Saturday, June 5, 2010

Riley and the Koru

Sometimes I know my mum thinks too much. You see when she heard that The Portuguese Water Blog was having a bandana challenge she decided that she would like to have my picture included, but mum wanted me to have a bandana that represented where I live. Now if I was in Scotland, where my Golden Retriever ancestors came from, that would be easy… it would have to be tartan, but I was born in New Zealand.

I’ve never had a bandana before, so mum started thinking about what sort of bandana I could wear. Mum thought about our country, Kiwiana and the Maori culture here, and different symbols of our country. She decided if I was going to wear a red bandana it should have a Koru on it.

So what exactly is a Koru? Well the Koru is a symbol that represents new life, and it can also represent the form of a wave as it approaches land. This symbol has been used for a long time by Maori, and can be found in the curved form of the fern frond.

This Koru symbol appears in jewellery,
in fabric, in logos like for our national airline (on their uniforms and planes),
it is used by Maori artists, and stylised (like this painting by Gordon Walters),
it appears on the Maori (Tino Rangatiratanga) flag below (which is sometimes flown with our New Zealand flag),

inside and outside on Maori buildings,

on the shirts of some of our sports teams, for tattoos and many other places.

When Korus are used together and they form what is called a "Kowhaiwhai" pattern, and the way the koru (or pit au) are placed also represents things.

So mum looked at various fabrics and the way that the pattern is repeated and used.

Most of your mums and dads would have just picked something red (which was already in your house) and had your photos taken and sent in by now, but mum eventually found a piece of fabric she liked (the background even matches the colour of my nose) and it was time for my photo shoot…

Dog logic = I think this is a bib because...I
drool whenever I see food and mum is waving
food around to get me to look at her...
so I’m starting to drool... so it must be a bib!

I've don't usually get dressed up for
anything, so this is all a bit of a laugh.
I finally have my very own bandana. BOL

If I close my eyes and stick out my
tongue will you stop taking so many photos!

Oh - so this is what you were after!

So now, when you see my photo displayed on The Portuguese Water Blog, you will know why I have all those squiggly red lines on my chest and what a Koru is. 
If you haven’t already entered your photo there is still time to be part of this fun event. Check out their website The Portuguese Water Blog The instructions are easy, and I'm predicting you'll be much faster at doing this than my mum was!
We are both looking forward to seeing your pictures on the 10th of June, and if you have read this far leave me a bark hello, as it would be great to hear from you!
Have a great weekend,


Sue said...

What a neat idea for a special bandana. We'll mention it on the post. Thanks for playing along with us. Our Mom likes your Mom and wishes we lived closer. Our's gets hung up on stuff like that, too.
Morgn, Tsar, and The Porties

sprinkles said...

I've never heard of a koru before, I really like it!

I love that picture of you with your mouth wide open.

I wish I could participate in this contest. I don't have a digital camera though. Boo! And I'm pretty sure my bigger chihuahua would chew the bandana right off before I could get a picture, even if I did have one.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting.

Samantha said...

Wow - your mom surely gave us some cool history and art on the Koru design! Your bandana is just beautiful - amazing the many ways that a design can be interpreted! Thanks for posting all this info!
Big Hugs xoxo

Sugar the Golden Retriever said...

Woof! Woof! How NICE. Oh! My mom knows about KORU ... she has lots of necklace. She is currently making a Golden Silhouette with Koru. We are also participating in Bandana Day. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Khyra, Khousin Merdie, And Sometimes Her Mom said...

What a GReat post!

Thanks so much fur sharing the bakhkground!

Your pikhs are pawesome!

Khyra & Khousin Merdie

Maggie and Mitch said...

Wow! That is one special bandana and you wear it so well, Riley!
What an interesting post!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

MAXMOM said...

Hey there Riley and Mum
Another beautiful and interesting post!...thank you! It's lovely to come here and learn interesting things about your country. Your final choice of bandanna is excellent. We are also looking forward to seeing all the entries.
Have a wonderful weekend.

The Thundering Herd said...

That is a great idea for a bandana and it looks superb. And fun photo session, too.

Mrs. JP said...

Oh, Riley, you and your mom just make me laugh! Thank you for teaching me so much today and it's not a bad thing to put thought into things. Your picture with your eyes closed and mouth open is the best.

1000 Goldens said...

I love that your Mom put a lot of thought into your bandana - it is perfect, just like your smiling photos Riley.

Jacqueline said...

Cool that your Mom made sure your bandana had meaning for your homeland!...All your photos are awesome, you are such a gorgeous boy, Riley!...Hope you have a fun day sweetie...kisses handsome friend...xo...Calle, Halle, Sukki

Honey the Great Dane said...

Hi Riley,

What a great post! And I think you're really lucky to have a human who is so creative! :-) My human LOVES all the Kiwiana and Maori culture stuff - she really misses it now we're in Oz. That was a beautiful banadana - Hsin-Yi says she'd love a dress in that fabric pattern and colours! :-)

I've just been to visit the Portugese Water Blog - thanks for telling me about them! - and I'll also try to send in a photo of me in something red!

Honey the Great Dane

Scout 'n Freyja said...

You are so furry much handsome in your bandanna. Now, aren't you glad you got one?

TK and Squashies said...

You looks very handsome in that bananna Riley. Thank you so much for splaining the significanse of the Koru, we loves knowing about other cultures espeshully where art and spirtuality are concerned.
Thats a good boy- I thinks you deserves a treat!

Scout 'n Freyja said...

We just sniffed our was over from The Portuguese Water Blog celebrating their red bandanna day.

We is sending smoochies to da poochie!

Sugar the Golden Retriever said...

Woof! Woof! ME Again. Just saying hello n wishing you Happy Bandana day. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar