The pepeha is the way to introduce yourself in Maori. Room 8 inquiry is about “Inside Out” and we are looking at the question “What makes you, you?”
We decided that writing and learning our pepeha at the start of the year would be a great way to answer this question but also to make links and get to know each other better in room 8. We used a template and we identified who we are, where we are from and where we belong.
Our pepeha link us to our ancestors. It identifies important places such as your maunga (mountain) and your moana (lake). It also identifies our whanau and school. This helped us feeling connected and familiar with who we are. In a maori context it is common to stand and share your pepeha.
Discovering who we are and where we are from is an important part of building our sense of identity and belonging.
Once we all had written our pepeha following the template (including the teacher) we started to decorate our pepeha with crayons and coloured pencils. We wrote words that are important to us such as family, whanau, ancestors, love…
When Mrs Farquhar came into our class and saw us writing and decorating our pepeha she gave us a challenge. She said that by the end of the following week she would be listening each student individually saying their pepeha without reading it. Room 8 started to practise hard every day. On the 28th of February Mrs Farquhar had heard everyone saying their pepeha. What a success! The students in Room 8 can be very proud of themselves.
On March 13, Te Mihi was hosting the school Assembly. Three children went on stage to say their pepeha in front of the whole school: Malia, Mikayla and Arion. They did a fantastic job and made Mrs Loughin and the whole school very proud.
Te Mihi Assembly Arion Mikayla Malia
Arion said: I felt fine when I did it because I do talks like that in front of groups, so I am not very scared about standing up in front of people.
Mikayla said: I am usually quite scared when I talk in front of people so I felt happy once I did it.
I also asked the children what they liked about making their pepeha.
Jack said: Finding out where you come from and other things.
Harrison said: I really like drawing and I got to draw the mountains and dirt bikes riding up the snow mountains. This told people I like skiing, mountains and motorbikes.
Finn said: I liked how we did not just write it on paper, we got to be creative because it looked like a cloak.
Our pepeha are displayed on the wall in Room 8.
Keywords: Pepeha, Te Reo Maori, identity, belonging