Calling the Spirits

In June this year (2018), I was a a big posh fundraiser dinner where I noticed this intriguing and dignified lady wearing a Maori feathered cape and hair comb.  Having had a few wines (ie Dutch courage!) I trundled up to her and asked if she was a Maori princess because she just looked amazing! Waina was very kind in the face of my ignorance and explained that she was wearing her family's 'korowai' (feathered cape) and agreed that I could photograph her at a later date (but that no, she wasn't a princess).  Here are the results below.  

I had chosen to initially shoot her in front of the Blacksmith's Hut (at Nurragingy Reserve, Doonside) because I felt that the earthy colours and materials would look perfect as a backdrop for her and the korowai.  When she got there, she couldn't get over how similar to 'home' it was for her and after a few minutes she asked if I would mind if she called her family's spirits to her (see 3 photos in black and white of her arm movements below).  This was incredibly moving to witness and a very special moment for me.  After we finished the photos, we sat down to talk.  She told me about her traditions and her story until the park closed and we had to leave. I can't wait to catch up with her again to learn more about Maori traditions and her interesting life!

.....and here are some in black & white