Local guest artist Hori-te Ariki Mataki (Ngi Tahu, Ngti Kauwhata, Te Whnau–Apanui me Te ti Haunui a Pprangi) provided the artwork for today’s Doodle, which celebrates Waitangi Day, the national holiday of Aotearoa New Zealand. This is the day that the Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Treaty of Waitangi) was signed in 1840. Most people believe that the treaty was the country’s founding document.
On Waitangi’s ground in 1840, representatives of the British Crown and hundreds of Mori chiefs gathered. The Treaty grounds are still an important part of celebrations today.
Mori dignitaries give speeches at an annual gathering, and cultural performances like the kapa-haka, a powerful group dance that shows unity and strength, are performed. To commemorate the day, events are held across the motu (country) of New Zealand.
The artwork for today’s Doodle is based on a Mori design. It is a tiki with outstretched arms that represents the ancestors of Mori and non-Mori as well as their aspirations in the Treaty of Waitangi, including the protection of land, community, and partnership. In Mori culture, pounamu, or jade, is regarded as a taonga (treasure). The color is symbolic of jade.
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