After reading 'Kapok for a Cushion' the X-Men completed accepted the generalisation "It is important to preserve the skills and crafts from the past".
We believe it is important to preserve the skills and crafts of the past. Preserving means to save the skills and crafts from being forgotten by using them still. In the village of Kimi’angatau on the island of Ma’uke in the Cook Islands Moira made a kapok cushion using traditional skills and used traditional crafts such as a weaved basket.
Using the skills to produce traditional crafts teaches young people about the history and culture of their ancestors in a practical way. For example using a tivaevae pattern on the cushion was a way of showing respect and the importance of this pattern in the Cook Island culture.
Another benefit of using traditional skills is that you can transfer the same skills to other tasks. For example the skills used to create the weaved basket could also be used to produce clothes and art.
Using traditional skills and crafts is also a good way to save money. Often homemade crafts are cheaper than buying them from a shop. Making her own cushion with materials that she found is much cheaper than buying one brand new.
However sometimes it may not be suitable to use traditional crafts. People in the Cook Islands often now use rubber or synthetic cushions, pillows and mattresses due to being allergic to the kapok fibres.
Overall we believe it is important to preserve the skills and crafts from the past because it teaches young people about their history, culture and identity, you learn skills you can use in other ways and it can save you money. In Maori there are other skills and crafts such as the poi, flax weaving, moko and carving. Preserving these skills is just as important to preserving the skills in the Cook Islands. However Maori skills and crafts are under greater threat of being lost because not many people practise these skills anymore and there is a greater number of migrants coming to New Zealand bringing their own skills and crafts. To preserve these traditional Maori skills we suggest all children in New Zealand should be given the opportunity to learn a traditional skill such as making poi, carving or weaving flax.
We believe our generalisation is extended abstract because we supported the generalisation with evidence from the text and our own ideas. We also put our ideas in a new context by discussing Maori crafts and skills and how these can be preserved.