Ko Uhia Mai

Ko Uhia (Let it be known)

Ko Uhia Mai is a larger than life video artwork produced by internationally recognised Ngāi Tahu artist Rachael Rakena to celebrate the Rugby World Cup.

The six minute long work features six current players from the New Zealand Women’s Rugby team, the Black Ferns, and celebrates their success as current Women’s Rugby World Cup champions through a large-scale public projection on to the side of a building on the corner of Kelvin and Esk Streets in central Invercargill. It opened on 8 September and runs to September 18, playing continuously throughout each night as part of the Taste of Southland Festival.

The work is presented by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and the combined Otago rūnanga (Ōtākou Runanga and Kati Huirapa ki Puketeraki Rūnanga) and the Southland rūnanga (Waihopai Runanga, Oraka-Aparima Runanga, Awarua Runanga and Hokonui Runanga).

Ko Uhia Mai is the sister exhibition to Haka Peepshow in Dunedin’s Octagon – an artwork that considers the sexualisation and commodification of Maori and indigenous sportsmen through the use and exploitation of their masculinity and their culture, in the media.

In the context of the Rugby World Cup, Ko Uhia Mai and Haka Peepshow use art to tell lesser known stories, connecting Māori, rugby and haka.

The Black Ferns have won four consecutive Women’s Rugby World Cup titles – something unparalleled in rugby history.

They have won 55 of 58 International test games. ‘Ko Uhia mai’ is the name of the Black Ferns’ haka written by Whetu Tipiwai and has been translated as ‘Let it be known’. The artist invites the viewer see these women as role models and strong elite athletes, and ask themselves why don’t they feature in television endorsements, sponsorship and advertising despite their remarkable international success? Let the Black Ferns and their story be shared and known widely.

Ko Uhia mai (Let it be known)

Composed by Whetu Tipiwai.

Kaea:   Ko ngā Mamaku o Aotearoa Kia mau

Black Ferns of NZ be ready and alert

Katoa: Hi

Ready (hands on hips)

Kaea: Torona titaha
A uhia mai
Ko wai ngā Hine
Ko wai ngā Hine

Let it be known
Who are these women
Who are these women

Katoa: Ko ngā Mamaku e ngunguru nei
Hi au, au, aue ha

Tis the Black Ferns rumble

Kaea: Ko Hineahuone
Ko Hinetitama
Ko Hinenui te pō

Ki te whaiao, ki te ao marama e

From Hineahuone,
Hinetitama, and
Hinenui te pō we came

To transfer from the void (supernatural world) to the World of enlightenment

Katoa: Hi a haha
Mauri ki te rangi
Me te whenua
Ngā kapua whakapipi
Mai ngā Maunga tītia e
Hi a haha

Life force from above – the heavens
Life force from below – the land
The gathering clouds
The mountains that pierce the sky

Kaea: He tia he tia
Te Moana nui – a – Kiwa
Mai ngā tōpito
Ki ngā moutere
O te ao whānui e

Let us proceed
To the seas
From the corners of the island
to the neighbouring islands
And around the world

Katoa: Hi a haha
Tūmai rā koe
Te mana wahine
Te Wharetangata
Ngā Mamaku o Aotearoa
He tia he tia
He ranga he ranga

You stand tall and proud
women of strength and prestige
Who will bear the future
The Black Ferns of NZ
Let us proceed
Press on, press on

Kaea: Turuki turuki

Yes, move it, move it

Katoa: Paneke, paneke

Move forward, forward

Kaea: Turuki, turuki

Move it, move it

Katoa: Paneke, paneke
Haere mai te toki
Haumi ee, hui e
Taiki ee

Yes, forward, forward
When the challenge arrives
We will gather and unite together strength together
It will be done

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