Maui is well-known amongst our Māori people boys. Though he is also part of many Polynesian stories. One version is also popular since the movie Moana which you both love. However, I’m referring to the legend of Maui known within our culture. Legends tell that he pulled off some fairly amazing feats and it’s these characteristics that make me think and say, be like Maui boys.
The books that tell the stories of Maui (Peter Gossage author and illustrator) have been popular with you Rakeiora since you were around the age of 1 and the same has proven with you Haeata. They’re fairly simple but they seem to captivate you both. Though I’ve always wished there were versions in te reo Māori. Your second birthday is nearly here Haeata and you love ‘being Maui’. So now is the perfect time to write this message to you.
When you really look at what Maui does in each story, there are some key traits that he displays, that are worth saying, ‘wow that’s pretty cool what he did, you should be like Maui’. So here’s my take on the characteristics he displays that I think are worthy of highlighting.
Be curious / Kia mahira
In the first story about Maui and his mother Taranga, he showed early on signs of curiosity. Once he realised his mother wasn’t around he wanted to know who she was and where she was. So that’s what he did, he went to find her and he did. After he’d found his mother, then naturally who wanted to know who was his father. So he sought him out. Later on Maui wants to know the secret of fire. He seeks out Mahuika and eventually learns how it is that fire is able to be.
A person who is curious wants to know more, they seek information and they learn. This is such a great trait to ask questions and discover. So definitely take on this trait boys, be like Maui and be curious.
Be Strategic / Kia whakatakoto mahere
The word ‘trickster’ is often used as a term to describe Maui boys. And to be fair, he does do some things that are pretty devious to get what he wants. However, the flip side of this, is that he is figures out a way to know what he seeks. When Maui learns the secret of fire, he knows that he needs to get rid of all fire, to then learn where it comes from so he sets a plan to make this happen. To gain the magic jawbone of his grandfather, Maui figures out a way to get it. He wants to go fishing so he hides in the bottom of the waka from his brothers.
What Maui shows is that he is strategic. He is thinking about what he needs to do, he decides on a plan and he puts that plan into action. Though he may not always take the best approach, it’s the strategy that is the positive. A well-known saying is ‘a fail to plan is a plan to fail’. Be like Maui and be strategic boys.
Be Bold / Kia Māia
When reading the stories about Maui, he seems to show little fear. He needs to jump into a deep dark hole to follow his mother, so he jumps. He pursues eternal life so he enters Hine-nui-te-Pō without hesitation. He enters into the heavens, an unknown world to him but he still embraces feelings of being in the moment and not fearing what is coming.
Maui is confident about what he has to do and he does it. Fear is not an emotion that rules him. There are so many situations in your life you will hit boys that may make you want to stop and turn around. Find that confidence inside you and carry on. The best rewards can be found by taking the biggest risks. Be like Maui and be bold, be courageous.
Be Family Oriented / Kia Aro ki tō Whānau
From the very beginning when Maui was young, he wanted to regain a connection with his mother. He sought her out, and then not long after that he sought out his father. Maui also developed a second whānau through the many birds he befriended.
Your family will always be there for you and be your constant boys. During these early years we are there to nurture and guide you but even when you are both older and grown, remember we are always here for you. We are your safe place to always return to and my hope is that even when you are both gone from home, that you want to come back. Remember too that you have lots of other family who love you. Whānau will always be there for you.
Fly like Rupe / Me rere kia Rupe
Finally boys, I want you to be able to fly away like Maui does when he turns into Rupe. I want you to be able to go wherever you want to go and explore. If you think it’s not possible, find a way to get there. If you really want to, you will find a way, just like Maui does.
Don’t waste time waiting for the ideal time. You can spend a long time waiting when really there is never a perfect moment. Sometimes you just have to cease the moment. Tomorrow is not promised but today is here.
Be like Maui my boys and live.
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