Drawing for the Day and Maori proverb. For Keri.
Hutia te rito o te harakeke, If you pluck out the centre shoot of the flax,
Kei whea te korimako e koo? Where will the bellbird sing?
Ka rere ki uta, ka rere ki tai. It will fly inland, it will fly seawards.
Kii mai koe ki au, If you ask me,
he aha te mea nui i te ao? What is the most important thing in the world?
Maaku e kii atu, I will reply,
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata! People, people, people!
Women expert in flax weaving explain to learners that the rito, the central shoot from a flax root, is a child, issuing from and protected by its parents and, beyond them, by uncles, aunts and grandparents. The three centre blades should not be cut for weaving or the root will cease to put out new ones.
(Joan Metge’s analysis)