Ngaai Tuuhoe, Te Aitanga-a-Maahaki, Ngaati Porou, Ngaati Wairere
Marama Salsano is a maamaa, writer, recovering English teacher, and ringatoi who explores her whakapapa via koowhaiwhai, whakairo and tukutuku patterns in her painting. Marama is also a PhD candidate at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University Wellington, where she researches within the broad field of Maaori and Indigenous Literary Studies. A writer-scholar undertaking a significant creative writing project as part of her doctoral studies, Marama’s writing has been recognised in national fiction competitions and has been published in various anthologies and literary journals.
Acrylic and sand on board
These paintings contemplate four phases of the night from the perspective of Taramainuku as he journeys on Te Waka o Rangi to gather our tiipuna before scattering them across Ranginui’s chest at Matariki. They also highlight the generative and circular nature of life for mana whenua here in Aotearoa. The order follows four phases of Taramainuku’s night when we contemplate our loved ones.
Sunset: reflecting the warmth of the earth and ngaa tangata coming together at this time. The hupe and roimata signify both joy and laughter, but also sadness in our remembering.
Dreamtime: sometimes dreams of our loved ones are dark, sometimes silly and whimsical, and sometimes they are messages from beyond.
Dawn: specifically the moments before dawn when the earth is still cool, the manu are only beginning to stir, and we wake feeling tau and at peace, thinking about our departed.
Sunrise: the colours of earth, sky, and sea at sunrise — when light pierces the darkness and signifies a new day, new beginnings, hope for the future, and understandings that although our loved one(s) have passed, we will be okay.
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