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Recommended reading Pepeha Stages: 7 to 12 months

 

Pepeha is a way of introducing oneself. Using a set structure it identifies who we are, where we’re from and where we belong. Pepeha is used in a Māori context and has a formal basis, but the idea is universal.

Everyone has a pepeha which links them to their ancestors. It’s like a story that connects you to your waka, your hapū and iwi. It identifies important places like your maunga, awa and marae. A pēpi and their whānau may have several pepeha that link them to their different whānau. Teaching pēpi through stories, photos, pictures or even singing their pepeha helps them grow up feeling connected and familiar with who they are and where their people are from.

In a Māori context standing and sharing our pepeha is common practice. When it’s appropriate, especially at the start of a hui or gathering where we don’t all know each other, a pepeha is great way to make links and connect with others.

Discovering who we are and where we’re from is an important part of building our sense of identity and belonging. It can be very significant for those, who for whatever reason, have become distanced from their whānau or tūranga waewae.

Further information about pepeha:

Customs/traditions - Pepeha – What is it? Opens in new window

Otago University helpful information on mihimihi and pepehaOpens in new window

Dr Hinemoa Elder - How to structure your pepehaOpens in new window

The National Library of New Zealand guide on whakapapa research.Opens in new window

Pepeha is a way of introducing oneself. Using a set structure it identifies who we are, where we’re from and where we belong. Pepeha is used in a Mäori context and has a formal basis, but the idea is universal.

Everyone has a pepeha which links them to their ancestors. It’s like a story that connects you to your waka, your hapü and iwi. It identifies important places like your maunga, awa and marae. A pëpi and their whänau may have several pepeha that link them to their different whänau. Teaching pëpi through stories, photos, pictures or even singing their pepeha helps them grow up feeling connected and familiar with who they are and where their people are from.

In a Mäori context standing and sharing our pepeha is common practice. When it’s appropriate, especially at the start of a hui or gathering where we don’t all know each other, a pepeha is great way to make links and connect with others.

Discovering who we are and where we’re from is an important part of building our sense of identity and belonging. It can be very significant for those, who for whatever reason, have become distanced from their whänau or türanga waewae.

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