Last Century Colonial Travellers and new residents took photographs of our Elders as part of a supposed 'Dying Race' and heavily romanticized Noble Savage Peoples soon to be swept aside by Europeanization.
This is an Elder Kinswoman of the East Coast Tribalz, although the non Nativez never recorded their True names or only part of their names, or a phonetic guess at the first name.
These photos defied the 'Maori Maiden' genre which perfectly reflected a propaganda of reclining Maiden, more often scantily clad on the ground 'pure and open' so to speak. Passive, vulnerable and defenceless was the preferred Heathen image especially where Nativez Women were concerned since the photos were to 'sell' our Home as a preferred tourist destination and new Home for would be Land speculators and the social milieu that this would encourage.
Our Elder is wearing Mako earrings, made of Sharks teeth they symbolize a Chiefly Woman's virtue of tenacity and determination. Her moko kauae ~ her chiselled chin markings are very simple lines depicting her lineage and her as a Tribalz Woman using Water symbols as bearer of the tides of Life.
The Two Huia feathers denote high ranking Women. Her ornately woven Korowai ~ the feather cloak was reserved to those of 'wealth and prestige' as such taonga (treasured heirlooms) took so very long to create and finish. The panel along the top of the Korowai ~ the feather Cloak symbolizes our Celestially corpus of knowledge. It often took years to complete a Korowai and one this ornate could only be acquired by those of Chiefly means.
Love the photograph because of the defiant and upright posture of the Kuia ~ Elder Kinswoman. It is very powerful for this complete composition which projects so much mana ~ Sacred Authority inwardly borne and radiantly exuding itself. ~ Mereana Taki, 2010
Maori woman - te mana a te Wahine -
the Sacred authority that is Woman.
"The depth of your traditions, and the spirituality was missed by the Euros who came to your homeland, or pissed over? How were the Maori able to keep language, custom, and religion as well as you have? Didn't the missionaries come as an advance guard?" - Gregory E. Woods, Keeper of Stories
"We are as now, a Spoken people. Our Oral World and our direct relationships with Great Mother continues to keep much of ourselves intact.
We will try everything we can to keep our Mother Cultures alive and visceral, dynamic and relevant as Ancients Wisdoms providing 'Modern' solutions. We are highly adaptable in an open system of Love and Respect. Our preference is to be inclusive, although we will lock out if needs be as a last resort.
My work today is to walk amongst my Kin and rekindle many of the threads between our Sacred and Secular Worlds. Whether amongst our Whanau Kin in our communities or in the illusion of higher education, it matters not in the end. Many non Natives react to our Wisdoms, as you might expect. They open up the Heart chakra directly and without apology as Gateway to mutual respect. We want to know how you feel. We are less interested in what you think you feel. We are Heart People, clear and direct as an exemplar of a Healthy Whole BEing. Feeling is our intelligence of preference beside intuition and the cognitive is as mode of delivery LOL hahahaha ...know our non Nativez find this a challenge to humble the Mind as delivery point only. With their Ancients and Ancestors intact, they learn to relax and inhabit themselves more fully with all the unfinishedness of BEing that can go on.
As Long as this Sacred Ground exists, we will persist also. She is Sacred Mother, Language, Culture, Womb of Existence as a totalizing system of sustainability. She teaches us every day to go gently with ourselves and we have only two learning skillz for life. (1) Deep Listening with ones whole life. Aata whakarongo, cultivating our stomach intuition and GoddSelf. (2) Whole of Life observation. Aata Tirohia, to see quantum and Spirit active. Talking is NOT REQUIRED in a mastery of Wisdom. Brevity and economy is the benchmark of the skillful Orator and Chiefly diplomat." ~ Mereana Taki
"Her hair is curly. What is the Maori relationship, if any, with African tribes?" I asked.
“Here is the connection, Mereana: in spirit. In spirit there is a connection created through the waves of devotion to our Mother Earth, the connective energies of songs from our being present in the spiritual walk within the inner chambers of being who we were meant to be. That connects people who have never seen each other, yet belong together, and will eventually come together. Here is a connection perhaps, Mereana!”
Mereana answered: "Kia ora Sacred and Chiefly Brother, yes ...this is our essence ...we are indeed pure energetics of Spirit. Perhaps this is all we ever really need/ed to understand. Here in the power of our Spirits ...we are unassailable ...unavailable ...unattainable ...wearing the robes of our immutable ...intangible ...incorruptable ...boundless ...timeless ...causeless ...infinitude ...rooted in Great Mothers own deep Spirit, we all touch her through our outer Skin and we intrinsically ...innately ...indefatigably to our bones realise ...this will be eternally so.
When Dr Bernice Johnson Reagon from Sweet Honey in the Rock visited us a few years ago, she left an immense inspirational impression on our Wairua, our Spiritual imprints. She sang to us; after her oratory, to introduce herself ...as is our custom when standing upon Land which has never felt our 'waewae tapu' sacred feet for the first time. First is to Great Mother and then, to her descendants who are Caretakers for this place we are now standing upon to enter into relationship. Bernice sang something so powerful ...it was primal sound, so deep and so sorrowful ...much as our own Kuikuia when they wail at our tangihanga our funeral ceremonies. This wailing sound is piercing and it is Oceanic in the way that Bernice brought through a very deep Drum in her Voice of Ancients and Ancestors into our Ancestor House. It is profoundly moving even recollecting it now ...the inexplicable entered and we were transported into the company of our shared elders. Bernice thanked us all for 'still being here' for ensuring our Ancestor house ...standing in the middle of an urban jungle ...not only persisted, it was also that it still a living gathering space and place where the sacred can continuously be observed and remembered.
What she said about her Ancestors lives with me still. She said; her Africa as someone taken from Africa lives in the Soles/Souls of her feet. Wherever her feet go, Africa goes with her. This is very very profound. She IS Africa wherever else she goes ...A Native American visitor said something similar; whenever She (of Nevada Paiute) misses 'home' she needs only place her hand on Great Mother anywhere on the planet and 'she is home'. There is an instant connectivity for her from where she is at the time, to where her people have always been established and ...she is Spiritually taken there in this gesture.
Yes Sacred Brother of the same Sacred Mother ...it is so."
|Mereana Taki - It is always a journey within you.|
"Mind enslavement holds you to a one dimensional view inside a multi-dimensional holograph of your strongest lessons. These lessons are about your own Light. You are the teacher, the subject, the student, the SEEKER OF MYSTERIES. Its you ... your human experiences are the mystery. Your Soul provides immortal consciousness. Figure out how you came to view yourself as some kind of normalised antagonistic binary of Spirit and Ego." ~ Mereana Taki (2014)