Mahi Whai – String Games
The Māori called the game ‘whai’ or, in full ‘Te Whai Wawewawe a Maui’, meaning ‘Maui’s clever string game’ because, according to Māori mythology, the game originated with the great culture hero, Maui.
The game encouraged the nimbleness of fingers which was very necessary for the weaving and taniko work.
In ‘whai’ as it was practised in ancient Māoridom, the figures were all given names and not only represented objects, such as a fishing net or a star in the heavens, but also incidents from mythology.
‘Whai’ was also performed competitively. Two players would sit back to back and on a signal make a certain figure.
Here are some photos of our Superheroes with their Mahi Whai patterns, do you recognise any of them?
|Clever work Waitohi - what has she made?|
|Love your style Malachi and Louis!|
|Naomi, that looks tricky!|
|The kids kept asking me to put my hand in, but I had a feeling that something like this would happen.|
|Reegan, did you make Matariki?|
|Precious, I think Parepaora has well and truly caught you in her web.|
|Wow Niah, what creation have you made?|
|Waitohi, you look like you are ready to show someone how it's done here...|
|Clever Precious knew how to make the diamond pattern.|
|Ka pai to mahi!|
|Michaela looking very pleased with her Mahi Whai.|
|Hmmmn, this looks suspiciously like something Mrs C is often seen with...|
|Tino pai rawa atu koe!|