He tāonga te tamaiti – Every child is a treasure
Our whakatauki on Te Pihinga 1 page 26 refers to the precious nature of each and every pēpi.
Every day all over the world, precious new babies are welcomed to their whānau and their communities in one way or another. Traditionally new mokopuna were welcomed with ceremonies or rites. Each one had a specific purpose and took place at certain times for example Karanga were often performed to welcome pepi into the world (te ao marama), oriori to sooth the mama and pepi after the birth and karakia to clense and clear the way ahead for the whanau. They may have involved oriori, karakia or incantations recited by tohunga.
Many of the rituals were to affirm that mokopuna were tapu, a gift from atua who needed to be nurtured and treated with respect. Ceremonies would welcome pēpi, confirm their mana and dedicate them to atua. They would take place at certain times like when the umbilical cord was cut separating pepi from mama and when the pito comes off.
Each of these ceremonies with their positive messages reinforced the connection of the child to the whānau and the whānau to the child. Adults were reminded of the mana of the child and that pepi is kept safe and secure.
What happens in your whānau when a new pēpi arrives?
Have you ever attended any type of ceremony to welcome or name a new pēpi?
Have you thought you might do something similar?
What sort of things would you want to do to welcome your pēpi into the world?
Maybe you’ve done something already?
Would you like to talk about your plans?
Who would you like to have with you?
What’s important to you that you’d like to include in the occasion?
Naming pēpi is commonly a part of the tohi or dedication rite. In Te Kākano page 32 we read about the importance of choosing a name for pēpi.
What influenced you in choosing a name for pēpi?
What are your family names?
Do you know where they come from?
Are there stories attached to the names in your whānau?
How does this relate to the SKIP resources?
Baby Wall Frieze - Kōrero mai mō tō tātou whānau - Teach me about our family because my brain learns best from the people who love and care about me. Korero i te reo Maori ki ahau.
Six things children need - Te hanga ao tōtika, ao haumaru - structured and secure world
Knowing that the attachment relationship pēpi has with their main carer is the foundation for all future learning and relationships.