This piece called ‘Taranga’s tears’ was created for the Pakiwaitara a Maui exhibition at the Hihiaua Cultural Centre, Whangarei.
Warning: text below may cause some distress for some readers. I am sorry in advance as I know how much it hurts.
The first thing I think of when I think about Maui, is how his mother Taranga thought he was still born. She lovingly wrapped him in the hair she cut from her top knot, and with a broken heart watched on as he was carried out to sea. No-one ever talks about her grief at losing a baby. No-one ever gives time to express how this heart wrenching moment turns into days, into months, into years of secretly mourning. Why?… I think maybe for the same reason I made this instead of writing about it. It hurts. I decided I would attempt to depict this blood memory, drawing from my own personal experience of this deep silent grief. Although it’s a heavy pouri kaupapa, I hope you see the love it is made with. The colour of Taranga’s hair cradling her son, the whakapapa floating in the glistening waves, her taonga gently carried from their island home to his ancestors.
This is dedicated to my babies.