Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Celebrating Matariki - the Māori new year

Matariki is the celebration of the rising of the seven stars known as the Pleiades star cluster. This signifies the start of the Māori new year. Māori believed Matariki to be a star that predicted the upcoming season (whetū heri kai). The proverb ‘Ngā kai a Matariki, nāna i ao ake ki runga’ (The food supplies of Matariki) describes this phenomenon. If during its pre-dawn rise, the stars in the cluster are clear and bright, the saying ‘He kaihaukai te tau’ was applied, meaning it would be a warm and bountiful season. However, if Matariki appeared hazy or shimmering, people remarked ‘He tau tūpuhi’, meaning a cold and difficult season was expected. Matariki was a time to prepare the whenua (land) in anticipation of Spring and to plant certain vegetables to appease the landbased guardians Rongo, Uenuku and Whiro.

Matariki is a special time each year when people come together to remember the past and celebrate the year ahead. It is a time to share food, song and dance. At Manaia kindergarten we celebrated Matariki in many ways, by making kites, making recycled pots and planting seedlings for gifts, learning about the stories of Matariki, sharing knowledge, creating amazing artworks using a variety of mediums, and experimenting with light and dark.We came together as a community and celebrated with a huge hākari.

The children used newspaper to make recycled potting containers and planted a parsley plant that had been grown by seed in the garden to take home as a gift. The children made, named and potted up their own gift, so there was some fantastic literacy skills used as children scaffolded each other.

Grace helps Arlo write his name by scaffolding him with the use of his name tag and spelling the letters.

Jayde and Jacob

The children had opportunities to create star constellations using tactile glucose, natural resources and black sand on a light table. They also enjoyed creating pictures and experimenting with light and dark using the over head projector.

Liam creates an amazing planet beside the stars.

Shae, Poppy and Tilly experiment with the natural tactile resource.

Poppy experiments with the black sand on the light table
Robbie and Charlie make a combined galaxy

Leon draws a picture on the overhead projector
The black sand on the light table created amazing affects that
the children were drawn to.

Arlo and Jasmine create alongside each other.

The children experimented with many different mediums to create pictures of the night sky.
Ciara uses a variety of
natural and recycled resources to create
her picture.
Caoimhe makes a picture using grey pebbles and recycled stars.

Tai creates a picture of the night sky.
Unai and Tukaea enjoy working along side each other.
Victor enjoys using the glue and glitter to create an incredible

Ciara, Florrie, Grace and Haeley experiment using black paint.

Jaxson experiments with paint on black card.
Grace makes planets using paints and coloured ice block sticks.

The children made kites / Manu Tukutuku. Kites have been around for thousands of years appearing in most ancient cultures. Kite flying has always been a popular pastime of Māori young and old. Different types of kites were were flown for ceremonial purposes or to celebrate special occasions such as Matariki.

Noah puts a feather on the tail of his kite.
Florrie and Camille work alongside each other making kites.

Liam creates a detailed kite.

Haeley proudly shows off her kite.

Caoimhe gets ready to fly her kite.
Finn and Camille enjoy flying their kites with the
help of Tawhirimatea.

Provocations about Matariki were used so children could learn the stories of Matariki and role play these alongside their peers.

Ciara, Caoimhe and Grace discuss the story of Matariki

Cobie creates a star using pipe cleaners
Cobie, Arlo, Sam and Leon work alongside each other
creating stars and planets.

Sam and Leon make an amazing constellation.

Harry role plays what happens during a hangi.
Ayva and Harry tell a story about Matariki together, cooking lots
of pumpkins on the fire!

A fire provocation provides opportunities for
co operation and collaboration as children work
alongside each other.

Eva, Liam and Harry
Cobie, June and Tukaea.

The children created Matariki in the garden.
Sam, Sophie and Finn discuss and work together as they
build a stairway to the stars.

Arlo adds some animals.

Sophie role plays

"The people work together " Sophie

Maya creates a whāre for wooden people to sleep under the

The whāre
Tukaea plays the hangi game with Dunixi.
The children helped with the hangi preparations and made the stuffing, steam puddings and soup from the left over hangi vegetables.

Penny squeezes the lemon for the stuffing.
Robbie cuts up the fresh herbs for the stuffing.

Ciara enjoyed making breadcrumbs for the stuffing.

Charlie helps make breadcrumbs.

June mixes the stuffing together.

Holly oils the tin foil for the stuffing mixture to go on.

Lucy, Penny and Poppy show their skills.

Dunixi moulds the stuffing mix.

Lucy and Arlo mould the stuffing into long logs before they roll it up in the tin foil.

Ayva mixes the steam pudding.
Bo fills the steam pudding bowls up.

Ayva and Bo add the finishing touches to the steamed puddings.

Sam, Leon and Sophie help make vegetable soup.
Trying new tastes together provides wonderful Whanaungatanga.
The children practiced waiata and poi for our hangi celebration.

Practising waiata

Leon practices his kanikani
The beautiful decorations made by the children.
Working together as a team is very rewarding.
The children enjoy listening to C.D books about Matariki.

Many whānau donated time, food, prepared the vegetables and helped in the kitchen.

Jessica and Kelly prepare the pumpkin.
Rochelle and Unai prepare the kumara.
Judie, Tanya and Bridget line the baskets with cabbage and pack all the vegetables ready for cooking.

Brett was incredible and we are very grateful for the huge amount of time he put into overseeing and ensuring the hangi was a success. Thank you Brett. 
Sam, Jason, Brett and Becky.
There was amazing Whanaungatanga as people from our community worked together.
The children put on a performance with waiata and poi for their whānau.

Korero and getting to know each other.

Sharing kai together.
Beautiful kai.

The hākari
Sharing kai.

Grace and Jasmine enjoy the steamed pudding and custard. It was

Matariki provided the children with many opportunities to learn about this important event. We are truly thankful to the wonderful community that came together and lent their kai cookers when due to the weather we were unable to have our hangi in the ground. It is truly wonderful being part of a community that shares, cares and celebrates together. Our tamariki are truly blessed. Happy Matariki! Have a fantastic year ahead.

Posted by Becky

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