Miriama Grace-Smith

Raise rangatira

I am a Māori artist based in Aotearoa New Zealand. Māori are the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand. Due to Covid 19 we have been in lockdown for two weeks here in Aotearoa New Zealand. As Māori we don't call this period a lockdown, we call it a rāhui. The purpose of a rāhui is to remove people from the area to prevent further spread of the virus and allow the environment to heal. I am currently creating a series of work based on the lessons I am learning during this rāhui as a Māori living in this time. This work is called ‘Raise rangatira’ (Raise Leaders) The world moves so fast it is easy to become caught up and leave the things that matter, for another time. This is the time Lets hold our tamariki (children) close And use the stillness to reconnect with them, to remember and to keep learning who we are, where we come from. Lets share old stories with them and make new ones. Lets teach them how to plant and fish, but only take what they need. To learn our language Work as a community Value our Kuia and Kaumatua (elders) Let's teach them how to listen with their hearts. To speak their truth Lets Raise rangatira
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