I was very fortunate to attend a Te Ao Kori workshop yesterday delivered by Harko Brown in partnership with PENZ (Physical Education NZ) at AUT South Campus in Manukau,
There were 30 or so educators from all over Auckland and Northland. Most were from secondary schools, a few of us were primary school teachers and a handful of youth workers/correspondence tutors/sports organisations.
Our day began with the usual Karakia, mihimihi and whakawhanaungatanga. Matua Harko gave us a korero about how Traditional Māori Games are intellectual catalysts that have the potential to enhance learning. He shared with us some warm up games involving rākau (sticks) and ra uri (tubes), I look forward to sharing these all with the tamariki in my classes.
There were harakeke (flax) and nikau fronds lying all over the classroom and I was wondering what role did they play in Te Ao Kori? Matua proceeded to show us how to weave a Kī (ball) using 2 blades of harakeke. While skillfully weaving his kī, matua also taught us the importance of te hīhī (knots) and we were all itching to have a go at weaving our own kī.
With the Nikau fronds we made pākaukau, kites. We took ours outside and ran around like little kids trying to get our kites to fly. They were AWESOME! We had to put our kites aside and learn a game called Toi uri. This was the highlight of my day. This game involves passing a kī around to team members from one end of the court to the other, if your tagged you must pass the kī, you score points by having a team member stand on the karangi (spots at the end of each court) you need speed, agility, fast reactions and a bit of cunning to play this game. I know our PES kids with thrive playing this game.
It was a valuable day learning taonga that is 'Te Ao Kori" and I can't wait to start sharing/teaching our teachers and our tamariki.