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Ancient Island Carvings

Episode:75Te Papa Collection:Taonga Māori

Suggested curriculum levels:3 – 7

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

Description:These Moriori house carvings are extremely precious in that they are the only ones that survive. Riria Hotere uncovers some of their story.

Questions for students

  1. Locate the Chatham Islands on a map. Do an internet search, using 'Rēkohu', the Moriori name for the islands. Find out more about the history of settlement there, including the arrival of Moriori, their ways of life and the changes brought about by the arrival of Europeans and Māori.
  2. What is the special significance of the carvings in Te Papa's collection?
  3. Try to find more images so you can compare the carvings from the Chatham Islands with those done by Māori in New Zealand. Use the 'Comparisons' response template to list similarities and differences. What do you think the similarities could indicate?
  4. What happens to a culture when it is changed by colonisation or migration? How do people try to keep their cultures alive? How can governments and other organisations help or hinder this? Give some examples from your own experience or from research you have done.
  5. In the Tale, the importance of the albatross is explained. Re-tell this in your own words.

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