Te Papa Marae and Tikanga Coordinator Hema Temara has paid tribute to Iconic NZ Photographer Marti Friedlander who captured thousands of images of Māori. The 88-year-old passed away in Auckland yesterday.
Marti Friedlander is being remembered for capturing images of Māori kuia who were the last generation to receive moko kauae in the 1920s.
“Her own ancestors didn't have tā moko. But when she looked at our ancestors their tā moko would talk to her,” says Temara.
Temara says Marti Friedlander's passion derived from author Harry Sangl who wrote The Blue Privilege: The last tattooed Maori Women, Te Kuia Moko.
E ai ki a Temara, “The photographs that she did of the kuia, the images on the moko kauae, [portray] ancient information as if looking at her own ancestors, but [they don’t] portray the legendary and ancient history on the person's face.”
Friedlander was born in London. She moved to NZ with her Kiwi husband Gerrard in 1958 and began taking pictures of her new country.
“She was a wonderful and interesting person who had a charismatic personality,” says Temara, “She was also a very humble woman.”
Reports say Marti Friedlander's funeral will be held tomorrow at 2:30pm Waikumete Cemetery.