Nikau palms…what can you do with them? A rich resource indeed!

What indeed? Cots. caves, guitars, masks, funnels, trolleys, roofs, art…. a long list. So here they are! First some images a230781nd then some

West Coast

 

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.So there they are … glorious and lush and frequently dropping these magnificent bowls.

And Maori used them for medicine but especially for roofing. I was going to have a  nikau  roof for my first  house and I received lessons from marvellous women in Kennedy Bay. The fronds have a pleated groove down the centre like a little drain, so if you place them the right way up, once woven, they naturally guide any water down off the roof. Check out this website for more details of building strategies.http://www.mangatowai.maori.nz/WharenikauA.html

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Do trolls wear silk or wool?

Walking around the house in search of appropriate fabric to dress a troll, I notice that I instinctively make a face a bit  like a mean troll. There must be some subliminal belief in sympathetic magic. And it does seem to help although if I keep doing it while cutting, gluing and painting,  I start to get sore shoulders from hunching meanly and threateningly over my work!! Maybe it’s time to make some fairies and lighten up!!

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I am trying to  make a troll for the Three Billy Goats Gruff. It’s not easy. I made one in three minutes for a storytelling session last year, using a base that was intended to be a giant for Jack and the Beanstalk, and just tied some clothes onto him and gave him hair. But the four year olds all actually gasped when I pulled him out from under a cloth.(He was too big to fit under the bridge!). So he is probably too mean , too big and not good enough. Here he is. He does stand well though, to his credit!

 

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Jack and his beans at the play dough table.

I can’t get past what wonderful opportunities stories are for language extension,  and in this context, fine motor skills, not to mention a familiarity with pattern, sequence, and  numeracy, etc . Like any new activity, story ad-libbing  takes time to become part of daily culture and expectation. After a few weeks of exposure to the possibilities of recreating  stories while at the carpentry table, play dough table or sandpit, the children increasingly join in, make suggestions and generally take over! Which is, of course, the goal.

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