In preparation for our study of Matariki lessons (Māori New Year), we learned about the Māori creation story, explaining the origin of life. Some legends of Matariki say that when Ranginui and Papatūānuku were separated one of their sons, Tāwhirimātea, the god of the wind, became so upset he tore out his own eyes and threw them into the heavens.
I told the children the creation story, and then drew and wrote my interpretation on our windows.
This was the start of a strong fascination with Matariki and other Māori legends, that carried over to home life. Children talked to their parents about legends and Māori history. A group of children worked together to make a literacy and art display about Ranginui and Papatūānuku’s sons, with illustrations and stories. They were especially keen on depicting the gods as modern-day comic book heroes. Most of the class knew about Tane and Tangaroa, but other characters were new to them – like Tāwhirimātea.
A child’s work describing Tawhirimatea