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The Importance of Mihi

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Duration: 03:00

Key content

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Key content

The term mihi or mihimihi literally means to greet or acknowledge. Mihimihi offer a good opportunity for people to 'connect' with each other, by sharing their whakapapa (genealogy).

When you first give your mihi, it is usual to identify yourself in terms of land features associated with where you're from; for example, maunga (mountain), or awa (river). You can also make reference to your waka (ancestral canoe), and your hapū/iwi (tribe/subtribe).

Traditionally, for Māori, it is more important to know where someone comes from than it is to know their name or occupation.

In this clip a mihi is modelled by a te reo Māori adviser. In groups, teachers are given time to discuss and practise mihi amongst themselves. We then see a mihi delivered by one of the teachers.

Matua Tuteira Pohatu talks to some of the teachers about how pēpeha (a set way of describing someone's links to a specific hapū/iwi) can be used to identify yourself.

Things to think about

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Things to think about

  • Why are ‘mihi’ important?
  • Are there particular proverbs (whakatauākī) that you could use to encourage students to realise their potential?

Transcript

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Transcript

Kathleen Scott, Te Reo Māori Advisor, UC Education Plus, University of Canterbury: In your classroom sometimes you have the opportunity to do mihimihi for the whole class and it takes a bit of time. And you think is it useful? What is it useful for? So we’ll have a wee practice today. I’m going to model a mihi, then we’re going to give you some time in your groups to prepare your mihimihi.

Nō Te Tai o Poutini ahau.

Ko Aoraki te mauka.

Ko Makaawhio te awa.

Ko Te Tauraka Waka a Māui te marae.

Ko Kāi Tahu te iwi.

He takawaeka ahau i Te Mātauranga Ake o Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha.

He kaiako ahau i te kura tuatahi, i te kura waekanui, i te kura tuarua hoki.

Nō rerira tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, kia ora tātou katoa.

Have a wee go, we’ll come around and help. People at your table will help. Kia ora rawa atu.

Unknown - Man and woman at table: Engari he tangata Tonga au. I’m a Southern man. He tangata Tonga...ahh that’s very good.

Unknown - Two women at table: Rangatira....so that’s friend or chief, which means husband.

Kathleen Scott: He kaiako ahau i te kura...o...Tuanui...ka pai.

Unknown - Group of women at table: It’s also about getting them to think about where they’ve come from and who they are connected with. So it’s thinking about their connections and how they get to where they are now.

Terina Huranui: Tēnā koutou katoa. Nō Heretaunga ahau. Ko Mate te maunga. Ko Ngaruroaroa te awa. Nō Ngāti Kahungungu te iwi. Ko Terina Huranui toku ingoa. Kura tuatahi o Thorington. Nō reira tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

Matua Tuteira Pohatu, Kaumātua, Te Reo Māori in English-medium Schools: It’s really your pēpeha that identifies you. Ko Hikurangi te maunga. Ko Hikurangi te maunga. Ko Waiapu te awa. Ko Ngāti Porou te iwi. So that identifies you. Then traditionally they would ask of your grandparents...all of this here comes after...this is a good exercise. But the important thing is your pēpeha this thing that identifies you, which is the most important. Engari nō tētahi kāinga e kī ana, Ko Hiruharama.



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