‘Taku kuru pounamu’ (My precious adornment) is a whakataukī that speaks of a child who is loved and cherished by their whānau. It represents for us the essence of this publication, an expression of the collective wisdom and values of our ancestors, and the adoration that we have for our tamariki. A selection of whakataukī, or ancestral sayings, form the basis of this publication. Each whakataukī reflects the centrality and importance of children in the Māori world. They also give insights into practices that uplift our tamariki, mokopuna and wider whānau. ‘Taku kuru pounamu’ was born out of the research project ‘Tiakina Te Pā Harakeke’ which explores the mana of te pā harakeke, the collective values that nourish all whanau members. ‘Tiakina Te Pā Harakeke’ provided an opportunity to investigate and understand more fully our knowledge, beliefs and practices relating to whānau, and more specifically childrearing, in the Māori world. What we found was confirmation that our own tikanga, our cultural practices, are about enhancing the well-being of tamariki as taonga within our whānau, hapū and iwi. This is a small selection of whakataukī. Many of them remind us that we need to be mindful of our actions. We must always treat each other with care and respect, especially our children. Our actions should ensure the safety and well-being of our tamariki, mokopuna, and whānau, and should never be harmful. These are critical messages passed to us by our tūpuna. These ancestral messages provide us with examples of traditional childrearing philosophies and practices. Many valuable lessons are encoded in the language of whakataukī and in this publication we touch on but a few. In deciding which whakataukī should feature, it was important for us to acknowledge the voices of those who contributed to ‘Tiakina Te Pā Harakeke’ and to include, where possible, whakataukī shared with us by kaumātua during our interviews. A number of other whakataukī pertinent to the whānau context, have also been included as examples of how we can draw upon ancestral knowledge to support the care and nurturing of our tamariki and mokopuna today. While there is a wealth of whakataukī worthy of inclusion in this publication, many were unable to be included, due to the timeframe of the publication. We hope that we have done justice to those whakataukī that have been included in this publication. We set out with a goal to share positive, culturally enriched and effective approaches to childrearing as defined and practiced by our tūpuna. It is our sincere hope that we have done this and that applying the cultural knowledge embodied in these whakataukī will enrich and enhance the experiences of our tamariki, mokopuna and whānau. These are gifts of mana left to us by our tūpuna to share with present and future generations.
Type of thesis
Pihama, L., Greensill, H., Campbell, D., Te Nana, R., & Lee-Morgan, J. B. J. (2015). Taku Kuru Pounamu. Hamilton, New Zealand: Te Kotahi Research Institute.
Te Kotahi Research Institute
© Te Kotahi Research Institute, 2015