Art form: Ngā toi Māori / Whatuora
Project name: Whatuora
Project information: The term Whatuora twines together two not commonly associated ideas: whatu and ora. Whatu is the term for traditional Māori finger twining, an ancient practice developed by Māori over centuries and used to create traditional clothing and highly prized feathered cloaks considered valuable heirlooms. Whatu is also the Māori word for ‘eyes’; the lenses through which we view the world. The concept of whatu as sight, vision and lens provides some interesting metaphorical language to think about how whatu, and the whatu kākahu (cloaks) it creates, are able to engender story, hold story and tell story about who we are as Māori. If ora means to be well, to survive, to be healthy, fit and vital, to be safe, cured, recovered and healed (Williams, 1997), ora in this creative context is understood as a journey to wellness and recovery from the impacts of colonisation by reclaiming and restor(y)ing whānau language journeys through learning the Māori arts practice of whatu and creating a 'storied cloak' for their whānau.
Project starting: May 2021