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We all want to be the best parents for our kids. Our tūpuna can help us.

Our tūpuna (ancestors) had beautiful child rearing practices and many of these can be effective today.

Pēpi Penapena (Cherish Babies) is a campaign to share the beautiful parenting practices of our tūpuna. Pre-colonisation, Māori were gentle and supportive parents and whānau. Pēpi were considered a gift from the atua (gods) so were tapu (sacred) and not to be harmed. Pēpi are also born with the mana of their tūpuna, meaning they were treated with respect, as any adult would be.

Latest Posts

We write about traditional Māori parenting kaupapa, modern parenting practices, and useful tips and tricks for anyone with babies and kids.

Join Us On This Journey

We’ll email you when we publish new articles. Tino pai!

Latest Research

Rather than just giving you the simple versions of our tūpuna’s parenting practices, we’ll also be publishing our research. We’ll publish whole articles if we have copyright permission to reproduce the content, or we’ll just publish links to the research online. Enjoy! Kia pai!

Early European Observations – Mana of the Children

Find out more about how our tūpuna involved tamariki is all daily activities to teach them about the world and what they would do in it. This write-up is an extract from the Traditional Maori Parenting report.

Early European Observations – Games and Fun

Everything tamariki saw and did prepared them for adulthood, including the games and fun they would have. This write-up is an extract from the Traditional Maori Parenting report.

Early European Observations – Whānaungatanga (Relationships)

Learn about how the whole community were responsible for raising tamariki, not just direct parents. This write-up is an extract from the Traditional Maori Parenting report.

Early European Observations – Aroha and Babywearing

From early explorers' written accounts, learn about affection and independence given to Maori children, and how they would be carried by their parents. This write-up has been extracted from the Traditional Maori Parenting report.

Parenting in the Purakau/Oral Histories Stories

This write-up analyses the atua/gods and associated purakau/oral histories for cultural messages about child rearing. This write-up has been extracted from the Traditional Maori Parenting report.

Maori Baptism Ceremony by Louis Auguste de Sainson

Birthing and Newborn Ceremonies

Learn about traditional Maori birthing ceremonies according to oral histories and some explorer's written accounts. This write-up is extracted from the Traditional Maori Parenting report.

Waiata Oriori/Lullabies

Find out about waiata oriori - lullabies or poems that linked the pepi to the atua, to their special tūpuna passed on and to their living whānau. This write-up has been extracted from the Traditional Maori Parenting report.