September 14, 2015
Ceramacist Colleen Waata-Urlich a strong leader
There’s shock in Maori arts circles at the sudden death of Colleen Waata-Urlich, just days after the tangi for fellow ceramacist and Dargaville resident Manos Nathan.
She was in her 76th year.
Fellow artist Elizabeth Ellis says the Te Popoto o Ngapuhi ki Kaipara and Te Rarawa kuia will be missed throughout Maoridom.
"She was a strong leader in Ngapuhi but a strong leader also across the country, a really tough, outspoken, take no prisoners person who fought for what she believed in and stood tall in that and so yes, we will miss her dreadfully," she says.
Elizabeth Ellis says Colleen Waata-Urlich was a great teacher and mentor throughout her life, and she also forged strong bonds with indigenous artists overseas, especially among the first nations peoples of the United States and Canada.
The funeral service was held this morning at Oturei Marae in Dargaville.
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