Te Tuhi Mareikura Trust (TMT) will again bring to the Tauranga Moana and wider Bay of Plenty region its highly successful representation of the world’s best tā tatau and tā moko indigenous practitioners for one unique cultural event.
Held over eleven days from 19 – 29 September 2022, TMT presents Toi Kiri: World Indigenous Tattoo Culture 2022; a gathering of indigenous practitioners of Tā Tatau, Tā Moko (Māori) and cultural arts at Whareroa Marae and grounds, Mount Maunganui.
The festival will focus on the development of customary body marking art, including the safe and current use of both customary Uhi (hand tapping) and modern tattoo technologies.
Over 50 indigenous practitioners of Tā Tatau, Tā Moko and other related cultural arts such as weaving, carving, adornment, clay and ceremony will live-in at Whareroa Marae. The artist symposium part of the festival will run from 19 – 22 September.
The public festival will run from 11am Friday 23 September to 5pm Sunday 25 September. A ceremonial Māori blessing followed by food will open Toi Kiri: World Indigenous Tattoo Culture 2022, where continuous tattoo, dance and music performances, as well as food vendors, will feature until 9pm. A range of art and cultural vendors will also be available until 7pm each day.
Julie Paama-Pengelly, TMT Chairperson, says Tā Moko Tā Tatau builds in wānanga experience for all the Indigenous artists in attendance, broadens the participation of other sectors of the community and cultural groups, and encourages the development of indigenous art practices that tend to be undervalued in public art festival settings.
“Tā Moko Tā Tatau provides for unique experiences, enriched cultural interactions and exposure to new knowledge through broad community participation.
“For the Tauranga Moana and Western Bay of Plenty region, the event provides further economic benefit through the positive marketing and sharing of our region internationally, the promotion of cultural community development, and through the engagement of participation with the wider arts and cultural communities. It opens the door for future exchange of art, through online and physical international exchanges.
“We are excited to be able to put together a whole cultural package where the value is in the sharing of actual cultural experiences.”
The event will see indigenous practitioners from across the globe make their way to our region to share their stories, art form and histories.
In previous years, leading artists of indigenous body marking arts have come from Tahiti, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Philippines, Innuit, Alaska, Canada, America, Taiwan and New Zealand.
Julie says TMT are putting the letters of invitations out now to prepare the artists for what they need to come to the festival and New Zealand.
“We have a well-established international and national artist network eager to attend the event.
“But it costs a lot of money, especially during Covid times, to come to the other side of the world. Many will be putting in funding applications to come over, and the key ones will make it as they know how valuable this event is.”
Julie explains that event attendees will experience a unique festival unlike any other.
“Many people don’t appreciate that with the world’s indigenous, we actually share a lot of experiences. Māori have benefited from the fact we were colonised quite late – a lot of these indigenous cultures are more of a minority than we are and have had mass genocide.
“So it’s interesting that we are the youngest in terms of our colonial history but we’ve been the most vocal about our revival. It has been so strong that other indigenous look to us. We all share a common paradigm about the way we see the world and our practice.
“By us running our own event and making it a driven event, we are very experienced in what that looks like in terms of indigenous, so I think people will experience a really unique event and that’s the point – that they gain a new appreciation or insight into other people’s worlds.”
The festival has been made possible with the help of $10,000 in funding approved thorough the Kaupapa Maori Legacy Event Fund (KMLEF), established by Tauranga City Council and TECT.
The fund was established to provide ongoing support to recurring events that celebrate tangata whenua and/or mana whenua, promote and share tikanga Māori and/or bring awareness to events of historical significance for Tauranga Moana Māori.
Julie says the TMT were relieved to receive the funding.
“This is our third festival. We’ve run those festivals on the smell of an oily rag, purely on volunteer effort, and this time is the first time we’ve actually gained financial support for it.
That funding is truly amazing – we probably wouldn’t have been able to run the festival without that support.
“It takes so much energy, so much community to do what we do. We place so much value on what we do, so it was really nice to have Tauranga City Council and TECT support it, to see that our hard work was valued.”
More information about the festival can be found at www.tetuimareikura.org/toikiri2022.