Ko tā ētahi o ngā Ringa-Tā o Te Arawa mahi, he whakarauora hoki i te reo Māori.
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He toa ringa-tā a Hohua Mohi e whakarauora ana i te moko, ka mutu, mai anō i te kōpū o tōna whaea e whakarauora ana i te reo Māori.
Hai tā tēnei e noho nei i ngā rekereke o Ngāti Rangiwewehi, kua here te moko ki te reo, ā, ko te reo anō kua here ki te moko.
“Ehara i te mea ko te moko, ko ia ko tana kotahi. Kāo! Ko te moko tērā, ko ana torotoro ki ngā mahi toi puta noa. Ana, Ki te whakaaro koe ki te moko ko te reo hoki tērā; ko te reo Māori, ko te reo hoki o te moko ake, ko ōna tikanga ērā, ko ōna waiata, ko ōna haka, ko ērā mea katoa.”
He pēnā anō a Te Wehi Preston, tētahi o te hunga whakahaere i te kaupapa o Moko Ora. Nā tēnei o Ngāti Hinekura i whakatūria te wānanga nei kia whakangungua ngā wāhi kāhore hoki i te pakari.
“Ko tā mātou e kite nei, kai te tokomaha tonu ngā kaitāmoko, ngā ringa tāmoko o te motu, engari ko tētahi āhuatanga e kitea ana i tēnei wā ko te taha ki ngā tikanga me te reo.”
E toru marama ki muri ka rewa tēnei kaupapa ki Tarimano Marae, ā, e koni atu ana i te ono tekau ōna tāngata nō ngā iwi katoa huri noa.
Ko tā Tawhanga Rika he ruku ki te rētōtanga o te mātauranga Māori, ā, hei tā tēnei o Te Arawa whānui, “He uaua ki te whakamārama, engari tēnei wānanga nei he tino wānanga e ruku ana ki ngā momo kōrero, ngā whakapapa, ngā aha rānei e here nei ki ngā mahi moko.”
Ko ia ko te tīmatatanga he whakamomori ki te huarahi o te reo me te tumanako nui ā tōna wā kua reo Māori katoa ngā ringa-tā nei.
E ai tā Murray Bidois o Ngāti Rangiwewehi hoki, “Ehara i te mea me moko mātou katoa, e hē! Engari me manaaki e tātou katoa te moko kia kore e riro atu mā ētahi atu iwi o te ao.”
Ka whakatūria anō te kaupapa o Moko Ora mō roto i ngā marama tata nei, e eke ai ki tā Uetonga e āki nei, kia whāia ko ngā mahi o Rarohenga.
TE ARAWA MOKO ARTISTS DISRUPT MOKO SYSTEM AND STRIVE FOR REO EXCELLENCE
Renown artist Hohua Mohi is a mover and shaker of the moko world, and furthermore a long term advocate of the Māori language.
Mohi of Ngāti Rangiwewehi believes moko is inherent of the language and the language is inherent of moko.
“Moko indefinitely does not come on its own. Moko is connected to all artforms. When you think about it, moko is a language; it’s native, it has its own form, it has its own customs, its own tune, its own rhythm, all of those things and more.”
Te Wehi Preston who shares the same opinion is one of the organisers of Moko Ora. Preston of Ngāti Hinekura initiated the academy for the upskilling of moko artists.
“What we do know is that there is an abundance of Tā Moko artists and at this stage we are focussing on both the cultural values and the language.”
Three months ago the academy was established at Tarimano Marae with more than 60 Tā Moko artists from all over New Zealand.
Tawhanga Rika (Te Arawa) is gaining a deeper understanding of Māori knowledge. He says “It isn’t easy to explain but this institution looks at these sorts of aspects such as genealogy and all that is connected to moko.”
The artists are beginning with small steps by introducing te reo Māori in their everyday life with the long term aspiration of all practioners being fluent in the Māori language.
Rangiwewehi moko artist Murray Bidios says, “We don’t all have to wear moko, absolutely not! But we all have a responsibility of upholding the integrity of moko and making sure it is not used or practiced by any other authority around the world.”
Another conference will take place over the coming months, where these moko practitioners will work towards achieving their aspirations.