Our 2021 local curriculum saw us look into our beginnings, where we all came from and how we ended up where we are. In term 2 Pacifica Arts Centre Moanaroa storytellers and drummers shared stories of migration across the moana. We looked at tapa design and the symbols on the different Pacific tapa and what it symbolises. Our tamariki then researched symbols representing their culture and used them to design and paint a turtle with a limited palette of tapa colours. We engaged the support of a Pacifica artist Rowena Rooney from Blue Turtle Design to help us. Rowean completed the background for our mural using dark yellow and orange tapa design to represent the ocean currents and blue and turquoise colours to represent the moana. The turtles on our mural connect us to our past and the navigation each of our families made across the great moana to Aotearoa. The beach at each end shows that every journey begins and ends somewhere. The surrounding colourful lei of hibiscus celebrates our cultures and who we are as a school celebrating Whānau whānui.
After our story telling, Auckland went in and out of lockdown and this made completing our turtles a challenge. The start of this year we did it slowly but surely and then the background went up and was covered. Lastly the completed turtles were added and it was covered again once more awaiting the big reveal!
The mural as a whole was unveiled at Matariki and was significant to us as it is a visual reminder of our school values: Whānau whānui (belonging), Manawanui (perseverance) and Manaakitanga (respect).
It was lovely to have Jarcinda Stowers-Ama, Tu Raa, Eimana Jonassen, Alipate Trail from Pacifica Arts Centre Moanaroa and our Pasifika artist Rowena Rooney from Blue Turtle design join us for the unveiling of our Turtle Art at our Matariki celebration.