By Way of Circularities: an interview with Witi Ihimaera
Māori culture is the taonga, the treasure vault from which I source my inspiration. How could I not pay tribute to the people and stories of the iwi? Without them I wouldn’t exist. The genealogy of my work can be traced back to Waituhi, my father’s kin place. The pito (umbilical) is there, where the stories were all being spoken, sung and acted around me. It’s the turangawaewae, the place where my work began to stand. My Māori self has its history there, and it’s where all its reo (tongue or language), ihi (energy), mana (strength) and wehi (dread) comes from; there, I am my own king. All I’ve ever done is move that literary whakapapa, that living world and its orality, its aurality too, into a written world in a different language, English.