I’ve been spoilt with some solid sitters these past few days...today’s staunch sit by Rawiri to receive Mataora was no exception. Nga mihi nunui ki a koe e hoa me tou whanau nōki.
The thing about Moko, especially when concerning Moko kanohi, is that it brings whanau together in a positive way. Whanau come from afar, to support the person, to mihi to them, waiata to them, recite whakapapa of how they connect to them.
We remember those past, we laugh about old times and we wail for them. Then when the work is complete, we celebrate!
In my opinion, the only other scenario that you experience this level of kotahitanga (that doesn’t involve alcohol) is at Tangihana, so it’s kinda the same except it’s a happy occasion, and the person is still with us:)
There’s that common phrase we are all familiar with... “geeeeez the only time we get together to see each other is at a tangi aye” - well now we have another reason come together.
Whether you like it or not, you can’t deny the power it has to bring whanau together.
Moko is a symbol of status, identity and mana. It’s good to see those other misconceptions of what it is fading into the abyss and becoming somewhat normalised in Aotearoa.
Forget that korero that our culture and language is dying...it’s far from it. Moko is just one example that our culture is alive and well...by gingoes look out if they try and stop us from doing it again.