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  • Writer's pictureBrent Kerehona Pukepuke-Ahitapu

Tidal Kin: Stories from the Pacific exhibition Oct 2023 - Oct 2024

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

Ki te whei ao, ki te ao Maarama Ki te whei ao, ki te ao Maarama Tihei mauri ora!

I am humbled to have been invited to speak at the official launch of the ‘Tidal Kin: Stories of the Pacific’ exhibition at the Chau Chak Wing Museum on the evening of Friday, 6th October, and which opened to the general public the following day.

Wonderfully curated by Dr Jude Philp, Ruth Choulai, Steven Gagau, and Leo Tanoi; this exhibition reclaims the stories of eight Pacific Islander visitors to Sydney; some of these stories had been disregarded or pushed to the fringes of Australian history for over 200 years.

Opened by the Honourable Tony Burke MP, Minister for the Arts, and attended by dignitaries such as Tongan royalty, Her Royal Highness Princess Angelika Latufuipeka Tuku'aho, and Fijian chief, the Vunivalu of Bau, Ratu Seru Epinesia Cakobau; the evening was a fantastic opportunity for the Pasifika communities in Sydney, to come together to celebrate our cultural histories and stories.

I am honoured to collaborate with the Chau Chak Wing Museum, and the University of Sydney; by assisting with the research and taonga (artefacts) regarding Hongi Hika, who is one of the eight featured Pacific Islanders in this exhibition.

The carved wooden bust of Hongi Hika, as well as the replica kākahu, I wove (being a 1:2 sized version of the original in The British Museum); will be on display, as well as a pounamu hei tiki known as Haare (named after one of Hongi’s sons), and a pounamu mere known as Te Ahitapu (another Ngāpuhi chief, and a cousin to Haare). The wonderfully impactful narration of Hongi’s story is told by Mikara Hita, which was masterly translated into the Ngāpuhi dialect of Te Reo Māori by Quinton Hita.

Here is a link to a radio interview regarding the Tidal Kin exhibition, given by the author, to the ABC

If you'd like to experience this exhibition, it runs for the next 12 months.

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