//013 Hinewirangi Kohu-Morgan, tohunga of taonga puoro + survivor

April 25, 2019

Hinewirangi is one of those kuia that you want to sit with for hours. Her knowledge, her experience and her stories, are mesmerising. She is a writer and poet. An activist and a tohunga of taonga puoro. She has worked in rape crisis centres and, in prison rehabilitation.

In this episode we cover so many topics, as you do when you sit at the table with wahine full of wisdom. We talk about racism, Atua wahine and kaitiakitanga. Hinewirangi shares her personal story of sexual assault, how she faced her rapist years later and, the tools she used to help her forgive. We talk about art and Indigenous knowledge. About being strapped at school for speaking te reo Māori and how today, we need to decolonise our reo. And, we hear the fascinating story of her waka tūpāpaku, the vessel she is making to house her ashes, when she dies.

Content warning: This episode may be confronting for some, it shares details about sexual abuse. Hinewirangi’s story is raw, and uncut. We do not shy away from challenging topics of conversation. For those who listen to NUKU with their daughters, you may want to screen this episode before you let your tamariki listen. There are adult themes, but I promise you, there is also some great wisdom we can all learn and grow from.

I’m sick of hearing about this ocean being called Tangaroa. Hinemoana herself is the vast ocean, she needed 3 husbands to take care of her…From the safe shoreline waters is Kaukau, from where its no longer safe, from that point to the horizon, is Tangaroa and, from the horizon thereafter is Te Moana Nui a Kiwa, which brings in our Polynesian peoples. Three tāne to help take care of her, so why do we just call it Tangaroa? 

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