October 29, 2020
Wahine told reo and moko come in package
A Ngāti Porou educator has sparked a social media firestorm with her statement that if a woman wears a moko kauae, she will only speak Māori to her.
Rhonda Tibble’s post has sparked almost 200 comments, from those in support to those accusing her of shaming other women.
She says there is an expectation among Māori that someone with the facial moko should have not only the language but be expert in other aspects of the culture.
The alternative is that any wahine Māori can wear a kauae.
"All the expectations that anybody else with Māori blood might have of a woman wearing a kauae then has to now be reduced to 'she's just wearing it because she's got whakapapa but we don't have to expect her to be able to do anything else that goes with the roles of being a keeper of our tikanga, our reo, and our whakapapa," Ms Tibble says.
She says it comes down to a question of whether the culture can be retained without the language.
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