‘Nga Potae’ – Hats.
I strive to be the best I can. I strive to stay true to myself. I strive to accomplish my goals & dreams so that I can be successful in life. I strive to achieve so that my children can grow with the vision to do the same. As I progress, im aware that I have these hats that require me to delegate my responsibilities, time & energy. Sometimes, I wish I could just throw these hats away because it sure would make life a little bit easier. But, life isn’t meant to be easy, these hats cannot just be thrown away. They make up who I am & what I live for everyday.
I’m a Wife, Mother, Friend & Foe. It is really hard to manage these hats while trying to succeed. One on, one off, two on, two off, three on, three off, four on, never four off! It requires patience, understanding & a lot of give ‘n’ take. It can be done, I do it everyday & this piece is my tribute to that.
The center figure represents me standing between Heaven & Earth with my visible heart on the right side. I hate to admit it but, I do wear my heart on my sleeve. I’m a typical Cancerian! One side is dark, the other side is light. The Koiri in the centre of my heart represents my whole Whanau (family), Aunties, Uncles, Cousins etc.. I placed it there because they mean the world to me, the closest people in my life other than my husband & kids. However, there have been some real issues over the years & as I mature I’ve come to realize that some are not who I thought they were. I’ve made my peace & am emerging out of the dark & into the light with or without them. On each knee is my signature design – Four Niho Taniwha representing my home, Wha-nga-ra (The Four Sails). My connection to my whenua keeps me grounded.
On my shoulders are my hats; From left – Hoa (Friend), Hoa Wahine (Wife), Mama (Mother) & Hoa Riri (Foe). Each hat is depicted with a color from the actual ‘Hats’ personality attributes, a Manaia figure (guardian of ones self), Maori symbolism & Photographic Montage’; From left..
HOA: Yellow represents a free spirit. The Rauru signifies Unity. The images are of a full bottle of Hennessey, Sand & a Marijuana plant. With this hat I can enjoy the company of my friends as diverse as they all are. I can be crazy, I can break the rules. I can let loose & be as free as the sand, coming & going with the wind & the tide.
HOA WAHINE: Purple represents luxury. The Takarangi signifies light shinning through the darkness. The images are of a Twenty dollar bill, Waves & an Oil stain. With this hat I feel regal but I also feel struggle & pain. I wine’n’dine with my hubby like we’re millionaires, we enjoy life with what we have when we have it. How ever, we’ve had our struggles & we continue to push through them everyday. Our marriage is much like the sea – one minute it can be real calm, then the next minute its rough & scary. Like the oil stain – it’s a toxic substance but yet it can make a pattern so beautiful with all the colors of the rainbow.
MAMA: Blue represents organization. The Koiri signifies Whanau (family) & Whakapapa (geneology). The images are of hanging Moka (flax fibre) tags, Clouds & Peeling bark. With this hat I feel total responsibility for the sake of my beautiful children. It’s all about routine & being organized . I have to be or they’d be chaos. On the outside I have a hard exterior to be firm & disciplined but, on the inside im as soft as the Moka within the Whenu (harakeke blade). Sometimes I get so lost in their world that we just float up in the clouds without a care in the world. Just us, goofing around, being silly. I can feel like im a little kid all over again too, just enjoying the moment. Then, some days it feels like peeling bark, grinding against my skin..irritated like, someone let me out already! I’m sure mothers & parents alike can relate to me on that one ; )
HOA RIRI: Red represents emotion. The Mangopare signifies strength & determination. The images are of Thistles, Blackberry bushes & Barbed wire. With this hat, I feel I need strength the most because there are people in the world who just wont like you & hey, I can relate to that so I’m not crying about but, if you do get on my wrong side – don’t mess with me because I will hold my own & I wont back down. I can be prickly, I have thorns & I can put up a barbed wire perimeter to keep out anything unwanted if I need too.
Sometimes I just feel like I have the whole world on my shoulders but, at the end of the day I keep my feet planted firmly on the ground, my head up high & allow my heart to balance the light & darkness of my soul.
Ka kite ano,