Jenni Taris, Totem Woman
The Story behind the making of Totem Woman
My Mum used to take us to the Auckland Museum in the school holidays by way of the train and a long walk or a bus via Queen Street. My favourite area was the pacific section and like most kids then, I liked drumming the Karva bow. The Gilbert islander in his sisal suit was a favourite too.
Years later after the Museum was renovated an exhibition was held in the Pacific section that included Gods and intrepid Warriors who embarked on amazing journeys, exploring while making war and fighting evil forces. It was also said that a single man would have many children. I stood there in amongst all these great things done by men and realised that they would not have been able to do any of this without their wife or mother looking after the village, tending to huts and farms, growing food, making clothes and raising the family. There was no mention of women in the exhibits. At all. So I added to the narrative by inventing the Totem Woman, to tell the story of all those women who established their own great adventures. Seemingly in the back-ground. Perhaps not.
Terra Sigillata Terracotta