‘Ahakoa he iti, he pounamu. Although small, it is precious — like greenstone.’
This whakataukī reminds us that something doesn’t have to be big and expensive to be considered a taonga (treasure). Beauty from within nature, a loving touch or small acts of kindness are often valued more by whānau than material possessions.
It can be surprising what people deem as treasures and worthy of keeping. Talking about these precious things with whānau can be very interesting for both parties.
Sharing about meaningful things can be very telling and give an insight into a person’s life and background. It can also stir up memories and emotions for the person talking about their taonga.
It could be helpful to talk with the whānau about taonga or keepsakes for their pēpi; what they might want to keep now and in the future; and making a waka huia (treasure box) for their baby.
Examples of taonga
The taonga don’t have to be financially valuable, they could be anything — an old photo, a note, a lock of hair, a newspaper clipping and so on.
You might carry something in your pocket or wallet that you consider a taonga. Many people carry photos of whānau members in their wallet, or wear a piece of jewellery that belonged to another whānau member and has sentimental value.
In the SKIP Whakatipu booklet Te Kākano (page 19), it talks about the traditional Māori treasure container, the waka huia. Look at this page with the parents and talk about the things they might consider important and would want to keep in a waka huia for their pēpi.
Ask the whānau:
- What taonga or treasures do you have from your whānau?
- Do you have any items from your childhood?
- In your view, what makes something a taonga?
- If we made a waka huia now, what might you put in it for pēpi?
Also in Te Kākano (page 23) are suggestions for making a waka huia to hold treasures for pēpi. This could become the first heirloom for their pēpi.
Ngā rauemi (resources):
- a container or shoebox, coloured paper
- scissors, glue, sticky tape
- natural resources such as shells, harakeke, wood
- other art supplies or items to decorate the waka huia.
How does this relate to the SKIP resources?
Baby Wall Frieze - Kōrero mai, e aroha ana koe ki ahau - Tell me you love me
Six things children need - Te ārahi me te māramatanga - Guidance and understanding