Wooden canoe

Choosing the tree

Before we cut the tree to make the paiere, we have to ask permission from the landowner or the chief, Ariki.

You also need to ask permission from the Ariki to employ the taunga who will carve the paiere and the taunga who will plait the ka'a (sinnet).

In the olden days, you had to raise pigs for about three years to ensure you had the finest pigs to pay the two taungas and their kaumaroro (helpers)

The next thing to do then is to look for a tree that is strong and the wood will last a long time. The common trees on our island used for making paiere are: tamanu (polynesian mahogany) tree, puka tree, vi (mango) tree, vavai (kapok) tree, tou tree.

A prayer is said before the tree is cut down. In the olden days, the taunga offers the prayer to Rongo and Tane. They are gods of land and sea of our ui tupuna.

The tree we chose for our project is a tamanu. This tree was found on a piece of land called Te Koe and it was donated by an ex-teacher of our school - Papa Tutu Mateariki.