Moko in the Landscape

Kiaora Stacey!

Last week I went on a bit of a hikoi (journey) through our North Island landscape and I wanted to share some images with you knowing that at the moment we have quite different landscapes and weather! 🙂

My mother turned 80 years old on Sunday – Valentines Day has always been her day for us, so it was awesome to be in Rotorua with my whānau (family) again to celebrate such a huge milestone for her.

Opotiki and moko feet
Opotiki and moko feet

This first image is of me sitting on a beach in Opotiki which is about 1.5 hours from Gisborne where I live. We stopped off here for a rest and swim because it was SO HOT! And the water was SO warm!

The next image was taken in the mud plains at Ohiwa which is just up the road from Opotiki. We went hunting for cockles – a childhood past time I remember well! Cockles are a shellfish seafood that are delicious – delicious like kina 🙂 I can’t wait to share all of these seafood delicacies with you one day! I know that your people eat fish, whale and seal. Are there other things from the sea that you eat?

Cockle Hunting at Ohiwa
Cockle Hunting at Ohiwa

The last image is of me with my feet in the water at my lake Rotoiti – this is where my maternal grandfather is from, a place where my mother grew up and my Dad is buried. Yes my Dad from Taranaki wanted to be buried with my mother’s whānau in Rotorua. He spent many years in Te Arawa (my mother’s tribe) – over 50 years, so he was very much a part of the furniture!!

moko feet in Lake Rotoiti
moko feet in Lake Rotoiti

What are your views on living outside your tribal area? I know you currently live in Nunavut but you are from further North in Nunavut. Is that right? Would love to know more of your connection to place and whether this is a different connection in the place that you whakapapa (have genealogy) to.

For me, there is something about standing on land or in water from which you descend. A place that you have a genealogical connection to. It is a different connection and feeling. I live here in the East Coast, but I don’t feel any strong connection to the landscape here other than it being absolutely beautiful! And there are some wonderful spiritual places I have connected to, but it is still different.

There really is something about putting your feet in the lake where your ancestors also were many years ago.

Arohanui,

Jo x

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