Pacific symbols and the stories they share

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Pacific symbols and the
stories they share
Pre-visit lesson 3 for Te Tuhi LEOTC programme
‘Stories from the Pacific’.
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By completing this
learning sheet we will:
• learn about Pacific symbols that are drawn and
painted on Pacific tapa cloth, namely Ngatu and
Siapo.
• learn the meaning and story behind these symbols.
• study each symbol by looking carefully at the shapes,
lines, colour and patterns created.
• continue to learn about these symbols by drawing
the symbols ourselves.
• be inspired by these symbols and their meanings to
design our own symbols based on our personal
story.
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Symbols in
Ngatu:
Design in Tongan
tapa cloth
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Fata 'o Tu'i Tonga
Fata ‘o Tu’I Tonga is a symbol that comes from
Tonga and is seen in many ngatu (Tongan tapa
cloth). The symbol refers to the house of the king, in
particular, the central beam of the house.
The symbol reflects the sennit bindings that hold
and support the central beam, which supports the
thatched roof.
Carefully look at the design of the symbol, in
particular where the lines meet and where parts of it
are coloured.
Now complete the drawing in the box above to
create the Fata 'o Tu'i Tonga symbol.
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Manulua
Manulua is the name for one of the oldest design
patterns found in the making of traditional Tongan
bark cloth. Translated directly, Manulua refers to
two birds or two pairs of bird wings.
The deeper meaning of this pattern is to bring two
groups or families together to form a new union.
Carefully look at the design of the symbol, in
particular the triangle shapes created and where
parts of it are coloured.
Now complete the drawing in the box above to
create the Manulua symbol.
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Leva
Leva is a simple design which features in many
different Ngatu and illustrates the shape and
arrangement of Leva berries.
The design of the Leva varies sometimes including
between single dots and clusters of three to five
berries with leaves surrounding.
Carefully look at the design of the symbol, in
particular how the symbol is arranged and how far
apart each dot is from one another.
Now complete the drawing in the box above to
create the Leva symbol.
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Hala Paini
Hala Paini is the motif representing the Norfolk Pines
that line the street to the Royal Palace of Tonga.
Norfolk Pines originate from Norfolk Island which is
located in between Australia, New Caledonia and
New Zealand.
The design of Hala Paini reflects the shape of the
pointy tree with its branches spread out on an angle.
Triangular shapes help show the earth below the
trees while a moon, a sun and star help show the sky.
Carefully look at the design of the symbol, in
particular how the symbol is arranged used to create
the symbol.
Now complete the drawing in the box above to
create the Hala Paini symbol.
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Ikale Tahi
Ikale Tahi translated sea eagle is a symbol that
shows a sea eagle in flight. The symbol can help
reflect Tonga as a country but also through varied
designs can reflect individual villages. Ikale Tahi is
also a symbol and nickname for the national
rugby team of Tonga.
The design of Ikale Tahi focuses on the shape
and body of the eagle while flying. We see
lines, shapes and patterns that show the
feathers, feet and eyes of the eagle.
Carefully look at the design of the symbol, in
particular the position of the eagle, the shapes
and lines drawn to show specific details of the
eagle and the parts coloured.
Now complete the drawing in the box
above to create the Ikale Tahi symbol.
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Fetu’ufuka
Fetu’ufuka is one of varied designs reflecting a comet
travelling in outer space. Many symbols in Ngatu are
records in Tonga’s history, this one included, in
particular when Halley’s comet made an appearance
in 1910. Halley’s comet reappears every 70-80 years.
This design of Fetu’ufuka shows the comet in the
center and in a circular shape. The six points reflect
the vapour trail all comets or meteors leave as they
travel.
Carefully look at the design of the symbol, in
particular where the lines connect, which parts are
coloured and the shapes inside and around the
comet.
Now complete the drawing in the box above to
create the Fetu’ufuka symbol.
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Symbols in
Siapo:
Design in Samoan
tapa cloth
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Fa’a ‘aveau
The Fa’a ‘aveau is a symbol from Samoa that can be found
on many Siapo designs.
The design easily reflects the shape of a starfish with
its multip le points. Because of the simplicity and
shape of this symbol it is often mistaken for a sun.
Carefully look at the design of the symbol, in
particular where the points end and which way each
point is rotating.
Now complete the drawing in the box above to
create the Fa’a ‘aveau symbol.
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Fa’a ‘ali’ao
Fa’a ‘ali’ao is a tapa pattern found on many siapo
designs. The symbol reflects the Trochus found on the
beaches of Samoa.
The shell is triangular in shape and can be arranged
different to create new shapes such as a diamond.
Carefully look at the design of the symbol, in
particular where the points meet and what shapes
have been created.
Now complete the drawing in the box above to
create the Fa’a ‘ali’ao symbol.
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Tusili’i
The small lines represent the midrib of the coconut
leaf. The wavey lines symbolize the hand woven
sennit (braided coconut fiber).
We can see the hand woven sennit helps keep large
pieces of wood together. This can be seen in many
small and large fale (house) or va’a (boat/canoe).
Carefully look at the design of the symbol, in
particular where the points end and which way each
point is rotating.
Now complete the drawing in the box above to
create the Tusili’i symbol.
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Fa’a lau paogo
Paogo is Samoan for a particular type of pandanus
tree, however, is also used to describe the pandanus
tree in general.
In the Fa’a lau paogo symbol we can see the design is
inspired by the blooming sharp shape of the
Pandanus leaf.
Carefully look at the design of the symbol, in
particular what shapes have been created and which
parts a coloured.
Now complete the drawing in the box above to
create the Fa’a lau paogo symbol.
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Fa’a tuli
There are many tapa designs inspired by birds
including Fa’a tuli or the Sandpiper bird seen on
siapo.
Symbols such as Fa’a tuli are sometimes inspired by
the shape of bird’s feathers, the footprints they leave
in sand or the ‘v’ shape they make when in flight.
Carefully look at the design of the symbol, in
particular the shapes created, the parts that are
coloured and parts that have lines.
Now complete the drawing in the box above to
create the Fa’a tuli symbol.
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Fa’a atualoa
The Fa’a atualoa symbol reflects the centipede, an
insect found in Samoa. This symbol appears on earlier
works of Siapo and had also been seldom used over
time but is now being reintroduced.
The Fa’a atualoa symbol is another simple design and
captures the basic form of the centipede. We can see
the body and legs of the centipede have been across
the square. Beside the centipede could be leaves
showing the centipede crawling along the ground.
Carefully look at the design of the symbol, in
particular where the centipede is drawn, the shape of
the centipede and the parts coloured and patterned.
Now complete the drawing in the box above to
create the Fa’a atualoa symbol.
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Now that we have studied these symbols carefully, let’s pick three Ngatu and Siapo symbols we like the most. In the bubbles
below write about why you like them. Once we have finished draw a line tying the bubble to symbol you like.
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Image source:
Pg 1, 2, 3, 10
Neich, Roger and Pendergrast, Mick. Pacific Tapa. Auckland NZ:
David Bateman Ltd, 1997.
Pg 4, 13
http://www.pinterest. com/pin/503347695823686263/
Pg 11
http://www.pacif iccreststock.com/blog /cape-k iwanda-and-pacificcity-oregon-the-perfect-beach-vacation
Pg 5
http://commons.wikimedia.org /wik i/File:Damier_du_Cap__Cape_Petrel.jpg
Pg 12
http://www.mesa.edu.au/aquaculture/aquaculture39. asp.
Pg 6
http://www.srpf.org/content/flowers. php
Pg 7
http://en.wikipedia. org/wik i/M ala'ekula
Pg 8
http://www.smscs. com/photo/eag le_desk top_wallpaper/26.html
Pg 9
http://www.space. com/19878-halleys-comet. html
Pg14
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] N00/4273265015/
Pg 15
http://www.bio-diversity-nevis.org /shore_birds. htm
Pg 16
http://www.flickr.com/photos/seereev es/2198184144/
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Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts
Learning Experiences Outside the Classroom Program
13 Reeves Road, Pakuranga, Auckland 2010
Education Officer: Jeremy Leatinu’u
Phone: (09) 577 0138 ext 7703
Fax: (09) 577 0139
Email: [email protected] i.org.nz
www.tetuhi.org.nz