Te Hookioi is the first publication of its kind in Aotearoa. Written, edited and printed from a Maaori perspective, in 1861. The vision was to provide a far-reaching voice for the Kiingitanga and Maaori. To inform, encourage and rally people behind the Kiingitanga movement. The task of interpreting the publication for today’s audience in a contemporary, relevant manner while acknowledging and honouring the whakapapa, legacy and ahurea tuakiri was a complex cultural and aesthetic challenge.
“This project has been a journey in which the Paakehaa and Maaori worlds came together in a beautiful collision - giving birth to something truly wonderful.”
— Waikato Tainui
Working with Korotangi Paki, son of the Maaori King, we crafted a powerful cover motif. Printed in holographic foil, it is a tribute to the legacy of the Kiingitanga with many layers of meaning emanating from the central eagle figure of Te Hookioi. This surrounds the many faces of the Kiingitanga against a night sky and features the Matariki constellation coinciding with the launch of this special edition.
The following whakataukii provided a vision for the cover foil treatment. ‘Uenuku o kara e rongo ai te ao’, ‘Let the radiance and beauty of Uenuku reach and be seen by all people’. Allow these stories not just inspire, but be a challenge to the reader to let their light shine and be that inspiration to others – Jade Hohaia.
The masthead sits vertically like Pouwhenua. This reflects the relationship between Tainui ancestors, environment, and Tāngata Whenua today. The cover design template allows a simple way to frame and celebrate the many faces and places of Tainui. Referencing the original document from 1861, there was a collective aroha for the simplicity of layout with a base grid giving flexibility for copy and use of photography.
The Te Awamutu Museum generously granted access to taonga archives of the original documents and letterpress. We studied and recontextualised their aesthetic back into body copy and headlines. Collectively there was a passion to retain a thread back to the voice of the original press.
The saw-edged niho pattern represents a chief’s lineage from the gods as well as symbolising the family houses. The niho features prominently in the Kiingitanga cover illustration by Korotangi – a fitting motif featured throughout the magazine, appearing between the haehae lines of page banners. We also emulated various structural forms into the Te Hookioi wordmark from key narratives discussed with Jason Ake, Waikato Tainui. Taking cues from local kōwhaiwhai, whakairo designs, and referencing the beak and talons of the magazine’s namesake.
Encased in a rich royal blue linen that compliments the starry Matariki sky of the cover, the crest which is an adaptation of the coat of arms of the Kiingitanga, designed by Tiiwai Paraaone of Hauraki and Te Aokatoa of Waikato and Ngaati Raukawa, sits proudly on each limited edition box. These boxed editions were issued to key leaders. As strategic gifts sent as a signal to leaders that the Kiingatanga is alive, strong, relevant. A voice for Maaori, a voice of influence.
Honouring stock used on the original press, we worked with Pakohe Papers to produce a handcrafted harekeke paper. Special inserts for 66 copies, signed by Kiingi Tuuheitia for key leaders, both in Aotearoa and overseas hand-numbered 1 - 66.