Whakarewarewa Kaokao1.jpg

See http://christchurchcitylibraries.com/Heritage/Photos/Libraries/Central/TukutukuPanels/panel-08.asp
See also http://christchurchcitylibraries.com/Heritage/Photos/Libraries/Central/TukutukuPanels/panel-18.asp

Why the Kaokao?

The kaokao pattern was dedicated to the warrior who came under the protection of the war God, Tumatauenga. In the past, some of the Maori tribes were friendly to each other, but many fought amongst themselves frequently. Because they were often in battle, the men developed very strong arms and armpits from using their spears. If a warrior had strong arms and armpits he had a better chance of being successful in battle.

To help them prepare for battle, a warrior would stand on a mat with the kaokao pattern on it while prayers for strength in battle were said over him. This pattern was also known as 'takapau wharenui' which was used on all important marriage mats of older times.

Level 5/6: The Kaokao pattern
Kaokao photo.jpg

Square paper with Kaokao pattern

Kaokao Worksheet

Kaokao Worksheet Answers