I am a Māori artist (Te Rarawa, Ngati Wikitoria) from the Hokianga region of Northland, Aotearoa/New Zealand. My whakapapa (genealogy) traces back to an ancestor who arrived on the first voyage of the great Polynesian navigator, Kupe, around 975AD.
When I came home to Hokianga at the age of 63, I was following in the footsteps of my tupuna (ancestors), both genetic and artistic. Like them I came with a kete (basket) of expectations and prior knowledge, expecting to be able to employ it here. And, like them, I watched as Hokianga emptied that basket and filled it with her own kai (food).