my family” Oliver.
“My Nana, she loves to make hearts with me. We like to play in the sunshine and on the grass. Lying on the grass and looking at the sunshine” Amelia.
Each child got to decorate a feather at kindergarten, whether it was a drawing, a painting or a picture of their family; they were able to do what they liked on their feather.
No two feathers were the same, which is important to me, as it represents each child at kindergarten in the way that it shows how they are unique and different. We celebrate the children for who they are and where they come from.
A feather was also sent home to our families so they could add their contribution as a whanau, as to what their whanau is grateful for. I had a great response and received so many stunning feathers from home. With the great array of feathers I was beyond excited to start the process of constructing this magnificent Korowai.
Ehara taku toa I te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini.
It is not my strength alone, but the strength of many that contribute to my success.
As it all began to take shape you couldn’t wipe the smile from my face, I was extremely proud of this beautiful korowai. There was a table set up in kindergarten where the children and/or whanau could still contribute their feathers and at the end of each day I would attach the feathers to the korowai that was displayed on a wire manikin.
The completed Korowai is everything I had hoped for and more. I love the idea of bringing everyone’s individualized feathers together to create this stunningly beautiful piece of art. I’ve had some wonderful feedback from our whanau and I’d like to thank everyone for their wonderful contribution, I really do appreciate it. Please take the time to admire this gorgeous piece of art.
Unity is strength…when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved. Mattie Stepanek.