Puzzle – Maori girl

A simple 6 piece wooden puzzle from the Children of the World Tuzzles range. The puzzle depicts a Maori girl, wearing a pari (bodice) and tipare (headband) with Taniko design, as well as a piu piu (flax skirt). She is holding two red poi (balls on string) in her hands.

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Puzzle – Maori girl

Description

A simple 6 piece wooden puzzle from the Children of the World Tuzzles range. The puzzle depicts a Maori girl, wearing a pari (bodice) and tipare (headband) with Taniko design, as well as a piupiu (flax skirt). She is holding two red poi (balls on string) in her hands and is barefoot.

Cultural notes

Traditional costume is worn by members of concert groups (also known as kapa haka groups, cultural entertainers or theatre groups) at many different events around New Zealand.

Tipare (Headband)

Tipare are traditional headbands, woven in the taniko design. Tipare are worn by Kapa Haka groups as part of their performing costume.

Taniko design

Tāniko is a uniquely Māori variation of whatu (twining) and is used to weave the colourful, intricate borders of cloaks.

Māori weavers developed tāniko by introducing coloured horizontal threads to the whatu twining technique. They worked out that they could combine full and half twists to bring one or another colour to the front. In this way, they could create intricate geometric patterns.

In cloak-making, tāniko is used only for borders since the weave is too stiff to suit entire garments. Tāniko is also used to make pari (bodices), tīpare (headbands), tāpeka (sashes), tātua (belts), and taonga whakapaipai (jewellery).

Taniko designs that are indigenous to, or have special significance for,  whanau hapu and/or iwi, (extended family, sub-tribe and/or tribe) can often be seen on costumes worn during a cultural presentation or festival.

Piupiu (Flax skirt)

Traditional Maori clothing was made mostly from vegetation, animal skins, and natural fibres. Feathers, wood, and stone also played a very important role in the way that Maori of different ranks adorned themselves for various social occasions.

Long, thin strips of inner bark were used in some regions to make flexible skirts or capes – such as the piupiu. Leaves that were similar to tropical palms were most frequently used.

Waitangi Day Dancers

Poi

“Poi” is the Maori word for “ball” on a cord. Poi were used many years ago by the indigenous Maori people of New Zealand to increase their flexibility and strength in their hands and arms as well as improving coordination.

Wahine (female) dancers perform the Maori Poi, a dance performed with balls attached to flax strings, swung rhythmically.

The Poi dance was originally used by the Maori women for keeping their hands flexible for weaving and by the men for strength and coordination required during battle. Poi were also used as a training aid for other ancient weapons.

Suggested activities

Group/ Circle Time:

  • Read through ‘The Clothes we Wear’, borrowing items of clothing to reflect those discussed in the book. Discuss the differences in the clothing, touching on the climate in each country, materials, cultural beliefs etc. Discuss children’s favourite items of clothing and why this is their favourite.

Language and Counting:

Puzzles/ Games:

  • Create a puzzle piece scavenger hunt – hide the pieces around the room

Dramatic Play:

  • Borrow some traditional Maori clothing so children can dress up like the child in the picture
  • Borrow the full range of Children Around The World puzzles and match them with clothing

Sensory Play: 

  • Create a puzzle tray using rainbow rice – put each of the pieces of the
    Puzzle in the tray so children have to find each piece first before they complete the puzzle. This can be made more difficult by adding pieces for multiple puzzles

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The research for this resource was made possible through a grant from the Central Coast Council.