Rev. Mua Strickson-Pua
(Muamua Sofi Strickson-Pua)
Ngāti Hamoa Cantonese Saina Irish French Gafa Whakapapa
Poet / Healer / Educator
Postcards Unlocked #31
In 1978 I moved out of our humble Aiga working class Samoan home of 28 Scanlan street Grey Lynn Auckland to Palagi middle class Palmerston North Massey University to do a Bachelor of Social Work degree programme. I moved into a campus hostel of predominantly Palagi agriculture, horticulture, wool dips, business studies, food technology, computer science, education, social work and veterinary science students.
But what opened my heart my mind my spirit to Lavalava Art was meeting our very own overseas Aiga Whanau family of humble inspirational Pacific scholarship students from our nations of: Cook islands, Fiji, Niue, Samoa, Solomon islands and Tonga. The impression when visiting their hostel rooms was the visual tapestry on the wall of either a Fala a humble mat or even a Lavalava on the wall. When you are a New Zealand born Samoan working through your identity issues and Fiapoko know it all,
These Pacific family members had travelled thousands of miles leaving their families their island nations to a foreign nation to pursue further education and a strong sense of contributing back to their family, communities and nation’s development. They also shared their vulnerability that fear of failing their family their village their nation their beloved ancestors. On their wall a spiritual, cultural and political marker announced who they were from the photos of loved ones in their ancestral island, icon and motif of their islands to the latest letter shared to encourage. Hence my introduction to the Fa’atuatuaga Tumanako Hope Tikanga Fa’avae principle of Lavalava Art.
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