“My work is informed by the following thoughts and feelings…
It seems to me that if you are born brown or black you are soon aware that a large proportion of the world will punish you for it. Furthermore, if you are born female
you soon realise that others (men and women) will continuously tell you how to
behave and what you can and cannot do. However, if you are born a white male,
you quickly understand that you have hit the jackpot and can do pretty much whatever you want. You are in the top spot. You are given access and resources and learn to become entitled and resist change. I watch the earth pollute, creatures become extinct, days heat and the sea rise.”
Tira lives and works in Opononi. Her love and gratitude go out to her first kaiako: Reva Mendes, and all kairaranga and kaiwhatu that have met and continue to meet at Pa Te Aroha and roopu Kaikohekohe. This one treasured for the value she places on research, others for their love of story, their generosity, activism, skill, care and sharing.
The problem of “No”
Given the difficulty of reaching any kind of agreement on a one-to-one basis, a larger meeting was organised to thrash out the meaning of “no”. The executors gathered round. Again it was almost beyond the grasp of all present.
Finally it was resolved that the problem would go away if “no” was deemed to be “yes” and that “yes, I believe there is only one male god”, “yes’ I will take care of you” and “yes, I will service you sexually” would be the ONLY words heard. Furthermore, “you know you want to” would be enshrined in law as the only meaningful response when confronted with residual forms of “no” in the population.
This was of course, some time ago now. A record is available to us through the recovery, restoration and display of the artefacts you see here. Exhibits labelled I (oldest) to V (the present day).
While carbon dating has established a meaningful chronological order it is still a puzzle as to why the fossils appear to decrease in size with the passage of time.
One possible hypothesis is that the increase in pollution observed during the study interval is causal. Another stems from the observation that psychological effects due to a loss of power can result in shrinkage.
The fossils are no longer thought to carry spiritual significance and are used for educational purposes to ensure that the real meaning of “no” is not lost.
Note that these artefacts are currently on loan from the Museum of Humankind. A spokesperson for the Museum has sent us the following statement:
I would like to apologise for the crudity with which these treasured fossils are hung. This is due, unfortunately, to a recent funding cut, which has meant that we have had to let the male member of the Management Services Team go. The public are assured that the re-instatement of the male position is of the highest priority. We are aware that the male perspective on this topic lacks authenticity and will do so until this situation is rectified. I would also like to take this opportunity to mention the remaining fifty-six members of staff and congratulate them on their untiring loyalty and inspirational work of genius on the “no” project to date. Thank you.