When you go in search of Whakapapa, sometimes it literally comes right out of the sand.
It seems like a life time ago my father and I travelled to Rakiura for 6 special days.
We were guided by the whakaaro of whanaunga at Te Rau Aroha Marae.
We met generous people on the island that took us in and shared their island life and histories and then inbetween all that epic stuff, the two of us went exploring. (I should actually say a big shout out to our dear friend Fiona who was actually on Rakiura with us too! She carried her share of the tripod and listened out to the birds with the recorder, she also woke up a sea lion at the Neck which was funny since we had just learnt Te Wehi-a-Te-Wera is the Māori name for the Neck, the long, narrow peninsula at the entrance to Te Whaka-a-Te-Wera (Paterson Inlet). The name refers to the well-known Ngāi Tahu tupuna, Te Wera, who escaped to Rakiura following a series of inter-tribal fighting in Otago. Te Wera famously encountered a seal that frightened him, and the place was subsequently named “Te Wehi-a-Te-Wera”, which means “The Fright of Te Wera”.
The above photo above sums up our trip to Rakiura. We looked for our tupuna and we found them. It was like they wanted us to acknowledge them and were happy for us to find them. We were happy to stand in their places, even though it was for such a brief moment. I dedicate this art project to them.