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“I applied for my job teaching the level 3 Certificate in Kāwai Rauapa - Introduction to Māori Art, at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa earlier in 2017 when I was in the last few months of my Maunga Kura Toi (Bachelor of Māori Arts Degree) doing the Whakairo strand. That time was a bit of a stretch and I could have compromised both, but I learned a lot about time management and motivation, and I made it.”
“I loved the projects we did on our degree course and the introduction into the world of rangahau (research). The mentoring/tutoring from the late Te Kuiti Stewart had a profound influence on me and my work as a practitioner, and as a tutor of whakairo.”
“I originally did my Diploma in Māori Design and Art at Te Wānanga-o-Raukawa at home in Otaki back in 2007, then I put the chisels away for a few years until a friend put me in touch with Awataha Marae who sparked my passion for whakairo again. I then taught Te Ara Tauira whakairo at Kamo High School which overlapped with my committing to study for Maunga Kura Toi.”
“The practical skills and the academic skills from the degree study are directly relevant to my kaiako (teaching) job now. Our degree course had a strong rangahau (research) component that I bring into the level 3 class to introduce the academic aspect to whakairo, however I acknowledge everyone has their unique reasons to learn about whakairo and I do my best to service their needs.”
“In this teaching role, I’ve gained a lot of confidence in dealing with people and developing relationships with the community through whakairo. I’ll be teaching level 4 next year so I’m watching up-and-coming students and feeding people into the pathway programmes.”
“The arts have been on a shaky foundation lately in terms of retaining their priority in our current culture. But I encourage people to remember that until recently, entire cities all over the globe, were initially determined by the artists’ visions and skill sets.”
I’m a first time weaver but I’ve always been drawn to the materials. Harvesting and working with the mix of materials...
The raranga course at NorthTec built Carolyn’s knowledge and expanded her involvement in her community and the weaving process. Of particular value was the requirement that students go out and teach raranga.
“Within the course we had to go out and teach someone. I went to the Kura in Kaikohe. Since graduating I have been going out and doing wānanga and workshops, and teaching the children. I help when uniforms are needed too.
“I began the course as a first-time weaver, but have always been drawn to the materials. They are a part of nature. Harvesting and working with the materials helps with our inner and outer balance. I’ve always acknowledged Mother Nature when I’m harvesting anything and just naturally say a karakia. The course deepened and broadened that process.
“The course system of learning was very effective from harvest to the point of making, and gave me the opportunity to learn all these processes in depth, it has been very beneficial.”
Carolyn is realising her goal to combine teaching with a raranga workshop at home.