Rawiri T Horne, a renowned tā moko artist, and new kaiako at the Christchurch campus of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, is passionate about sharing tikanga through creating art. During Covid, being unable to engage in common tikanga practices affected him deeply, and he came to realise that unless people such as himself took an active step towards sharing their knowledge there was a chance it could be lost forever.
“I wanted to make sure these processes and learnings were carried on, I didn’t want to be part of the generation responsible for losing them”.
This desire to share knowledge drew him to Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, where he will guide tauira through Kāwai Raupapa – Certificate in Māori and Indigenous Art (Level 4) in Rauangi (visual arts) this year.
Rawiri has long been an artist, specialising in painting, ink and art drawings. He studied at Toihoukura from 2005 – 2008 and while there, was shoulder-tapped by a tutor to learn the art of tā moko. Only those with the knack and passion were selected, but there was also a little something else needed.
“You also needed to manaaki. As my tutor said, ‘if you can look after people, then you can look after their skin’”.
Rawiri also practices and shares tikanga through kapa haka. He has been part of Te Pou o Mangataawhiri for 10 or so years, and competes at Te Matatini in February with them. One of the original kapa haka groups, it was started by Princess Te Puea Herangi in 1921 to perform concerts as a way of raising funds to help build Tūrangawaewae Marae.
“It’s another way we can get together and share the kaupapa”.
While new to the kaiako role, he’s looking forward to engaging with his tauira, and hopes to inspire them to push themselves in their creativity.
“Don't be afraid to push the boundaries and test the fine line that is between mediocre and great, maybe even tap into a different medium or kaupapa as that’s when you can unlock something special”.