It is so wonderful to be back at Parihaka. After a 6.5 hour bus journey from Wellington, I arrived in New Plymouth late Friday afternoon. Maata’s daughter was waiting to meet me at the bus station and we had a wonderful chat in the car on the way to Parihaka.
When I arrived, Maata was in the middle of hosting a group of over 100 wedding/funeral celebrants and they were all lined up for kai (food). I was able to slip in via the back door because I have been welcomed onto the marae on past visits. Although I am very much a learner (grasshopper) I do know a little about how things work, so asked where I could be of help and got stuck into it 🙂
It was wonderful to observe the celebrants and how they engaged with the story of Parihaka and the teachings shared by Maata, her son and other Elders. Parihaka is very special and its legacy of peaceful resistance is a lesson for the world to learn from. In the ploughing days, the people peacefully held their ground. I wrote about this on my first visit back in 2013 as a SCANZ2013 participant.
Yesterday morning Maata and I started our work together. We talked at length about different stories that connected across cultures, thinking about the stars, cosmology and our human relationship to the universe. This was a great starting point to explore the potential forms that our collaboration could take. Here are some sketches from our session.
I am also keen to start shooting some 360 camera footage of the river, which runs behind Maata’s whare (house). When I first arrived, I forgot it was so close and thought it was very heavy rain. The sound of the water is very healing and I am looking forward to some time for close observation of the life of the river ❤