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Unique Art Form Focus of Wananga

September 20, 2011

Tradition meets contemporary on Monday at the annual EIT Tairawhiti Ta Moko Wananga.

Once again, the Toihoukura event has attracted some of the nation”s leading ta moko artists, including members of Te Uhi Mataora – which is connected to Toi Maori Aotearoa.

Principal Toihoukura tutor Derek Lardelli will be joined by former Toihoukura student Thomas Clark (Auckland), Richie Francis (Rotorua), Raniera McGrath (Kaitaia) and others.

The week-long wananga is acknowledged as a great opportunity for students and anyone who is interested, to see some of the best at work.

Ta moko is considered one of the biggest indigenous marks in the world, and many people from all over the globe are using ta moko-type patterns.

“This is a chance for us to have a look at how that development is going internationally and to make sure that on a national and regional front, we are not losing focus about our commitment back to our own,” says Lardelli.

“That is where ta moko began – it is the sense of pride and the privilege that it brings with it.”
The key is keeping the taonga (treasure) of ta moko safe.

Lardelli, who is credited with kick-starting the resurgence of ta moko, says it is also a welcome opportunity for ta moko artists to sit, talk and work together.

“It”s good to have a bit of a discussion on just where the art from has come from in the past few years and where it is headed.”

Each ta moko is unique and recounts a story.

The doors at the Maia Gallery at Toihoukura are open for all to call by and watch ta moko being done, or even get one done themselves. For more information call Theresa, at Toihoukura on 8690847.