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Indigenous Cultures from Around the World


This Term, we have been learning about different indigenous cultures around the world.

Students created a slideshow and a poster, then presented them to the class. In class, we learnt a song in the Maori language from New Zealand, called “Tutira Mai”. We learnt how to play a stick game along to this song. In this game, we created “sticks” out of rolls of newspaper and would tap them or throw them to each other in time to the music.

What did students think?

“I enjoyed learning the song called ‘Tuitira Mai.’ It was interesting to learn about the Maori culture. I found it challenging to throw the sticks to our partners, because we sometimes had the wrong rhythm and would either throw too quickly or too slowly. The music also sounded really nice and it was easy to tap to” – Jennifer

“I found it fun tapping and flipping the sticks along with the music. I was challenged trying to tap and catch or throw to my partner in time” – Toby

“I loved learning the stick game. It was quite challenging doing it in time to the song, but it was fun doing it in partners. It was also a nice experience. The hardest bit was throwing both sticks at the same time, but it was so funny when we kept dropping them during the song” – Tadiwa

“I learnt about the Surma people from Ethiopia. It was very interesting to learn how they knocked out their bottom teeth to fit in a huge lip disc. I also learned that the Surma people originated from Africa. The Surma people don’t even make up one percent of the Ethiopian population. It is amazing to hear that more Surma people are becoming Christians every day” – Ethan

“We created our posters and slideshows on the Orang Asli people from Malaysia. I learnt that the Orang Asli use a bamboo pipe to hunt; the darts are coated with poisonous sap, they use the bamboo pipe to hunt small monkeys and mammals. Most of the he Orang Asli people live close or next to the river so they use it for a food source, they make woven fish traps and use spears to hunt fish. I also learnt that the Orang Asli people are Animists which mean that they believe every natural thing can affect human events (eg. lightning, rocks, trees, water), it also means they believe every living thing has a soul. The most famous art type from Orang Asli is wood carving; they carve wood to make masks to wear for dances in ceremonies and festivals; they highly value these wooden masks” – Cody and Clarissa

“We researched the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We found out that the Aboriginal Australians are nomadic people, which means they move about looking for fitter land according to the season. Their art are means of communication and expression. Some of the ways they showed their art were rock carving, cave painting, designs in trees other sorts of wooden articles and scarification (body painting). They eat a lot of ordinary things we eat, just a wild version. The men used spears, clubs, boomerangs while the women used digging sticks” – Leah and Georgia

“We learnt about the First Nations people who used to occupy the whole of Canada, however now they are only about 4% of Canada. We learnt that they invented the rattle out of animal horns, and in their music they use them often (they also known as idiophones) along with drums (known as membranophones). Their main source of food is buffalo; it is normally dried or cook and put into soups or Pemmican. One of their important dances is the “Grass Dance” – this dance mimics grass blowing in the wind. The First Nations don’t really have a religion but they do believe the making of the world was not an accident. However, more and more are becoming Christians today” – Cassidy and Isabeau

“We learnt about the Maori people in New Zealand, we found out that the Maori people originally came from Polynesia. The Maori people hunted with snares; the pigeon snare is called ‘Waka kereru’. The Maori people draw tattoos on their faces and they also do many types of weaving, plaiting and carving. One of their traditional meetings is in a carving house called a ‘marae’ and they usually meet there once a year. They are famous for the dance, the ‘Haka’ which is danced by the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team. The boys are usually the people who dance to this music and they make sounds, shout and poke out their tongues!” – Isaac K and Lewis

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