Binding cultural tides to revitalise traditional art practices

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

A Māori university student has received a scholarship worth $55,000 to study at the University of Hawaii.

Nikau Hindin (Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa) is binding cultural tides to revitalise traditional art practices.

Yeah so I'm going to Hawaii to do my MFA which is a Masters in Fine Arts and I'm going on a graduate assistantships which means my fees are waived and I'm teaching part time at the university.

She encourages other Māori tertiary students to pursue these initiatives.

"Well I think Hawaii would be a really a great university for many Māori it's an amazing cross-cultural exchange because we have things they can learn from us and they also have things we can learn from them."

While completing her Honours in Fine Arts at The University of Auckland in 2013, Nikau Hindin took part in an exchange at the University of Hawaii where she learnt about beating Waoke bark to make kapa cloth.

"That's where I learnt originally and that's what I tried to bring back here so I'm kind of returning to learn from their masters."

She hopes to learn and develop traditional indigenous cultural arts.

"I'm going to diversify and expand and look at other ancient movement practices... Engaging in those things it nourishes our identity and grounds us and helps us learn about ourselves."

Nikau Hindin says the two year study will enable her to bring benefits back to New Zealand.