Te Hāro o te Kāhu ki Tuawhakarere
See past the horizon
Piiata Lauren Turi-Heenan, 45, from Haumoana, New Zealand, tells the story of her chin tattoo, which was first printed Things&Ink The Face Concern.
Picture: Bashan Te Rau Oriwa Heenan
‘Moko Kauae, the chin tattoo, is a ceremony of passage, a symbolic expression and manifestation of a dynamic upward motion of time and area inside sacred female energies. It’s a time of collaborating SELF-identity and collective id inside the Iwi, the neighborhood/clan.
‘Rites and rituals had been carried out over the wearer of Moko Kauae by Tohunga, specialists of their chosen space (birthing, tattooing, ritual prayer and so forth.) in honour of their journey from feminine baby to getting into the realms of Te Whare Tangata – Womanhood: The Home of Mankind.
‘Moko Kauae is the start of a better consciousness of studying and upholding of sacred data and understanding of cycles, biorhythms (moon/tide), rites of childbirth, rites of menopause, arts. Māori ladies had been revered, honoured and seen because the embodiment of Papa-tū-ā-nuku, the earth mom/sister.
‘As modern Maori ladies we now have sat in an oppressive colonised state of being for nicely over a century. Our rites and rituals obscured, even misplaced to us. However Māori ladies refused to be imprisoned by western constraints and fought a number of states of oppression to be free from racism, sexism, prejudice, and to reunite nation, neighborhood and SELF.
‘I’m a descendant of this historic race and Moko Kauae is my birthright as a Māori lady. It’s one in all many rites of passage on my superb journey within the realm of Te Whare Tangata. I categorical and manifest every private ceremony of passage by the artwork type of Moko.
‘At 27 years of age, I agreed to put on Moko Kauae. My grandfather (Rii Tiakitai-Turi, our tribe Ngati Kahungunu) had made the request, as a result of he didn’t wish to see the custom misplaced.
‘Over the months that adopted, I consulted with tribal elders on maternal and paternal sides, household and buddies. There have been just a few detrimental feedback, “You’ll damage your face”, “It’s barbaric”, “It’s Tapu/Taboo – sacred/forbidden”, “Why would you do this?”.It didn’t deter me, I’ve by no means regretted my grandfather’s imaginative and prescient or my resolution.
‘At 28, my Moko Kauae was tapped into my pores and skin with tattooing chisels referred to as Uhi. The Tohunga Ta Moko (tattoo artist) was Te Rangi Takuku Kaihoro Laurie Nicholas. Since I used to be already a mom to 5 of my 13 kids, I additionally acquired Moko Pū Whakairo, the decrease stomach tattoo for baby bearers.
‘I’m now 45, a grandmother of seven (5 of whom I’ve delivered), and I will likely be receiving my Tātua, a mid part tattoo. This will likely be achieved the normal manner – with Uhi and pigment from aawheto (mummified caterpillars) by Henriata Nicholas, an unimaginable Tohunga in her personal proper.
‘Sporting Moko Kauae has enhanced my life in some ways, together with my need to change into a standard tattooist. I’ve by no means been afraid to be me, and my kids (4 by to 27) and grandchildren see me in the identical mild they all the time have –as Mummy and Nanna.
‘I take pleasure in kids’s curiosity and questioning nature. I’m not offended after they ask to the touch my chin, as I consider this tactile strategy helps them be taught. I’ve even given class shows to college students of all ages about my Moko Kauae.
‘Every spiral and curve has a reputation and a narrative. The Whakatakotoranga, the spiral below my chin, is the inspiration that data is constructed upon, the open koru (spiral) characterize constructing blocks of life. The Pūhoro, the wave/tidal patterns, that draw downward from the corners of my lips characterize our cycles, biorhythms and our pure affinity to the moon and the tides. My backside lip acknowledges earthly/human rites/rituals, and my high lip acknowledges esoteric rites/rituals.
‘I’m grateful to all my ancestresses and ancestors who’ve fought to allow me to face in my absolute fact magnificence and lightweight right now as Whare Tangata…The Home of Mankind.
‘He Tapu Te Wāhine na te mea he Whare Tangata. Girls are sacred as a result of they’re The Home of Mankind.’