Supporting whānau to reflect on their whakapapa.

Hokia ki ō maunga kia pūrea koe e ngāhau a Tāwhirimatea.

Return to your mountains so you can be cleansed by the winds of Tāwhirimātea.

Whakapapa tree

Open Te Pihinga 1 at page 42 to the Whakapapa tree.

'Sometimes we talk about a family tree, each of us occupying a branch. Ask parents if they’d like to fill in some of the names on the tree for pēpi.'

Start with their pēpi and get them to write the names they know in. Talk about who the people are and how they are connected. Use the note page to add further information if required.

When we talk about our whakapapa, we reflect on where our family comes from. We will often use our pepeha to introduce ourselves.

  • Is this something you are familiar with?
  • How might you help pēpi to learn about their whakapapa?

In our pepeha part of our identity is defined by our maunga, our mountain. The whakataukī suggests that either by physically returning to our maunga, or reflecting upon the lands where our whānau is from, we are establishing where we ‘belong’ in the world.

  • Are there people in your whānau who know or hold the whakapapa?
  • How easily can you go to them for help if you want to know anything about your family tree?

Often people have family photos on the wall or in an album. These can be great resources for learning about whakapapa. You could put together your whakapapa using photos of your maunga, awa, marae and wharenui.

You could make a mobile for pēpi depicting their pepeha.

Look at page 40 and see if parents are familiar with this pakiwaitara. It’s also available on a free phone app which you could download. That might be a more convenient way to help them become familiar with it.

Talk about the comment at the bottom of page 41 that says ‘Learning whakapapa gives pēpi a sense of belonging to his whole whānau.’

  • What do you think of that statement?
  • Is there anything you’d like to find out more about or need help with to help establish whakapapa links for pēpi?

Helpful resources for whānau