Eastbay REAP - News release 10 May 2019
Pounamu workshop – understanding culture through craft
Many hands felt the energy and life force of pounamu as they selected and shaped taonga using traditional methods at a wāhanga held at Ohiwa in December.
Thirty participants ranging in age from 15 to 65 years, learned under the guidance of experienced Ngāi Tuhoe carver Te Kaha and his wife Christina who is skilled in setting and binding. The one day course was held in a whanau environment where all begin and end their project together and share their stories whakaaro (thoughts) and whakapapa along the way and in this way embed it into the taonga they create.
As they worked Te Kaha explained the unique relationship between pounamu, Papatuanuku and humankind and the sacred place pounamu holds in many traditional rituals. By sharing their journey and beliefs Te Kaha and Christina inspired learners to refocus and move forward with confidence in who they and to gain strength by discovering their own creative potential.
The project “Me marama Ki muri – me marama ki mua” was funded by Creative NZ and supported by Eastbay REAP.
“We believe that having a good understanding of self is one the first steps toward a pathway to learning. We need more casual learning opportunities where traditional Maori arts and kaupapa are a central theme - where tataritanga (thinking), manaakitanga (relationships), rangatiratanga (self-determination) and whānaungatanga (inclusion participation and contribution) is valued alongside developing skills - and we thank Creative NZ Opotiki for their support.
We are always listening to our communities, exploring ways we can connect with people and partners, in order to help people build confidence and move into further learning” says Eastbay REAP coordinator Courtney Andrews.
The Opotiki District Creative Communities Scheme supports and encourages local arts activities. It is a partnership between Opotiki District Council and Creative New Zealand.
Every year Creative New Zealand provides money to councils to support local arts activities. Any individual, group or organisation can apply.
Various types of projects are considered for these grants, such as workshops, performances, exhibitions, short-term arts events, and arts-related promotional activities. Visit the Creative Communities page on this website for full details and dates for the next funding round.