"Moko My Birthright"

“Moko My Birthright”

I just love the way our Aunties proudly wear moko when we are out and about. Here is a pic of us in this weekend’s Saturday Express at Garden Marlborough.

It’s always interesting to see how people respond to moko in certain environments. I could see that we sparked a positive interest, especially when we started jammin to our Māori sounds. 

However, this is not always the case. 

I was recently carrying out tastings at one of our retailers here in Marlborough when a man showed an interest in our products. After talking through our story and our connection to the marae he asked me where my moko was, to which I casually replied “One day”. He laughed and went on to say “Oh yeah, you are waiting to find your royal bloodline right”. My response, “Actually no, I don’t need royal blood, moko is my birth right”. 

He looked surprised at first and then said, “You are right…”, such and such’s wife (I won’t mention the name he said…a well known Māori sportsperson) “…has a moko, and she’s whiter than you are”. 

Believe it or not I don’t regret this conversation. As my 10 year old nephew would say, “No affect”. I’m not writing this to complain about this man and his small minded comments. I am writing this to thank him…his words only make me stronger and better prepared for when I get the real deal.

Words: Auntie Donna Nepia
Photo: Saturday Express, Marlborough’s Community Newspaper

#mokomybirthright #noroyalbloodrequired#auntiesculturalambassadors#māoriallshadesofbrown #etū

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Ngaia Gill