Friday, August 27, 2010

Hawaiki Series: Maori String Figures

Let me first introduce you to my son, Kotuku who has created Hawaiki-nui . Hawaiki-nui is part of a series of figures; the other two are Hawaiki-roa and Hawaiki-pamamao which are featured below.

This is a familiar figure known around the world as Jacob's Ladder. Johannes Andersen, in his book Maori String Figures, refers to this figure as Tahitinui (see page 52) requiring two people to extend the figure; but here it is constructed by one person.

Hawaiki is a significant place in Maori history, mythology and tradition. It is often referred to in songs, proverbs, genealogies and in farewell speeches to the dead such as the following:

E nga mate, haere ki Hawaiki,
Ki Hawaiki nui, ki Hawaiki roa, ki Hawaiki pamamao.
To the dead, depart to Hawaiki,
To great Hawaiki, to long Hawaiki, to distant Hawaiki.

The following figure is Hawaiki-roa

Notice the difference in this figure? It has 6 diamond shapes whilst Hawaikinui has 4

The last figure in this series is Hawaiki-pamamao

Hawaiki-pamamao is slightly different from the other two in that it has a twist in the middle indicating that we can no longer remember how to return back to Hawaiki-pamamao (see close up below)

Check out the Hawaikinui Project: CLICK HERE

How to do Hawaikinui - see this wikiHOW site for instructions on how to do Jacob's Ladder

Will post a" how to" for Hawaiki-roa & Hawaiki-pamamao soon!