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Suggested activities for spirituality concept

Students share and record personal experiences of haka.

The teacher generates discussion about various perspectives on the origin of haka.

The teacher introduces the proverb ‘Ka kata a Kae’.

The teacher discusses with students the purpose of the haka performed by women in the journal story Tinirau Rāua ko Kae (available from the Ministry of Education) – how it was used as a form of distraction to catch Kae off guard and make him smile. The teacher explains that this haka is said, by some, to be the first haka taparahi (haka performed without weapons) where the first pūkana (facial grimace) was performed.

Students brainstorm a list of gods, their deeds, and strengths/attributes. (It is important to note that there will be different beliefs between tribes and regions regarding understandings and beliefs about gods.)

The teacher facilitates discussion around what waiata/haka (both ancient and modern) students know that refer to gods and the significance of those references for the waiata/haka, the composer, or performer.

Students view the video clips about the ancient haka Ka Eke i te Wiwī. They discuss the reference to the god of war, Tūmatauenga, and the purpose thereof, as well as the use of the haka historically and nowadays. (View Rendition of the haka Ka Eke i te Wiwī, The derivation of the haka Ka Eke i te Wiwī, and The role of women in the traditional use of the haka Ka Eke i te Wiwī, where Taipari Munro discusses the traditional role women had when the war party performed this haka to the local people in preparation for battle.)

The teacher facilitates discussion about the importance of guardians to Māoridom, for example, how Te Makawe was important to Haane and his achievements during the war in that his strong spiritual beliefs guided him through the battlefield. (View Battle at Takrouna, which highlights the influence of a guardian in Haane’s achievement.)


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  • ‘Tinirau rāua ko Kae’, School Journal.
  • Footage of the Battalion returning home at Aotea Quay in Wellington, where there is special mention of the removal of the tapu.

Possible extension activities

Students explore the genealogy of a soldier/warrior/leader from their own tribe/hapū/whānau/family.

Students research different types of haka and suggest how each is different from another, including the different occasions for use.

The teacher could explore with their students the importance of the baptism ceremony – especially the ritual known in Ngāpuhi as ‘te tohi o te karaka whati’. (View Traditional rituals – te tohi o ngā karaka whati.)

The class explores, in depth, haka that relate to current issues or themes.

Students compose their own haka about contemporary issues.