Natalie Robertson: Tātara E Maru Ana – The Sacred Rain Cape of Waiapu
17 Jul 2021 - 28 Aug 2021
Natalie Robertson, A Red-Tipped Dawn — Pōhautea and Hikurangi from Waiapu Ngutu Awa (7th August 2020), 2020
Centuries ago, Tamokai of the inland Te Aowera people spoke to his kinsman Kōkere and said: ‘“Hoake tāua ki te Waiapu tātara e maru ana — “Let us go to Waiapu, where the rain cape is thick.” With its reference to a woven rain cape, usually made of harakeke, this Ngāti Porou whakatauākī speaks of the shelter provided by the forested Waiapu valley. Today, her ‘rain cape’ is now threadbare due to deforestation more than a century ago. In response, Ngāti Porou have set forth the vision to revitalise Waiapu Kōkā Hūhua. This exhibition offers a record of an ancestral tīpuna landscape as it is today. Hope comes in the form of a red-tipped dawn—te atā kura.
Each year, Natalie returns to whānau land at Omaewa, to strengthen her ties to the whenua. Omaewa, is just north of Port Awanui, family land belonging to Robertson, a member of Te Whānau a Hineauta, Te Whānau a Pōkai. This frequent returning rebuilds old family connections and relationships and deepens her knowledge of place.
Tātara E Maru Ana – The Sacred Rain Cape of Waiapu: roomsheet