Women master Māori weaponry

The Māori fighting art forms have traditionally been male dominated, but in recent times more and more women are taking up the challenge and choosing to join ranks with the traditional school of the Māori fighting arts.

The art of Māori weaponry is physically demanding and involves many years of training and discipline.

Erin Keremeta-Kapa is the second of the only two females to reach the pinnacle of Māori weaponry, reaching the rank of master.

Although women have been welcomed into the school with open arms, there are some out there that don't agree.

According to Pita Sharples, “There are some elders that don't agree with women wielding the weapons, but they don't understand our history.

There were many fierce female leaders who bore arms, from Northland and the East Coast among other places in the old days.”

The school of Māori fighting arts celebrated its 30 year anniversary this year, with exponents of Māori weaponry from all over the world coming to join in the celebrations.