Te Ahi Kã - The Fires of Occupation

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Te Ahi Kã - The Fires of Occupation

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The Whanganui River is the lifeblood of the Māori. The tribes of Whanganui take their name, their spirit and their strength from the great river, which flows from the mountains of the central North Island in New Zealand to the Tasman Sea. In 1996 I spent 6 months in the middle and upper reaches of the Whanganui River in an area known as the King Country. Here I met Māori who were in the process of de-colonising their people and returning to their ancestral land, Mangapapapa on the steep banks of the river inside Whanganui National Park. At the end of my journey I was given a Māori name Pouma Pokai-Whenua. Returning 20 years later to rekindle our spiritual kinship Te Ahi Kā explores the physical and metaphysical relationship between a river and its ancestors, between Māori and me. 

Photographs: Martin Toft   
Book concept: Martin Toft, Ania Nałęcka-Milach
Book design: Ania Nałęcka-Milach, Tapir Book Design
Editing and sequencing: Rafal Milach
Texts: Martin Toft in interviews with Hokio Te-Rangi Ngataierua.Tinirau, Te Tawhero Haitana and Tukaiora Haitana December 2016. Tape recordings from hui at Tieke Marae 24 April 1996
Translations: Hokio Te-Rangi Ngataierua. Tinirau
Proofreading: Hokio Te-Rangi Ngataierua. Tinirau, Anahera Ngataierua
TeKere Hosè, Pauline Syvret and Nick Falle
Dimensions: 205mm (h) x 165mm (w)
Pages: 200 pages
Images: 85 photographs, colour and monochrome
Inserts: 1 poster (578x460mm, includes 12 images), 2 leperellos (646.8x129mm, includes 11 images)
Printed on: Fedrigoni Tatami Ivory, Remake Oyster and Crush Kiwi
Typeset TT Norms
Printing: Enaf, Warszawa; Pariso, Warszawa
Binding: Hardcover thread-sewn, silkscreen cover
Poligrafia Bracia Szymańscy, Warszawa
Cover: two versions, fern – female, embers – male
Printed in Poland

Print run:
October 2017: dummy version of 5 copies
Spring 2018: 1000 copies 950 trade editions, 30 special editions, 20 portfolio

Archives: The permission of copyright holders and iwi who have generously allowed images to be reproduced in this book are gratefully acknowledged. 

The Great Ngatimaniopoto Chief ‘Wahanu’ at his House – Alexandra. MA_I.000294
‘Rane’ at Taumarunui, King Country. MA_I.043451.
Ngatana (Mr Rochfort's Friend) in European Dress. MA_I.197245
Wetere Te Rerenga, Wife and Daughter. MA_I.297082
‘The Fair Orini’, Ti-Eke, Wanganui River, King Country. MA_I.301457.
Taumarunui – King Country. MA_I.306402
All photographs by Alfred Henry Burton, The Maori at Home (1885). Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington
Te Rangi Põhika (Ngati Pamoana) distributing tuna catch at Koriniti. MA_I.025081. 
Building an utu pirahau at Hiruhārama (Jerusalem) on the Whanganui River. MA_I.070141. 
All photographs by James Ingram McDonald, Dominion Whanganui River Expedition (1921). Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington.
Te Utamate Tauri, also known as Mrs Waetford. circa 1900.
Photograph by Frank J. Denton. Ref: 1/1-021019-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. 
Lamprey weir on bank of the Whanganui River at Pungarehu, Mr George Marriner standing on left. 
Photograph by T.W. Downes, 1908. Ref: M/FO/019. Whanganui Regional Museum Photographic Collection, Whanganui, New Zealand.

Vernacular images of Mangapapapa kāinga from the private photo-albums of Hokio Te-Rangi Ngataierua. Tinirau and Anahera Ngataierua TeKere Hosè.