What do you do māmā?

When asked by my tamariki what I do – I described that I catch stories, from the people that I meet and connect with through interviews, wānanga and readings. This picture is one such story that is important to me, it holds the mana, humour, aroha and whānau that grounds me in everything that I do. My Pāpā and his Dad before him were workers of the land. Farmers, gardeners, and hunters. My Nan and Pa brought their own farm on the Mata Road between Tolaga Bay and Tokomaru Bay.

Toihou Tukaki (AKA Dick), Stanley Charles Carlson (AKA Pa), Edwin Charles Carlson (AKA Joe)

My Dad in this picture by the stallions head (Trigger) and my Uncle Toihou Tukaki to the left grew up and worked on our farm Bremner Station. Working on the farm was hard to say the least, they had to innovate, engineer and create their own resources, tools and kai. And this way of living speaks volumes in this picture as my Pa is getting ready to cut the balls out the stallion, something usually done by a visiting vet. Nothing much fazed my whānau then, we could do it ourselves and do a better job than the ‘man’. I take this knowing with me – “I can cut the balls out any stallion that comes my way”.


Published by Tākuta Teah

Indigenous woman, partner, māmā, sister, daughter, aunty, artist, story catcher/teller, researcher, evaluator and academic. I draw on these identities to express, connect and articulate kotahitanga, mana motuhake and aroha.

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