Marae in Ihumātao to host wānanga celebrating indigenous wāhine

By Jessica Tyson
Photo source: Qiane Matata-Sipu

The creator of NUKU, a media storytelling series which profiles 100 indigenous women, is set to expand with a wānanga celebrating wāhine toa.

Qiane Matata-Sipu launched NUKU in January this year and has just announced the wānanga, NUKU Live, will take place on Saturday, July 27.

“This event is an extension of what takes place on our online platforms each week, a resurgence in the flow of spirited sharing that transforms thinking, transfers knowledge across generations and uncovers layers to cultural identity,” says Matata-Sipu.

The wānanga will take place at Makaurau Marae, in the culturally and historically rich papakāinga of Ihumātao.

The programme will be packed with kōrero, kai and wānanga on rāranga and rongoā Māori.  Other highlights include a workshop on the history of Cook Islands and Tahitian pareu and a hula workshop led by Charlene Tedrow and Lomina Araitia of Ura Tabu Pacific Dance.

The day coincides with Ōrongonui, a surging energy day in the Māori seasonal calendar.

“NUKU Live serves to connect, collaborate, guide, entertain and inspire wāhine during this transitional season following Matariki.  An opportunity to reset, reflect and plan for the year ahead.”

Speakers at the wānanga will include Melissa Robinson-Cole, a full-time artist, designer and advocate for body positivity; lifestyle blogger Hana Tapiata who lives by indigenous philosophies and mātauranga Māori; curator Ema Tavola who is passionate about shifting representational politics and archiving the Pacific diaspora experience and Dr Huhana Hickey, a Crown Director and advocate for the disabled community.

So far, as part of the NUKU project, Matata-Sipu has interviewed a more than 25 prominent Māori women including designer Kiri Nathan, filmmaker Chelsea Winstanley and businesswomen Angela Watene and Michele Wilson.