Taonga - treasure, anything prized, including socially or culturally valuable.
Tākaro - sport, game, recreational activity.
Sports and games were important in traditional Māori society.
Games are considered part of te whare tapere, the house of entertainment. This also involved the performing arts. The marae was a primary venue for sports and games and sometimes contests were held with neighbouring kainga, from wrestling and weapons skills, canoe racing and haka, to kite flying and ruru (knucklebones).
Water sports and athletics were popular in the summer while indoors during Winter hand games were played, including all kinds of puppeteering.
Both male and females participated in martial arts and for many activities age was no barrier. Time was spent in the making of toys and equipment and games were always accompanied by words – spoken, chanted or sung.
Today there is a revival of some of the traditional games that have been overshadowed by rugby, netball and many other developments in toy-making, electronics, and the like.
Rangatahi Tū Rangatira s a National Training Provider based in Te Waipounamu and their website utilises traditional Māori tākaro as a way of engaging with rangatahi. Tākaro develops and encourages hauora (wellness) as well as leadership skills. Tākaro can be utilised and adapted to suit a variety of ages, skill levels, as well as fitness levels.
The website promotes tikanga Māori as essential and inter-woven throughout all tākaro and activities, with all having a whakapapa, a connection to te Taiao, and therefore a connection to ngā tupuna who created them. They ask that we be respectful of that connection and be mindful of it when we utilise the taonga provided.
Rangatahi Tū Rangatira encourage the use of the TATŪ process - negotiation of the way two teams will play "rules" and conduct themselves - as an important part and function of all Tākaro.
We acknowledge Rangatahi Tū Rangatira which is dedicated to promoting Māori games and activities for all and training methods from their website.