October 17, 2019
Waka builders share skills
Māori and Pacific waka experts have been sharing their knowledge this week at the Hihiaua Cultural Centre in Whangārei.
Te Au Mārie 1769 Sestercentennial Trust co-chair James Eruera says the Rata symposium includes practitioners from Hawaii, Tahiti and Aotearoa demonstrating their work as they transform trees to functional waka.
Tahitian master carver Marirai Freddie Tauotaha aims to complete a canoe started 27 years ago by his father, Puaniho Tauotaha, at the home of the late Sir Hekenukumai Puhipi.
Hawai’ian Na Kalai Wa’a o Laka is led by the Bumatay family with strong ancestral links to the canoe carvers of the past.
Ray Bumatay and son Alika from Hawaii are leading a team carving an outrigger canoe using the skills handed down to them by their ancestors.
For the Aotearoa collaboration, the Hihiaua is showing rangatahi from Te Kāpehu Whetū the skills involved in waka restoration, lashing and preservation.
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