The next generation of Kahungunu leaders have learned from the ancient messages left by our tupna (ancestors) to shape the best versions of themselves today.
Orioli (Maori chant) was a traditional way of weaving purakha (stories) into song to record historical events, places and whakapapa (family trees).
These were often used as lullabies, read to infants and children as they fell asleep. Orioli were often made by local parents and elders to educate their children in their traditions and to speak in life of their collective aspirations for the future of their children.
As many young people have limited access to ancestral knowledge such as orioli, the young leaders of Toi Matarua (TM) have provided a marae-based wananga for those interested.
Wananga aims to educate Rangatahi on the indigenous methods of calming, calming, relaxing and deep sleep.
Correros (conversations) will run alongside workshops discussing how orioli can be used to combat anxiety and overstimulation. Rangatahi will use this knowledge to work with TM support personnel to develop “Rangatahi friendly” tools and resources to share with Whanau, Hapu and Iwi.
Over the past two months, they have visited prominent sites within Ngati Kahungunu alongside the local Kaumatoa. Don Ihaia Futana was also one of the guest speakers and provided deep insight into how the knowledge of Pine Pine Te Kula and his ancestors can be applied to our lives today.
“Matua Don taught me that each stanza of Orioli has a hidden meaning that helps us overcome obstacles in different stages of life. A hidden message about the importance of [the loose vine] or parent [the deeply rooted vine]said leader Joseph Langatahi.
Rangatahi have really taken advantage of this opportunity and it shows in their accelerated progress. They display a strong bond despite coming from multiple schools in Hawke’s Bay, Wairoa and Mahia.
The Wananga environment has also pushed one of Wananga’s goals, the Maoritanga, to the forefront. The visit facilitator assumed that participants were from Kula Kaupapa.
“I was very happy when Matua Don thought our Rangatahi were Kula kids, which reflected the language and customs they were brought up in in the Wananga environment,” said Sarah, Rangatahi support worker. Pihema said.
The Langatahis also learned more about mental health and sleep deprivation.
“I have learned that lack of sleep can have a negative impact on both my physical and mental health. Over time, lack of sleep can lead to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, and can affect your ability to think clearly and make decisions. there is,” said leader Amaia Rangatahi.
Toi Matarua collaborated with Omahu School and Radio Kahungunu to record some of the Olioli and Purakau that he learned during the project. They retold them from our Tamariki and Rangatahi perspectives as more relatable to the modern age.
Audiobooks also include Kalakia, Waitata and Positive Affirmations, now available online (for free) and more Rangatahi recordings as “tools to help warnow sleep when anxious” will be able to access
If you are a Hawke’s Bay-based youth or have a youth who would like to join Cowpapa, please contact TM through the website www.toimatarua.com.
Sarah Pitama is Head of Research at TOI MATARUA Rangatahi