September 08, 2022
Hana Te Hemara turned korero and korowai into wero
The Life and Times of Nga Tamatoa exhibition opens this evening at New Plymouth’s TSB Showcase as part of the I am Hana project celebrating the Taranaki wahine toa who organised the Maori language petition 50 years ago.
The project also includes a five-storey mural of Hana Te Hemara by Graham Hoete aka Mr G which is going up on the Puke Ariki library and museum building.
Her sister Ramari Te Hemara Maipi says Hana challenged and inspired those around her.
“My poor mum who felt the new way in life was to korero pakeha and to take the ways of our new inhabitants of our country, and so it was the opportunity of a lifetime really to beable to get involved and see the other side, the political side of people pro-Maori and to thinking that having our reo was really part of our being,” she says.
Ramari Te Hemara Maipi says the kahu huruhuru feathered cloak Hana Te Hemara wore to present the petition, which is on loan from Auckland Museum for the exhibition, is one her sister borrowed from the museum as a challenge to taonga Maori being locked up in museums.