Wāhine share experiences of wearing moko kauwae in a professional setting

Wāhine share experiences of wearing moko kauwae in a professional setting

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Women sharing their experiences
about wearing moko kauwae in a professional setting. It’s one of the topics discussed at the Wahine Maori Pasifika
Entrepreneurs Conference. Hania Douglas has more. An ancient artform carried
in a contemporary world. That was the topic
for the first panel at the Wahine Maori Pasifika
Entrepreneurs Conference today. The responsibility of carrying
the taonga was a big theme. Heeding the call to receive
my moko kauwae was healing, it is my constant companion, a memorial and a legacy
for my parents and ancestors. Te reo Maori is my second language. I’m determined to take up
the call of Timoti, for the language’s frequency,
elegance and survival. But it wasn’t just for Maori. A Samoan panel also discussed
the art of malu honouring the origin of humanity. Each shared their own journey, including the first politician
to wear the moko kauwae. My colleagues were not surprised, and while they ask
the same old questions like how long did it take
and did it hurt, I’ve never heard anything negative. And another for whom
it’s become a family tradition. We’re a haka family, so the artist Rangi (Kipa) came
to my mother and said that he’d like to be the one
to adorn her chin. When my twin, Pania, and I turned 40, we followed suit. But all said they believed
the experience has enriched them. There are many women who wear moko kauwae in all careers
and all walks of life, but for me,
mine is a companion for life. Just one of many topics
of discussion at the conference that ends tomorrow. Hania Douglas, Te Karere.

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