Balancing the feminine and masculine energies through Toi Whakarākai

October 07, 2019

Studying to be a carver in Auckland was not enough for Samsāra Jade, Ngā Puhi, when she chose to enrol in Toi Whakarākai with Te Wānanga o Raukawa, specialising in weaving.

“I embarked on this journey to connect with Papatūānuku and her beautiful healing mauri,” she says. 

While still attending her carving course, Samsāra decided to also pursue weaving at Te Wānanga o Raukawa in order to balance the feminine and male energies of both mahi. 

This journey has taken me to many beautiful places (and) the opportunity to connect with like-minded wairua. I am passionate about contributing to the revival, evolution and development of toi Māori,” she says. 

Samra’s Nan, Ripeka Peggy Jasper, has been the main inspiration in her life, the one person she most looks up to for strength and determination, and this young lady is determined to succeed. 

“I would like to create a house of indigenous wāhine and raranga where we can share and learn the sacred principles together. Eventually, after finishing this tohu, I hope to share these gifts with our people."

Samra has already been spreading the knowledge within her whānau, teaching them about harakeke. In fact, she says whenever she sees harakeke, if driving, they have to stop because "that’s mean harakeke!". 

At 19 years old, Samra already has a profound respect for toi Māori. 

“This tohu is a gift to us wahine; to connect with the divine feminine and mauri of our great mother Papatūānuku. Our hands were made to create taonga from the beautiful blanket of all that covers the whenua. The ultimate goal is to create a space where my whānau can learn the sacred teachings of the land.” 

Samsāra travels from Auckland to attend noho in Ōtaki up to ten times a year for eight specialisation noho (Friday to Sunday) and two 6-day hui rumaki reo (immersion hui). 

“Travelling from Tāmaki to Ōtaki for noho, I have really felt and appreciated my journey every step of the way. The most rewarding thing after all your hard work is that you have a beautiful kākāhu in front of you.  Seeing your mahi coming to life is magic! You really can do this! 

She says the pūkenga have been really supportive that has helped with the challenges of living in Auckland and travelling to noho. If she could, she would be at the Ōtaki campus all the time. 

“I believe this tohu finds you, there’s a reason why we embark on each journey; its wairua. If you feel this is your path, take it! Take each step as the strongest and best part of yourself. Enter this space in the purest form of self; your wairua. If you are on an awakening journey this tohu will bring you into syncronicity with the whenua.” 

Samra encourages other young women to come forth and learn the teachings of both carving and weaving. 

When you find your rhythm, you will find your confidence. My inspiration draws from the awe, the devine and the artistry of the grain. I urge other young women to learn the teachings of our land and be embraced by the korowai of our ancestors.” 

The Heke Toi Whakarākai is a one year level 5 diploma and the first year to the bachelor degreeStudents, both men and women, can choose to specialise in weaving or carving.

Enrolments are now open for 2020. Nau mai, haere mai.

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