Pania (Ngāti Porou, Tuhoe) and Clara (Ngāpuhi, Taranaki) shared their stories with our Wellington learners. Both work in the same building our centre is located in, and when they heard about the course, they offered to talk to learners about their moko kauae.
Pania and Clara explained that wearing the moko kauae on their chin is affirmation of who they are as Māori and of their iwi.
Pania says it’s called moko kauae, not to be confused with ‘moko’ that is more commonly used as an abbreviation for mokopuna (children). Pania also has an ariki kauae, on her forehead. This indicates a special ranking and has been selected by her iwi to acknowledge the work she has done for Māoridom.
The two shared their stories of growing up, each with the support of their large whānau. Pania talked about ‘living off the land’ in Hicks Bay, harvesting fish from the sea, vegetables from their gardens and meat from their farms, before the advent of supermarkets.
She asked each class member to introduce themselves and their country, and expressed a keenness for future connections with our learners. The class thanked Pania and Clara by singing the waiata, Tūtira Mai Ngā Iwi.
Other topics covered in the Kiwiana class include a history of New Zealand and all the peoples who have arrived here since 1200AD, major events and changes throughout our history, and a look at natural New Zealand and predator pests.
With thanks to Kathy Ombler, teacher, for this story