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No. 73 (July 1973)
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This article was sent to us by Mrs Anne Grusser who taught Maori pupils at Ngawha several years ago. She is now teaching in Arizona, and following ‘Indian Day’ her pupils combined to write this article for the younger readers of ‘Te Ao Hou’

American Indian Day

On 9 October 1492, Columbus set foot on American Indian land. Beginning then, Indians accepted deals the white man gave them. The white man promised many things but kept only one promise, to take our land, and they took it. We are still waiting for land promised to us almost three centuries ago.

But some things have changed since then. Today, I am grateful to white people for at least having Indian Day, in honour of American Indians.

Indian Day is when we celebrate being Indian and show that we care much about our tribes. On that day we remember how Indians were, show how they are and may not be in the future. Many people need to the Indians helped the white people when they came to this New Land. Our parents come to Indian Day, most all the mothers, to see how well we have communicated with our elders.

Before that day comes we have contests for the best posters and art, essays and poems, about Indians. And the day before, seventh and eighth grade students nominate and vote for a Host and Hostess from the lower grades, and a Brave and Princess from the upper grades.

At ten o'clock on the morning of the main day, we have an assembly. All the contest winners are announced and given their awards. Awards are also given for the best costumes. The Host and Hostess and Brave and Princess are introduced and sit up in front. Different teachers take their pictures. This year there were speeches by our two Principals, a visiting Hopi Principal, and a Navaho Priest.

Many students dress up like their ancestors years ago. The costumes are of different kinds according to tribe and ceremony, and whether you are representing a great war chief, a warrior, or a squaw. They are of brilliant or soft, natural colours and made of pelts, furs, wool cloth or cotton, and feathers and shells.

Different kinds of Indians may come such as Hopi, Navaho, Apache, Comanche, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Yuma, Zuni, Sioux, Mohawk, Pima and members of other tribes. Most of the Indians around Keams Canyon are Hopi and Navaho.

After two or three dances by the small children everyone is hungry and goes as a guest to the dormitory dining room for a meal. We sit wherever we want. Some of our parents bring true Indian food, and the cooks make some. We may have real piki bread made of blue corn flour, ground on rocks, also chili beans, fried bread, and hommy stew. The cooks have to fill in with boughten food like white sandwich bread, chocolate cake and milk.

Then we have a few minutes' walk back to the school for the main events. When the weather is dry there are games and races and other contests outdoors. Just about everybody's favourite contest is the girls' fried

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bread contest out on the football field. The fried bread smells so good! Then watermelons are brought out and the boys have a contest to see who can eat the most watermelon. There is a tug-of-war, too, with two teams pulling the ends of a rope. Between the two sides there is a big puddle of mud. Whoever loses ends up in the puddle.

Then come the Indian dances. Some are done like our ancestors used to dance. We're happy to show other people the different

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Dollie Kuwanyaimo, Serafino Youvella and Pearline Youvella dressed for dancing. Dollie and Pearline are wearing Haimis Buffalo costume and Serafino wears Apache dance costume

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A closer look at the same three girls

kinds of dances we do out on the Reservation, like the Butterfly by the Hopi people, the Buffalo dance, some Apache dances, and the Navaho Feather and Round dances.

Some of the dancers wear masks, headdresses made of fur and feathers, and have carefully painted designs on their faces and bodies. When the sun is shinging, and the ground is dry, the dancing is outside where mostly everybody can see everything. We can sit around the court or up on the walls outside the gym. We can also sit under the trees by the basketball court while the dancers dance to the beating of drums and the singing of Indian men.

Indian Day is when you have the happiness of being Indian, the most joyful day at school. I think Indians need more of this kind of attention. Civilisation hangs in the balance because of us, the Kings of the United States! Because if Indians hadn't been here when the Pilgrims came, white people would never have made it. Indians taught them how to stay, alive, what to plant and how to do it, how

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Bella Grover and Rowena Choyou dressed as Apache dancers. All five girls are Hopi Indians

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to hunt and how to fish. Before that, when Indians were all alone and there were no white people in sight, we would dance and sing and stay up all night and have fun. We would swim, and hunt, and go find a lot of food for the winter.

On Indian Day we have a chance to go back a little to our old times and celebrate ourselves for one day, and sometimes into the night. A free day for the Indian! It's like having a day at home, at a dance of our own. We are proud to be Indians and know things which others don't know.

Indians all over the world are brothers and sisters, but sometimes we fight among ourselves for this and that. And we sometimes hate white people, but I think we should all be treated alike. We all live here on this earth. We are all human beings so we should respect each other as brothers and sisters, including the white people. Both Indians and white people should be grateful for the things we have given each other. I am grateful that we have Indian Day, a day when Indians can be Indian.

So if you are an Indian, be what you are, If you are a white, be what you are. Whatever you are, be proud of yourself!

Now more contributions from secondary school pupils

First, a poem written by Richard Ellison when a 15-year-old pupil at Hillary College.

The wind blew swiftly against
The cliff face
The clouds spat insults to the earth,
The sea surged in, thrusting
The life from the creatures clinging
For their worthless life.

The waves hurtled forward—
Crushed then burst against
The rocky shore, exploding
Into a cascade of bright-
White orange,
Then would slowly creep back

The wind blew on,
The clouds went on.
The waves surged forward
Engulfed all mass
Then sneaked back,
The cowards.

Life was being stirred
By some unknown power
Protective —

Now one of three stories sent in by Raana Solomon, aged 15, of Spotswood College.

Walking in the Rain

It was just the two of us alone, on the Sunday afternoon. We both had leather coats on and long trousers, except his trousers were much longer than mine because they dragged along the ground as we walked. Our hands were clenched tightly together as we strolled along the park.

Rain began to fall in a fine powdery mist down over the lake and the bridge we were standing on. The rain settled on his hair and clung onto each strand as though it daren't part from it. Some landed on his black eyebrows and seemed to turn them into a greyish colour, and this made me laugh inside. He seemed to notice my thoughts were about him and asked what amused me so. I told him simply, then a big smirk formed across his face and he said that I looked the same too.

We both laughed for a while, but when I kept on about it, he kissed me to stop me saying any more, and next thing I knew we were standing in the pouring rain with our arms about each other. It was a glorious feeling, and how still we stood and stared into each other's eyes. Our hair was drenched and hung down in strands. Rain was running down the whole length of his nose, right to the tip, where it dropped off and spattered down on the lapel of his coat.

The pathway through the park was beginning to get slushy so we took care not to slip. Although it was raining quite heavily,

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the sun had just managed to peep out from behind a cloud, and it made the park glitter and sparkle. The scenery was stunning as rain dripped from trees into the water and made little whirlpools which seemed to increase in size. The tiny droplets on the leaves were like imaginary crystals and shimmered like diamonds as they reflected the sun. Arm in arm we casually strolled on, absorbing the absolute rich beauty of that day.

But that is only a memory now, as I'm at home looking through my window at the rain that dribbles down the glass panel outside. My cheeks are wet — not from the rain — but tears because only he could restore the happiness we shared that particular day. Now he is so many hundreds of miles from me, and when he went, part of me went too. He writes often, and every letter has the words ‘the rain, the park, and missing you dearly’.

Only he and I really know what that means, and soon he'll be back, so that again we may renew our memories of the park when we are walking in the rain once more. A poem by another 15-year-old, Jillian Raiha Bennett of Motueka High School.


With eyes bulging and red he looked at me,
His green scaly body flexed,
His feet as large as an elephant's stamped the dust,
His toes scratched at the dirt and on each toe a claw as sharp as venom,
This was the mighty Taniwha
His eyes grew redder, anger suppressed within,
He opened his mouth and let out a roar,
It shook our village and part of it fell,
The Taniwha was angry.
“Oh Tane you made our earth move,
You built our mountains and our streams,
You punish us when we are bad,
But Oh Tane!
What have we done to get this wrath”
The Taniwha stood and stretched his great body,
The movement made old Tarawera angry — it woke him from his sleep
He and the Taniwha wrecked our village,
Killed our women and children.
Why Tane, oh great Lord!
Why did you do this?

We have more poems from Annlock Kite, also 15 years old, from Te Kuiti.

The Beggar

In his prime
So small, so sad
His clothing is sagged
And ragged
His eyes are sorrowful
And no longer exist
As he is partly blind
But his handicap
Is but a passing pain
He moves his feet
Beating out the same
Rhythm each day
His voice is proud
With no hint of shame
“Money for a poor beggar”
He looks at me
Three shillings had I only
But without reason
A tear drops unshamefully
Down my face
He smiles and says
“Many times I have
Shed a tear
But it gets so that
My tears will not shed
But one day
My tears I will shed
Not in sorrow
But happiness.”
He goes on his way
Feet beating the same
His voice echoing
“Money for a poor beggar”
I run from the scene
To hide the pain and

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Outlet of tears
Because somehow
I feel he was my brother
And I could not reach
Out to help him.

Mournful Home

There's a vision of you
On the window pane
I can hear you calling
Me in the whispering rain
I can see your face
Mystically haunting me
Your long black hair
Is flying so free
Why is it I can't
Forget you
Don't you remember
Our love will always be true
Why do I still grieve
When you're long dead
Why is it so true
These wasted tears I shed.


I light my cigarette
And open the booklet
On the dangers of
I inhale a couple
Of puffs
And read on
I put my fag aside
And read how smoking
Is addictive as a drug
But unknown to me
The cigarette is in my mouth
Reading thru all
The smoke
I see that smoking
Can make you very ill
So I put it aside again
Reading on
I see that smoking
So many cigarettes
A day is very bad indeed
Bu without thinking
I have finished two fags
I push the book aside
And get me another book
And a bottle of beer
And I open the booklet
On the dangers of
Becoming an alcholic.

And lastly … a piece of ‘homework’ written by one of the winners of last year's Ngarimu Essay Competition.

Personal Qualities of
Successful Maori People

E mohio ana tatau ki ngā tangata mātau o te iwi Māori, kua tū, arā, kua rongonuitia i ngā mahi ā iwi, kua noho i ngā turanga nunui, kua whiwhi hoki i ngā taitara e whaia nei e te Pākehā.

He nui aua tāngata kua eke ki ēnei taumata hōnore. Tuatahi tonu, ko Tā Apirana Ngata, me Tā Te Rangihiroa Buck, ko te Pihopa tuatahi o Aotearoa, ko Pihopa Pēneti, ko Tā Maui Pōmare. Koi nei ra ngā tāngata, me ki ake e au, o roto i te ao tahito i rongonuitia.

Ko ō rātou kaha ā—tangata, nā te ngākau nui ki te kura, nā te nui roro, ka mau te reo o te Pākehā hei tāpiri ki tōna reo ake. Kāti i konei, ki te ao tahito.

Ka huri aku kōrero ināianei mo te whakareanga tangata o tēnei wā, i rongonuitia ai e Te ao katoa. Tuatahi tonu ko Moananui-a-Kiwi Ngārimu V.C. He uri rā, no ngā rangatira o te iwi nei o Ngati Porou. I kuraina i Te Aute Kareti. I muri mai ka haere ki te pakanga tuarua. He Apiha tōna turanga, arā, tetahi o ngā kai—ārahi, o te iwi Māori i te whawhai. I konei ka kitea te whānui pakihiwi o tēnei tangata, te ihi, te wehi, te kaha, me te tuku i tōna tinana mo tāua mo te iwi Māori e ora nei. Whakawhiwhia ana hoki ki te ripeka o te wikitoria, he honore nui kia ia, ki te iwi Māori. Hei whakamutu ake i aku kōrero, me whakahua ake au ia Kiri Te Kanawa. Kua rongo whānuitia tēnei wahine e te ao, mo tōna reo reka ki te waiata, a kua eke hoki ki ngā taumata mo tēnei mahi, e whaka-manamana ai tāua te iwi Māori. E Kiri, Moana, no kōrua ngā hōnore, ka uwhi mai kia mātou katoa.

Ameria Ponika

Winner, Form V Section, 1972