This week all the Year 8’s went to the Art room and Grammy Award Winner, Jerome Kavanagh presented a workshop about making Ukutangi and how Taonga Puoro connect to his life.
An Ukutangi is a traditional Maori musical instrument, a whistle type, nose or mouth flute. Firstly, we were given clay from Papatuanuku and we were told to break it in two and uniquely use our palms to shape it. Next we used our thumbs to make a hollow cavity. Then we molded the two shapes together with water. The next step was to drill a hole using our pinkies in the center of the sphere and the last step in making Ukutangi was to go outside and using twigs or pencils we carved patterns into them. We had to keep the clay wet and soft to stop it from cracking.
Through much fun and frustration we finally completed our Ukutangi and practiced playing them. It was hard at first because they were quite damp. To play an Ukutangi you need to put your lips on the side of it, like a ‘C’ shape and blow gently across the hole. We could taste the wet clay.
The special sound of the Ukutangi is like a bird singing, or the wind; it sounds like a high pitched flute.
Jerome also told us stories. He explained the significance of some of his tattoos and about his Grandmother’s moko. She was one of the last people to have her moko painfully chiseled into her chin. It sounded like a long and painful process. The cracks in her skin were like the cracks in the earth after an earthquake. According to Maori myth, Rangi and Papa’s unborn child is the God of Earthquakes, Ruaumoko, which links to the word Moko.
He told us that all words in Maori link to bigger things and ideas. The first part of Ukutangi comes from Papatuanuku and tangi is the word for cry or crying and is now used for funerals. Jerome gave us good advice about tangi, that crying is like watering a tree, the water flows down the trunk and without it the tree will rot and die. When people tell us to ‘harden up’ we should not listen because crying is a natural and necessary feeling that we shouldn’t bottle up.
Written by the Students in Year 8
Jerome Kavanagh also worked with the Kapa Haka group in the afternoon. He taught them about the origins of Haka and how to write one. Together, they created a unique Haka for our School (see below). The haka is about who we are, where we are and what we are about.
Kia Whakangau hoki au I ahau
Hi aue hi
Maruawai te whenua a Papa a Papa
E tu Hokonui
Ki nga ripo ripo Mataura – I a haha!!
Tai timu Tai pari
Kia Ranginui e tu iho nei!
Ko wai ra matou x 2
Ko Hato Petera
Kaupapa Katorika – Hi!