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Mokorua Nga korero mo toku moko kauae – My story of moko kauae


Mokorua Nga korero mo toku moko kauae – My story of moko kauae

  • ISBN 13:


  • ISBN 10:


  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 04/10/2023
  • Publisher: Auckland University Press

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I ka ra o mua, I would know my place in my tipuna’s time, I would know my face. Mokorua is a revealing and emotional account of one woman receiving her moko kauae. Ariana Tikao grew up in suburban Christchurch in the 1970s and ’80s surrounded by te ao Pakeha. This book tells the story of Ariana exploring her whakapapa, her whanau history and her language. This is one woman’s story, but it is interwoven with the revival of language, tikanga and identity among Kai Tahu whanau over the last thirty years. Ariana’s journey culminates in her decision to take on Mokorua – her moko kauae – from ta moko artist Christine Harvey. After an emotionally charged ceremony that brought together whanau, young and old, for songs and tautoko, hugs and tears, Ariana writes: ‘Our whanau had reached another milestone in the decolonisation process – or, rather, in our journey of reindigenising ourselves, becoming who we always were.’ Through Ariana’s words, te reo Maori text by her hoa tane Ross Calman, and an intimate, moving photo essay by Matt Calman, Mokorua reveals the journey of one woman reclaiming her Maori identity. My moko has now surfaced from beneath my skin, and she, Mokorua, has revealed herself in her green-lined goodness.

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