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Poi Awe

Episode:16Te Papa Collection:Taonga Māori

Suggested curriculum levels:2 – 4

Curriculum connections:English: Listening, Reading, and Viewing, Social Sciences: Identity, Culture, and Organisation

Description:Poi take a fair beating in kapa haka. But you won't find the rare and delicate poi awe swinging in time to music. Elaborate weaving and tassles of dog hair make these poi particularly precious.

Questions for students

  1. Have you made or used poi? How are they usually made and used? What is special about the poi awe? Why is this such an important example of poi work? Why is it so rare?
  2. What is significant about the use of red in this poi? What do you know about the use of particular colours in Māori and other Pacific art works?
  3. The pattern of weaving on the poi awe is called papakirangi. What is the significance of this pattern? What other poi patterns do you know of or can research?
  4. This poi was probably for ceremonial use only. What does this mean? Think about items you know or have heard of in other cultures that are only used ceremonially. Use the 'Connections and conclusions' response template to record the connections you can make between poi awe and these items. Has the use of the items changed over time? Draw conclusions about the meaning and use of ceremonial items in different cultures.
  5. What is the role of Te Papa in fostering weaving and other crafts in New Zealand? How does it do this? Do you think it is important to maintain traditional skills and crafts? Explain your reasons.

Related templates:

Connections and conclusions