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He Kanohi Kitea

A poem by Hinemoana Baker in response to the Te Papa exhibition <EM>Ng&#257;ti Toa Rangatira: He iti whet&#363;</EM>


<P data-associrn="1503024"></P> <p>Hinemoana Baker, poet and musician of Ng&#257;ti Toa descent, visited the exhibition <em>Ng&#257;ti Toa Rangatira: He iti whetu | Ng&#257;ti Toa portraits</em> in July 2015 with her class of M&#257;ori and Pacific creative writing students from Victoria University. ‘He Kanohi Kitea’ is her response to the exhibition.</P><br> <P><STRONG>He Kanohi Kitea</STRONG></P> <P><EM>‘He kanohi kitea, he hokinga mahara<BR>A face seen, a memory stirred’</EM></P> <P>We are high contrast for the camera<BR> black plaits down the fronts of our white shirts.<BR> Behind us a door aches shut.<BR>Beside us gold buttons, Wi Parata’s beard<BR> the white bulbs </P> <P>of the girls’ dresses.<BR> All is light, all is light removed.<BR> The pounamu shine of the blade<BR> and the sports team’s shins, their shield.<BR> The bright of the white-blue</P> <P>behind Tamihana’s head.<BR> The heavy mere singing its <BR> shape, singing the stone’s skim<BR> the urge of birds. <BR> You women, your tassels.</P> <P>The weave is golden <BR> and always at our throats <BR> are collars, the moon. Pull my chin<BR> towards you from your height.<BR> Stroke my eyebrow with</P> <P>the pad of your thumb and say<BR> the word <EM>perpetual</EM>, the word <EM>kneel</EM>.<BR> We are warm in your cloaks.<BR>Unaiki, your skin’s glow.<BR> Huria, the listing ship behind you.</P> <P><BR></P>
Poet and musician Hinemoana Baker in the Te Papa exhibition &lt;em&gt;Ng&amp;#257;ti Toa Rangatira: He iti whetu | Ng&amp;#257;ti Toa portraits&lt;/em&gt;, July 2015

Poet and musician Hinemoana Baker in the Te Papa exhibition Ngāti Toa Rangatira: He iti whetu | Ngāti Toa portraits, July 2015