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Wairua, hinengaro, karakia…

January 28, 2012

The article these quotes come from was written about early childhood education, but what Ritchie says here has relevance to analysis of literature in New Zealand as well…

“Central to Tilly Reedy’s explanations of Te Whariki [the NZ early childhood curriculum] is the concept of wairua: ‘This dimension deals with power and a sense of oneness with the Universe. The student learns that all things are part of the Universe; that all matter is made up of the same forces. The past, present and future are sources of trust, confidence and self-esteem; that internal questions about atua/gods and their place in the Universe are challenges for the mind to explore; that tradition, religious beliefs, philosophy, and modern science are not necessarily incompatible’ (Reedy, 1995, pp19-20).” (p.23)

Ritchie continues: “Hinengaro is described as the power of the mind to seek understandings. Reedy explains that: ‘To meet these needs the Maori mind developed the very useful tool of karakia/incantation, and affirmation. The karakia imprints within the mind and being of the person, the ability to focus on the purpose at hand which may be to seek help for someone, themselves, a job, or to help achieve some goal.’ (p.19)” (Ritchie, pp.23-24)

Ref: (emphases in bold, blue mine) Jenny Ritchie (2001) Implementing a bicultural curriculum some considerations Early Childhood Folio 5, 23-26

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