Te Kurahuna: Reinstating and Embedding Indigenous Knowledge Systems

Papa Mark and Dr Di Kōpua joined us as the first keynote kaikōrero of the Toi Tangata Hui ā Tau 2021. Together they shared a beautiful kōrero about the magic of their mahi at Te Kurahuna. Sharing Mahi ā Atua, they explained how the kaupapa can guide us on how we validate, utilise, operationalise, actualise and indiginise whakapapa through our own pūrākau to reveal our unique purpose and potential and how mātauranga māori is the ideology we should live by. Their kōrero took us on a journey of how our creation stories can metaphorically open us up to our own experiences of hope and resolution as well as the many Pō we transition through in pursuit of that Hinātore shift in our lives.

Te Whare Wānanga o Te Kurahuna is the kaitiaki of Mahi a Atua.  Mahi a Atua is an invitation and opportunity to remember that living on a frequency in tune with your atuatanga can empower you and those around you.  It is a lens through which to view and experience the world from te taiao Māori. 

In viewing the world this way, guided by mātauranga Māori and principles passed down through karakia, pūrākau and toi we can consider te ao hurihuri with an intrinsic light, one that cannot be tainted or colonised.   Principles and values within mātauranga Māori form an extensive framework and foundation which is reflected in the values and attributes practised by those engaged in Mahi a Atua. 

Mahi a Atua provides a direct link, through whakapapa in pūrākau, to the characteristics of our atua and tīpuna. Ultimately this connects us to our pre-colonised, pre-treaty, pre-suppressed sovereign selves.  Mahi a Atua is a framework that confronts, addresses and aims to indigenise spaces (both physical and mental) that have historically been designed and delivered by a colonised world view, where the perspectives and needs of indigenous knowledge and people have not been seen or valued. 

Mahi a Atua has been referred to as a ‘worldview’, a Māori paradigm, and an ontological transformation.  As a collective, those who engage in collective conversations using Mahi a Atua principles, are reclaiming and indigenising a unique way of ‘studying’ wisdom.  Māori creation and custom stories are the foundation from which we question, discuss and debate ideas about existence, knowledge, values, mind and language.   

Mahi a Atua promotes the inherent rights of indigenous peoples to indigenise all the spaces ‘we’ occupy.

He Atua, He Tangata!

The kōrero was beautifully captured and illustrated by the League of Live Illustrators.