More than 60 whanau attended a three day ta moko wananga at the Rauhoto Marae in April 2009. The wananga started with a powhiri to welcome the ten artists and their support team.
The group are known as 'Te Whe' which relates to the first blow or strike when ta moko is being undertaken. The artists came from a number of iwi including Ngapuhi, Ngati Whatua, Ngai Te Rangi, Tuhoe, Ngati Awa, Te Arawa, Tainui, Tuwharetoa and Murihiku and local artist Haki Williams of Ngati Manunui also took part in the wananga.
The weekend started with a visit for the artists to sites of significance to the whanau including Rangitira Point, Ponui-Hiuharama, Omaunu, Whakaipo, Parikawau, Paenoa, the Pohou, Huka Falls, Aratiatia, Wairakei and Karapiti. The Whakapapa and history of these sites was shared to give the artists a feel for the people and what was important to them.
The wananga continued with nga mihimihi, the history of ta moko and contemporary and traditional moko.
On the Saturday it was time for the whanau who had been selected, to receive ta moko. Selection was based on previous attendance at wananga, commitment to Ngati Rauhoto Tikanga and whanaungatanga. Each recipient was assigned an artist and time was spent developing the individual designs.
Organiser Geoff Rameka was the first descendent of Ngati Rauhoto to receive ta moko (puhoro) on the marae for some years. The wharemoe was converted into a studio and after a team karakia the mahi started with the whanau participating in the first cutting of the skin on the marae. Geoff's puhoru took about four hours (and a little pain). By 2am the following morning 14 of the whanau had received ta moko and on the Sunday a further five whanau received ta moko.
A successful wananga which the organisers hope to repeat.
Ko te tamaiiti. He matauranga te kai; he Taniwha te tangata! An educated child will one day rise to lead their people.
Whanau receive ta moko
Wārea te one tapu,Ka hura tangata a uta, me tiakina atu ki tangata a tai, Ka hura tangata a tai, me tiakina atu ki tangata a uta. Kia oti ake te mahara ma te taiao mo ake tonu atu.
Clear the sacred pathway,And let those who care for the hinterland, be as one with those who reside by the seaside. Let those who care for the seaside, be of one thought with those of the hinterland, only then will the care of the environment be secured forever.
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