Saturday, October 11, 2014

Whai Resource

I am thinking seriously about creating a resource about Whai so that others can develop that skill and pass it on. My thinking is to create a Video Book; the first book should be about the creation narratives. It contains around 35-38 figures and tells the story of how our world was created.

So, how do we do this:

  1. Create a Video (Front View) of each figure in the series
  2. Create another Video (Rear View - this is the how you do it video) of each figure
  3. Then create a BOOK with IMAGES of each figure in the narrative with the text
  4. Text in both English and Maori in the same book
  5. Create LINKS in the book to the Videos
  6. Publish the Book to KINDLE
  7. Publish the VIDEOS on own website
AND this will be the first book!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Maori String Figures: Kopu, Tarewa, Marewa

The following figures represent the evening and the morning star - Kopu, Tarewa and Marewa are different names for the same star. Ko Tarewa i te po (the evening star as i have been taught), Ko Marewa i te ata (the morning star as i have been taught) and Kopu (another name perhaps when it is at its zenith from our perspective). Yet another name is Meremere-tu-ahiahi.

Just  remembered another name: te Kopu rereata

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Maori String Figures: Kopakopa


This series of images depicts kopakopa or whai (stingray) - the fish of Maui or what is now known as the North Island Of New Zealand.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Maori String Figures - Tu-mata-uenga

Tu-mata-uenga, is one of the many sons of Ranginui (Sky Father) and Papatuanuku (Earth Mother) and played a vital role in the separation of his parents. The separation of Ranginui and Papatuanuku resulted in the emergence of the Primordial children into the world of light or Te Ao Marama.

Tu-mata-uenga became known as the Atua (god) of War and represents the fierce nature of mankind.

Below are two views of this Atua -the top diamond shape is Ranginui, the bottom diamond is Papatuanuku. Tu-mata-uenga stretches from the top of the figure to the bottom.

The next series of figures will be Te Kore

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Maori String Figures: Te Waka o Tamarereti

The following series of figures, known as Te Waka o Tamarereti,  represents part of the story behind Tamarereti an ancient ancestor and navigator of the Maori people. There are three figures, the first represents his waka (canoe), Uruao - the second is Te Moana nui a Kiwa (the Pacific Ocean) which Tamarereti is known to have traveled extensively and the last figure is Te Reinga - the after world. 

It is said that Tamarereti navigated far and wide ranging throughout te Moana nui a Kiwa - on one such trip he feasted on small fish which became lodged in his throat - as a result he died and passed on to Te Reinga.

Other stories have him fishing on Lake Taupo which is located in centre of Te Ika a Maui (North Island of New Zealand) - on one occasion he fell asleep exhausted after a long day of fishing. When he woke, it was dark and he found it difficult to navigate as their were no stars in the sky. The story is that he threw sparkling pebbles into the sky which lit up the night! 

His story is immortalised in the night sky - his waka (canoe) stretches from Tautoru (Orion) to the tail of Scorpio (stern) - the anchor or punga is Mahutonga (Southern Cross) whilst the pointers is the rope that ties the anchor to the waka!

Creating Te Waka o Tamarereti

Creating Te Waka o Tamarereti

Creating Te Waka o Tamarereti

Te Waka o Tamarereti

Te Moana nui a Kiwa

Te Reinga

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Maori String Figures - Te Ira Tangata

Kia ora ano tatou nei - Greetings from Aotearoa!

As promised here is the series of six figures called Te Ira Tangata - the birth of Humankind & it all begins with Takapau-nuku (covered in the previous post). These figures can be done either by one person or with two.

Once Takapau is produced, the second person manipulates the figure to produce Io-wahine (otherwise known as Wahine). The first person then manipulates Io-wahine to produce Tiki-ahua (otherwise known as Tane). Tiki-ahua is manipulate to produce the fourth figure known as te piringa (Ka moe te tane i te wahine) representing the co-habitation of the male and female to produce their offspring, the fifth figure, Io-Rei. The figure is further manipulate to produce Te Ira Tangata. In this final figure, the two outer diamond shapes represent Tane (Tiki-ahua) & Wahine (Io-Wahine), whilst the diamond in the middle represents their offspring Io-Rei.


Io-Wahine (Wahine)

Tiki-ahua (Tane)

Te Piringa (ka moe te tane me te wahine)

Io-Rei (the offspring of Tiki-ahua & Io-Wahine)

Te Ira Tangata

Te Ira Tangata

The next series of figures will be Te waka o Tamarereti! (including te moana nui a Kiwa & Rarohenga)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Maori String Figures - Takapau nuku

This is Takapau-nuku, the birthing mat. It is known in other parts of the world as Ten Men such as in the Caroline Islands. Andersen points out that the only difference is in the opening (see page 26 of his book Maori String Figures) .

A series of figures is created from Takapau-nuku beginning with Wahine, Tane, Te Piringa, Io-Rei, and Te Ira Tangata - all of which will be covered in the next post.