A note from Jen on ‘Mana Takatāpui’ out now:
“In 2019 I typed the words ‘Māori word for Queer’ into Google. The word ‘takatāpui’ flashed onto my screen with this description: ‘Takatāpui is the Māori word meaning a devoted partner of the same sex. In Western terminology, a person who identifies as takatāpui is a Māori individual who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Takatāpui is used nowadays in response to the Western construction of “sexuality, gender, and corresponding identity expressions.”
This clip stars heroes of mine – those who continue to weave our takatāpuitanga (queer Māori culture) by standing tall. You will see dancing on the steps of NZ Parliament Greens MP Dr. Elizabeth Kerekere, whose PhD and accompanying whāriki (weaving) ‘Mana Takatāpui’ inspired the name of this song; members of the legendary Pōneke (Wellington) based Tiwhanawhana Kapa Haka who formed 30 years ago as a place for takatāpui to stand proud in our tikanga (cultural practices), the gorgeous Tangaroa Paul, a non-binary model for Infamy Apparel and soon to be Dr. Tangaroa, Jacob Tamata, an exciting new choreographer and passionate advocate of vogue ballroom dancing, The Tiwhas, a Māori drag queen trio who serve takatāpui cabaret goodness wherever they go and Quack Pirihi, a brave, young non-binary activist who champions rangatahi (young people) growing up in a system that was never designed for Māori to succeed.
Jen Cloher’s fifth album I Am The River, The River Is Me is out on Friday, 3rd March via Milk! / Remote Control Records.
Pre-save / Pre-order I Am The River, The River Is Me here.