Saturday, February 26, 2011

Contemporary Fashion

I photographed this wonderfully whimsical dress - made of plastic tiki - at last year's Ngai Tahu Huia-a-Tau, which was held at Puketeraki Marae at karitane, North of Dunedin. It was made by clothing designer, Amber Bridgman (Ngai Tahu, Kati Mamoe, Waitaha, Rabuwai) for her entry into a national art-fashion award. Amber, who also designs her own range of jewellery, was last year invoted to present a collection of her garments at the prestigious New Zealand Fashion Week, after winning the tee-shirt design section of Miromoda, an annual Australasian fashion design competition based in Wellington. She produces and sells her garments under the label Kahuwai - garments inspired by traditional Maori designs and geared to babies, toddlers, all the way through to adults.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Maori Place Names - 93

A Marae
South Taranaki
North Island
May 2010. Ajr

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Whanganui Marae

The Carved Waharoa
At a Whanganui Marae
May 2010. Ajr

Monday, February 21, 2011

From the Kete Files

Two Kete
On a Seat
With Carvings & Tukutuku Panels
Te Rau Aroha Marae
Awarua, Bluff
February 2010 Ajr.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sitting on the Fence

Carved Figures
Te Rau Aroha Marae,
Awarua, Bluff.
Feb.2010. Ajr

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Maori Place Names - 92

Near Owaka
The Catlins, Otago
South Island
May 2010. Ajr

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Portrait - 33

Kapa Haka Performer
Cathedral Square, Christchurch
Jan. 2011. Ajr

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ta Moko - A Glimpse

One of the defining traditions of Maori is the art of Ta Moko - Tattoo.
And over the last two decades there has been a huge revival of interest in adorning the body with traditional designs that reflect a person's personal ancestry.

It was no light operation in the old days, when designs were carved into the skin with a small bone chisel (uhi) that was tied to a handle and tapped with a piece of wood. A bluish pigment was rubbed in and when the face (or other body parts) healed, the tattoo furrowed the skin. These days, although it is arm, back, shoulder and thigh tattoos that are the most common, some are also applying Ta Moko to their faces in the traditional male manner.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Maori Place Names - 91

June 2010. Ajr

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Portrait - 32

Sheltering from the Heat
Rapaki Marae Opening
Nov. 2010. Ajr

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

From the Kete Files

Well Worn
Well Loved
Well Woven
A Kete in the Square
Jan.2011. Ajr

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Maori Place Names - 90

Mangaorongo Road,
North Taranaki
May 2010. Ajr

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Ngati Apa Marae - Turakino

It was a grey day and pouring with rain when I spied this sign at Turakina, on State Highway 1, south of Whanganui. I lived in Whanganui for two years (1985-87) and never once ventured down here. So on this grey May day last year, 25 years later, I decided to fix that once and for all.

As I wound down the narrow country road covered in mud and cow-poo and bordered by high maize fields, I felt like I was venturing into some lost frontier. And then, one last corner and I came upon this little rough-cast church - Te Mangungu, on the edge of a huge maize field and skirted by a small grave yard and electric fences. I wasn't about to brave electric fences in pouring rain - in any conditions actually - so I took these snaps from my car window. I sat there for some time, deep in thought. It was one of those times when the landscape, the 'dwellings,' the mood of the place toyed with my imagination. It felt forgotten and yet somehow 'alive' with history.

It wasn't until several months later, when I was home again, that I discovered that this little marae across the road from the church - tucked behind giant harakeke (flax) and maize - is in fact, the historic Te Horotaraipi of Ngati Apa meeting house, which dates back to the late 19th century. These days it's managed and maintained by several families of the Ngati Apa hapu, Nga Ariki.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Discovering the Bay of Plenty

Wherever I drive around New Zealand, I love venturing down back roads. It's something I've always done ever since I was a kid growing up in the Waikato, riding my bike for miles and discovering what lay down roads I'd never cycled down before. Last year, when I drove through the Bay of Plenty, I didn't have a lot of time to veer off the main highways, but I did stop many times to check out some of the small Maori communities that lay along the way. The photograph immediately above (bottom image) is of the Whetu o Te Rangi Marae of the Ngati Pukenga iwi. The top image wasn't far from there, but I couldn't get a good view of the complex. More often than not, the marae in any one of these communities throughout New Zealand, is surrounded by a cluster of houses, perhaps a Kohanga Reo and possible an iwi office. And they're rarely far from a kai (food) source - a river, a stretch of ocean, a stream.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Paddling a Waka

Paddles at the ready at the Ngai Tahu Hui-a-Tau at Puketeraki
Karitane November 2010
Karitane is a blissful little seaside settlement about 40 minutes north of Dunedin. In addition to its ocean beach, it has a beautiful estuary area and that's where those attending Ngai Tahu's annual Hui-a-Tau (this year hosted by Puketeraki Marae), could turn their hand to a bit of waka ama paddling. I've written a heap about waka ama before - just click on the words in the below label line if you want to know more about the difference between waka ama and waka taua etc.


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