Te Ao Manamanaia
This research comprises of two parts: a) an exegesis and creative work that is sole-authored, b) a larger collaborative creative installation that is interwoven with the PhD research of two other candidates (who are also part of the collaboration). With a united sense of responsibility as Kāhui Kairaranga (collective of weavers associated with the house of nobles in traditional Māori society), this collaborative study examines and documents the practice of raranga (weaving), tukutuku (latticework), whatu muka (finger weaving) and tāniko (another form of finger weaving) as legitimate traditional Māori art-forms integral in the transmission of Iho Matua (Māori Philosophy) and the application of tikanga Māori (Māori customary practices and lore). The rationale for this study is driven by the fact that we have taught, in a Wānanga context, the art of Māori weaving, for the past 10 to 20 years and are interested in critically examining the past in order to contribute to the future. That is, ‘Titiro whakamuri, Hoki whakamua’, to know where we are today and to move forward with confidence, we must look back to where we have been. The focus of this exegesis is to examine how the practice of the Kāhui Kairaranga as kaitiaki (guardians) of Māori weaving and knowledge transfer from generation to generation, has evolved and been impacted upon, through two socio-historical processes: mass migration from rural to urban areas and the Māori political and cultural renaissance. This period will cover post 1970’s and is referred to as Te Ao Hurihuri. The research methodologies: Kaupapa Māori, The Rangihau Conceptual Model, Toi Awe, the Tienga Model and Te Ao Manamanaia will allow analysis within a cultural context grounded in mātauranga Māori. These methodologies are not separate from each other, but are interwoven throughout this exegesis. The creative component will be undertaken as a collaborative display of works with my two peers Jacqueline McCrae-Tarei and Gloria Taituha and will include creative works informed by the research findings from each time period (Te Ao Kohatu, Te Ao Huringa and Te Ao Hurihuri). The display of work created in relation to the time period of Te Ao Hurihuri will be informed by the findings of this study.