Monday, August 3, 2009
Tuahiwi Tamariki meet their Kaumatua
It was Kaumatua Day at Tuahiwi Marae on Friday and the tamariki (children) from Tuahiwi School’s Whitireia Bilingual Unit – located directly across the road from the marae – came across to the wharenui to sing and dance for the kaumatua (elders).
Bilingual teacher at the school, Gaynor Hakaria (Ngai Tahu, Ngati Porou), said it was about “giving back (in songs and gifts) to our tipuna.” With Kaiarahi i Te Reo (Te Reo language leader), Te Rau-o-te-Rangi Winterburn playing the guitar, the group presented a lovely range of wiata (songs), including some of the numbers a selected group of 16 girls and 16 boys are practising for their entry in the October primary schools kapa haka competitions. They finished with a presentation of their handmade bookmarks, fridge magnets and putiputi (woven flowers) to the kaumatua.
In reply, the kaumatua led by Aroha Reriti-Crofts, performed for the children – the highlight, one of the wiata that was performed by a Tuahiwi kapa haka group when an inter-tribal group welcomed the soldiers of the New Zealand Maori Battalion home from World War II on Wellington Wharf in 1946. Aroha (wearing green) was just seven when she took part in that welcome.