11am - 1pm: Uhi Tā Moko demonstration | 2pm: Artist kōrero

A rare opportunity to witness traditional uhi tā moko practice, in a live demonstration with artist Henriata Nicholas (Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Turumakina, Ngāti Unu, Ngāti Kahu).

In 2003, Henriata Nicholas was the first wāhine Māori in 200 years to work solely with uhi handmade tools. Seventeen years on, she is continuing to revitalise the legacy of uhi tā moko.

Join Henriata for this special wānanga as she undertakes uhi tā moko tattoo live on her partner, and shares learnings on crafting her own tools from albatross bone.

“Moko can’t be accessioned, databased or catalogued into a collection,” says Henriata. “It is only alive if the wearer agrees to share it, unlike other major art forms where taonga can be preserved, conserved, long after the artist is gone. Uhi Moko is a personal taonga."

“The sound that permeates from creating patterns by pushing ink into the skin can send people into other levels of consciousness. This is truly an art form that binds and connects us all with wairua,” says Henriata.

“In order for uhi to survive and thrive it needs to be valued for its cultural connection to our tupuna, our whakapapa, our mana, our wairua, to ourselves, to our present and our future.”

This demonstration runs in conjunction with Ā Mua: New Lineages of Making, which features projects by more than 20 makers from throughout Aotearoa, to explore and challenge the definition of craft in Aotearoa today. On 6 June – 11 October 2020.

All welcome, RSVP's appreciated.


  • Free


  • Sat 15 Aug


  • 11:00 am


  • The Dowse Art Museum
  • 45 Laings Road
  • Lower Hutt, Wellington, 5010