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Learning Intention:


To understand Tāwhirimātea how controls the wind. To learn how to represent knowledge as dance.

The eyes of the god, Tāwhirimātea Thanks to Auckland City Council for the video



What is weather? 


The weather is the state of the atmosphere at any one time. New Zealand's weather is a force to be reckoned with!  What does that mean?


New Zealand is a windy place and the winds bring weather from all directions. New Zealand’s weather is determined by three factors: wind, land and sea.


In Maori tradition, Tāwhirimātea controls the weather and is the god of the wind and storms.


The Maori creation story has been passed down through the generations.  There are several Maori gods in the creation story who are all linked to Te Ao Maori and form the foundation of Aotearoa.


Te Ara states that ...


"In the creation story, the children of Ranginui (the sky father) and Papatūānuku (the earth mother) wished to separate their parents so that light could come into the world. The only brother who did not agree to this was Tāwhirimātea, the god of wind and storms. When Ranginui and Papatūānuku were separated, he ascended to the sky to be with his father. Together they plotted revenge against the other brothers. At this time Tāwhirimātea began to produce his numerous offspring". 

Visit Te Ara to find out more about Tāwhirimātea

Visit 'Māori Movement' and watch the level 1 video for inspiration.

Activity:  Create a dance from the Tāwhirimātea story


If you were performing a dance about Tāwhirimātea but the audience didn’t know it was about the wind, how would you communicate it using your body?  


What would your torso look like if it was hit by a gust of wind?


What would your arms be doing if they were flying clouds? 

Dancing is like talking, but using your body.  Try these ideas, or come up with ideas of your own.  Think about your tempo and energy level, the shapes your bodies could make and the direction of travel.  Use different levels from floor to standing tall.  You may create sound from body percussion as you move such as slapping thighs or stamping feet.


How could you show that you are:

●    A sailboat moving through the water on a wild windy day
●    A leaf moving in the wind
●    Tāwhirimātea attacking Tangaroa, causing huge waves in the sea
●    A wind farm full of wind turbines
●    Kites flying
●    Tāwhirimātea releasing Uaroa (long continuous rain)


In groups, come up with a dance to interpret each of the wind directions or a type of wind.  E.g. a strong southerly or a gentle breeze.


In groups create a dance story from the Tāwhirimātea creation story. Use a different part of the story for each group.  



Wind energy, pungao hau - Electrical energy sourced from harnessing the wind with windmills or wind turbines.


Renewable energy - Energy from something that is not depleted when it is used, like wind or solar power.


Windmill, purere kapo hau - A structure that converts wind power to pump water or mill grain.

Wind turbine, Kopohau - Tall towers with blades that turn in the wind to generate electricity.

Wind farm - A large group of wind turbines for electricity supply.


Lift (in sailing) - An upward force on an aircraft wing or aerofoil.  Lift is the result of pressure differences between the top and bottom of an aerofoil.


Drag - The resistance to the movement of a boat through water.


Kinetic energy - The energy of anything moving such as a boat moving or a ball when kicked.


Friction - Is the resistance of motion when an object rubs against another object.


Axle - A rod passing through the centre of a wheel.

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