When Moira Wairama heads to Taranaki she always hopes the mountain will be on show.
But all too often she arrives and the cone- shaped peak is hidden by a cloak of cloud.
Whether the mounga is shrouded or not, the award-winning author will tell its tale at Puke Ariki on Saturday.
Wairama, who was in the region for the Taranaki Children's Book Festival in March, will be performing free morning and afternoon storytelling sessions. These will involve an interactive telling of the mountain legend, teaching children a song and engaging them in a craft exercise.
'Following the enthusiastic response at the festival, I'm returning to share a traditional legend about why the handsome Taranaki left the beautiful Pihanga and travelled from the Central Plateau to where he now stands in solitary splendour in the west,' Wairama says.
'I'm really hoping that Taranaki will de- cloak because I think the mountain is stunning - the energy off it is just amazing.'
Since her appearance at the children's book festival, Wairama's book, Nga Taniwha i te Whanga- nui-a-Tara (The Taniwha of Wellington Harbour), has won the LIANZA Te Kura Pounamu award for the best book of the year in te reo Maori.
The Wellington woman has strong links with Taranaki because her son-in-law is of Ngati Ruanui descent.
'My grandchildren particularly like that mountain tale. Although they live down here and have the taniwha story, they also have the Taranaki story.'
The Tale of the Mountain events are being held at 10am and 2pm on level 2 of the Puke Ariki Museum, beside the new exhibition starring the art and spirit of three New Zealand illustrators and authors.
Wairua: Tikanga Maori in New Zealand Children's Books features more than 30 children's illustrations by Robyn Kahukiwa, Gavin Bishop and Murray Grimsdale. It is on until October 28. Wairama's storytelling event is supported by the Taranaki Regional Council.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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