Our Talanoa series comes out of our Marsden Project (2019-2023), 'Vā Moana: space and relationality in Pacific thought and identity'.
This talatalanoa with Hūfanga-He-Ako-Moe-Lotu Dr. ‘Ōkusitino Māhina is on his experiences as a student at Atenisi Institute, with the late Futa Helu, and about the emergence of his own ideas on vā. He sees vā as not only as a system that structures relationships, but also as an integral part of artistic endeavours in Moana societies like the rhythmic beating and marking of time. Hūfanga’s PhD thesis, which became the first theory of history from an Indigenous Moana perspective, promoted the notion of an Indigenous Tongan history as Talaēfonua. As creators of the Tā-Vā Theory and Philosophy of Reality, Hūfanga and his colleagues have been responsible for the publication of two important double issues of the Pacific Studies Journal (Vol. 40, Nos. 1/2-Apr./Aug. 2017; Vol. 44, Nos. 1/2 – Oct. 2021) outlining the various facets of Tā-Vā.
Click here to watch the talanoa.