Monday, 24 February 2014

Apo the Greedy Taniwha, Puppet

We waited with anticipation for the puppet show, counting down the sleeps and finally on Friday it was here!
Jeffery and Whaitaima invited us in with a musical greeting with a lovely mix of modern and maori tradition, singing waiata, playing the bongo drums and blowing the conch shell. Everyone couldn't help but follow the musical sounds which was a lovely way to begin the story of Apo the Greedy Taniwha. 

Jeffery: welcoming us with drumming and the sound the of conch shell

Introducing Jeffery and Whaitaima

Apo is a greedy Taniwha, who wanted to eat up the little Maori boy (Huia, the biscuit boy)

The story took us on a journey into lands where we met the guardian spirits ...

... Tanemahuta, the guardian of the Forests, birds, insects and flowers...

 The children participated by being part of the forest.



Huia hides in the forest (behind the children)  from the Taniwha

Rongo, guardian spirit of agriculture (the kumara) and peace.

The children were invited to hold up their kumara mounds and form a circle around the taniwha to stopped him from eating the little boy.

Ruaumoka, the guardian spirit of the rocks and volcanos!

As the boy hid amongst the rock, the children rumbled the rocks and created a volcano eruption to scare away the taniwha!


Next came Tawhirimatea, the guardian spirit of the winds and storms.

The children participated in creating a tornado of wind to blow away the greedy Taniwha

The little boy Huia escaped in his waka which was carried by the wind and storms.  There he met....

.. Tangaroa, the guardian of the sea, and all its creatures.

All the children had a chance to be a fish from Tangaroa's ocean

This puppet play was very interactive with the children and enabled them to be actors in the drama. Everyone had a turn, even those quieter children who didn't want to get fully involved could hold a fish and swim it about without being the centre of attention.
Even some of our parents were drawn to the fun!

Our children have a good knowledge and are quite familiar with the guardian spirits of the Maori legends.  The 'In the Beginning' book is one of our favourites and is read and talked about frequently at kindergarten.  The puppet play consolidated a lot of their previous knowledge  form this story enabling the actors to be, and feel, and reflect on the important roles of these characters. 
Thank you to Jeffery and Whaitaima... we thoroughly enjoyed every moment



  1. Ryan thoroughly enjoyed the puppet show and was so excited about going to Kindergarten to see the show. We have done a lot of talking about Taniwhas and a lot of questions too. Thank you!

  2. Thank you Morag!
    It was a fantastic show acted out by these very talented people. Jeffery and Whaitaima made the Taniwha and other characters funny and very interactive. So glad Ryan and you enjoyed yourself.
    regards Leanne