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Great Learning - Oracle Bone Writing Workshop

Great Learning - Oracle Bone Writing Workshop

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  • Sat 25 Jul ’20, 10:30am – 12:00pm
  • Sat 5 Sep ’20, 10:00am – 12:00pm
  • Sat 26 Sep ’20, 10:00am – 12:00pm
  • Sat 17 Oct ’20, 10:00am – 12:00pm
  • Sat 7 Nov ’20, 10:00am – 12:00pm
  • Sat 28 Nov ’20, 10:00am – 12:00pm
  • Sat 12 Dec ’20, 10:00am – 12:00pm


Manukau Library, 3 Osterley Way, Manukau City


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission

These workshops are free, catered for all levels and set so you can come to one, some or all the sessions

These workshops are catered for people of all backgrounds. Feedback from participants are positive and they resonate with the mana in the workshops. If you would like more information on the workshops, contact: Sam Yu (

What is Oracle bone writing?

Jiǎgǔwén or Oracle bone script is the earliest form of Chinese writing.

Oracle bones are important finds relating to Chinese writing and history. The inscriptions are early Chinese script which is recognisable as a written language. These inscriptions are priceless to historians because they record the questions and answers people had about their lives.

Oracle Bones (also known as Dragon's Bones) were the shoulder blades of oxen or plastrons of turtles (the flat, underside of the turtle's shell) which were used in the Shang Dynasty of China (c. 1600-1046 BCE) for divination. A fortune-teller would carve (later, paint) symbols on the bones of the ox or the turtle shell, apply a hot poker or fire until the bone or shell cracked, and then interpret the direction of the crack through their drawing to predict the future. Eventually, the symbols became words and a recognizable Chinese script developed from this practice.

What happens in the workshops?

In the free workshops, volunteers share about the history of oracle bone writing, and have a word of the day to discuss and practise writing with calligraphy pens (on paper and crafts). Previous words include: gratitude, benevolence, brightness and home.

Why are we also learning the Great Learning?

This years theme focuses on The Great Learning from Confucius. The Great Learning ’ focuses on the moral tenets of Confucian thinking, establishing a universal framework that links individuals with the cosmos. By drawing together key ethical and philophical, and metaphysical issues, the Great Learning deals with the individual’s development of moral character.

The Great Learning has occupied a central position in the educational and political infrastructure of China, Korea and Japan, and their influence and popularity continues to grow, in the East and in the West.

Ngā mihi nui (Gratefully)

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