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Kava Clubs and Black Fowls

Episode:120Te Papa Collection:Pacific Cultures

Suggested curriculum levels:4 – 6

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

Description:'Boy meets girl' happens all over the world, but in some cultures, a 'Black Fowl' or close friend is needed to move things along. In Tonga, the Black Fowl entertains the parents with a kava ceremony while the boy and girl have some time to get to know each other.

Questions for students

  1. Why does Simon Morton start this Tale with a bunch of flowers? What point is he making?
  2. Tevita Finau says the process he describes is for 'commoners' or ordinary people. He implies that high-status people had different ways of match-making. Why might that be?
  3. How is kava made? Explain the process, using a series of labelled diagrams.
  4. Kava is associated with many traditions and rituals. Today's kava clubs have kept some and changed others. What has stayed the same? What has changed? Why does Tevita Finau encourage young people to join a kava club?
  5. Depending on the culture you are from, meeting a prospective partner now might be very different to the way your great-grandparents met. Use the 'Then and now' response template to compare two aspects of the social lives of young people that have changed over time.

Related templates:

Then and now