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Waka Whakairo from Paris

Episode:18Te Papa Collection:Taonga Māori

Suggested curriculum levels:3 – 8

Curriculum connections:English: Listening, Reading, and Viewing, The Arts: Understanding the Arts in Context

Description:After a six-month journey from Paris, there's an emotional homecoming for this precious carved taonga. A new chapter is beginning for the magnificent waka whakairo.

Questions for students

  1. What do the terms 'waka huia' and 'waka whakairo' mean? Who might a waka huia be made for? What might they use it for?
  2. How did Te Papa acquire this taonga? Why did Te Papa want to have it in its collection?
  3. The presenter says this taonga is probably from Taranaki. What clues did he use to suggest that?
  4. What connections can you make to this taonga? Does it remind you of other carvings or treasures? Use the 'Connections and conclusions' response template to record the connections you make. Write a brief conclusion based on your connections.
  5. Create a story that could explain the journey of the waka whakairo from tree, to carver, to first owner, to Paris, then back to New Zealand. How might it have been valued and used as it moved from person to person?

Related templates:

Connections and conclusions