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More than Mere

Episode:117Te Papa Collection:Taonga Māori

Suggested curriculum levels:4 – 6

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

Description:Mere were once weapons of war; now they may carry new stories of people and places that give them a different kind of strength. Piri Sciascia is the proud holder of three such mere.

Questions for students

  1. What are mere made from? How does the shape of a mere make it well-suited to its original purpose?
  2. Why was Piri not allowed to take the large mere onto a plane? Do you agree with the pilot or with Piri? Why?
  3. Why are there very few old mere still in existence? What happened to them? Why?
  4. Piri says its time to give mere a new history. What does he mean by that? Can you give an example of an old weapon having a new history?
  5. Mere have a different significance and purpose nowadays. Identify two aspects of their value and use that have changed over time. Use the 'Then and now' response template to record these changes.

Related templates:

Then and now