He Pounamu Ko Āu. Celebrating My Mana Wahine Māori Narrative
Barrett, Tia Boni
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“He wāhine, he whenua, e ngaro ai te tangata.” "By women and land, men are lost ‐ also refers to the essential nourishing roles that women and land fulfil, without which humanity would be lost." (Ani Mikaere, 1994.). My master's is a kaupapa Māori creative, practice-led study that explores my wahine Māori identity. I expound on my journey through moving image, mōteatea, ambient sound, and installation. Sharing my healing process of overcoming the adversity of colonisation and the impacts it has had on me as a wāhine Māori. On an artistic level, my research showcases the wahine Māori worldview through film. I use my maternal whakapapa to celebrate intergenerational wāhine talent. As a finale, I honour my Māori creativity through an exhibition: An immersive experience installation at St Paul's Gallery at Auckland University of Technology. Delving deeper into my research, I explore the application of a mana wāhine Māori paradigm, drawing knowledge from whakapapa, whakawhānaungatanga and wairuatanga. My understanding is supplemented with personal experiences, empowering my wāhine Māori pūrākau. Moreover, applying a conceptual identity framework of a pounamu pūrākau methodology (developed by my mother, Dr Alvina Jean Edwards) reinforces my Te Ao Māori worldview understanding and ways of knowing. Further, the pounamu pūrākau methodology provides a valuable lens to review my experimental and explorative moving-image practice. It guided me to my whenua in Te Waipounamu, activating my art-making process. Finally, Papatūānuku is my atua who is chosen for her healing character and represents a central mana wahine figure within my wahine Māori pūrākau.