Diving Deeper Maori 2016

As part of our Maori Whanau strategic plan, our whanau have expressed a desire to have more Maori art around the school.

Our Diving Deeper Maori group worked with a local Maori Artist Brian Mitchell and created some kowhaiwhai panels which we have now displayed in the admin area.


The koru is the most basic shape of the Kowhaiwhai pattern.

The other two basic shapes used in kowhaiwhai are the kape (crescent) and the kapua or ovoid shape.

The traditional colours of Kowhaiwhai are:

RED = to represent warmth, blood, life. Red was obtained by mixing red ochre with shark-liver oil.

WHITE = to represent purity, promise for the future, an awakening. Pipeclay was ground and mixed with shark oil.

BLACK = to represent the earth. Black was obtained by mixing charcoal with shark oil.

We had 4 basic Kowhaiwhai patterns. One kowhaiwhai pattern was called Mango Pare. The pattern has been based on the hammerhead shark.

It represents strength and resilience.

Another Kowhaiwhai pattern is called Ngutu Kåkå. The pattern has been based on the Parrot’s Beak.

It represents the abundance of food provided by the forest.

Another Kowhaiwhai pattern is called Puhoro.

The pattern has been based on the swirling waters of the ocean. It represents speed.

The last Kowhaiwhai pattern is called Takaarangi.

It represents knowledge and navigation.