Tapu 2020 - Waitohu: Wahine reclaiming the ink


Te Petihana Whakamana Pōti Wahine will explore and wānanga the significance of waitohu/important inscriptions, from and about wāhine who have boldly reclaimed the ink.

Date: Saturday 26 September 2020, 1pm to 5pm
Cost: Free. RSVP required.
Location: Taiwhanga Kahau — Auditorium, National Library Wellington. Entrance on Aitken Street.

Wāhine and waitohu

The afternoon will include discussion of moko kauae, signatures, literature, and activism that embodies and acknowledges mana wāhine. Following last year's transformative ‘Tapu: Te Awa Atua 2019’ sell-out event this year we focus on wāhine and waitohu.

Waitohu refers to a symbol, a mark, or a signature. It expresses value or worth and carries multiple interpretations depending on the context in which it is understood. Wai — meaning water and tohu meaning significant. This is also the name of a stream in Te Awa Kairanga which therefore carries meaning and connection for mana whenua of Te Ātiawa.

In te reo Māori, the act of making a mark is encapsulated in the word Tā and is incredibly vast in definition. Tā can refer to the act of printing, publishing, painting, carving, etching, inscribing, engraving and, of course, tāmoko or tattoo. It also refers to the quill.

In English, these words speak to themes of permanence and indelibility, echoing the tohu of the women's suffrage petition.

Dynamic range of presenters

A dynamic range of presenters will explore the reclamation of mana wāhine through literature, moko kauae, stories, letters, poetry and performance, as well as contemporary political activism in online and digital spaces.

Presenters include:

Honiana Love (Te Ātiawa, ko Taranaki Iwi, Ngāti Ruanui, Ngā Ruahinerangi)
Anahera Gildea (Ngāti Tukorehe, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Te Ātiawa, Kai Tahu, Ngāi Te Rangi)
Emma Espiner (Ngāti Tukorehe, Ngāti Porou)
Laura O’Connell-Rapira
Sian Montgomery-Neutze
Glenis Philip-Barbara
Tracey Matthews
Te Kahureremoa & Khali (MCs)

Check before you go

Due to COVID-19 some events can be cancelled or postponed at very short notice. Please check the website for updated information about individual events before you come.


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