The Maori people of New Zealand sometimes talk of a taonga or a treasure.
Maori taonga are those things that have been precious to the Maori people in the past and continue to be important to them today. Taonga provide a link to their ancestry.
A taonga can be a piece of art that an ancestor has carved out of wood. It can be a woven basket, although the art of weaving can also be a taonga. A taonga can be photographs, skills, knowledge and spiritual insights that are considered important enough to pass on to the next generation.
What treasures are part of the history of our families? I know my family gave me some valuable taonga. I definitely learned the importance of hard work from my parents and grandparents. My parents and grandparents also taught me by example that it is natural and right to help those who are less fortunate. Other taonga I received were a love and appreciation for music, a passion for learning and education, a love of the church community, the value of family loyalty and closeness and a belief in the power of prayer.
I want to continue to recognize and appreciate the taonga I have received from my family and pass on those treasures to the next generation.
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