By Amy Childs Hatupatu
Waiariki Journalism Student
A Rotorua Maori immersion early childhood centre will hold a whanau day next month honouring its kuia and koroua by performing a historical play.
Children at Te Ara Ki Te Reo Ki Kuirau have been learning the story of Hatupatu and Kurangaituku (a Te Arawa hero and a fearsome bird woman) for their term 3 programme and will perform the legend for their whanau.
Te Ara Ki Te Reo Ki Kuirau manager Bev Waru said learning and performing purakau (legends) gave the children a sense of belonging.
The story is tribal and gives nga tamariki an opportunity to make links to their tupunaand their identity,” she said.
She said the children had helped make props and costumes for the play and worked hard assisting in writing a script for their roles in the performance.
She said the older children were enjoying displaying their skills and acting.
“We defiantly have some actors and actresses in the making,” she said.
Kaiako Tangiora Beattie said the kohungahunga had taken the children on an excursion to the Rotorua Museum to look at carvings of Hatupatu and Kurangaituku done by Te Arawa master carver Tene Waitere in 1904-5.
We took our story book for the children to refer and relate to as we went through the museum,” she said.
After the performance, the kohungahunga will put on a hakari of hangi with all the trimmings for its guests.