The Te Kopere Maori Healers

The Te Kopere Maori HealersNestled amongst the North Gate area of the Byron Bay Bluesfest is a nondescript tent that sits next to the Boomerang circle, but not to be fooled by it's commonplace appearance, inside you are transported to another world. The Te Kopere Maori Healers are a group of friendly and affectionate women (and a man) who hail from the Wanganui area in Aoetearoa (New Zealand) and bring with them the tradition of Rongoa Maori: traditional Maori healing that includes spiritual healing, physical therapies such as massage and herbal remedies.

Even the first moments of this workshop are magical in their own right as you greet each of the healers in a traditional formal sense, by way of Hongi (pressing your nose and forehead together). It was such a genuine and warm experience that before I had even sat down to start the workshop I already swelled full of jubilant feelings. The time that ensued was something I can only describe as uplifting, joyful and occasionally very cheeky, in the best possible way!

I was afforded a few moments with Rochelle Bullock, in the days following, to speak about her time within the Boomerang festival/Bluesfest and how Te Kopere came to be. Originating with her Grandmother Olive who first started bringing workshops over to Australia around 30 years ago, Te Kopere was formed to teach the Rongoa tradition and has been shaped and formed to suit a common audience. Boomerang have included Te Kopere Maori Healers amongst their line up for three years since the inclusion on the Bluesfest bill and give the public a taste of the traditional Maori healing using a variety of spiritual healing, massage techniques, herbal remedies and traditional song, as well as a quick, fun-filled informal training in Rakau, which are stick games designed to help you learn coordination. Such a formal start and a then calming lead in, to finish with these games and fun song/dance inspired massage techniques had the participants laughing and joking around with their new 'family'.

Bound together with music and song Rochelle describes it as “what links everyone together and is the fastest way to healing” and the workshops are designed to help people naturally work through the process of healing. “You don't need to be a special massage therapist, or a guru or whatever, you just have to have a bunch of Aunties around, get together and have a laugh and a sing – and hold that energy.”

Te Kopere also made a small performance during the closing ceremony of the Boomerang festival which we both agreed was moving to see all the tribes and representatives of some of the world's first nations joining in to support each other and showcase their genuine love for land, people and music as well as honouring their ancestors and our own nation's first peoples.

You can arrive to visit Te Kopere Maori Healers with no knowledge or expectations, but you will certainly leave feeling uplifted, coordinated and wonderfully calm. Highly recommended for broadening the mind and maintaining the sanity over the Bluesfest period.

 Visit: bluesfest.com.au

 

Related Articles

2018 Byron Writers Festival 2018 Byron Writers Festival
Countdown to the 22nd Byron Writers Festival (‘Where Stories Take You’) and once again the Festival brochure is out, whetting our appetite for all things creative, in a writerly fashion!...

Tags: ,

Most read reviews

The Comedy of Errors | Pop-up Globe

Highly energetic, frenetically so at times, and with the slapstick factor dialled up to eleven, The Comedy of Errors is possibly the most perfect play to showcase this extraordinary performance venue.

Macbeth | Pop-up Globe

Thunder and lightning, blood and piss, laughs and screams, and the flash and clash of steel, this was an altogether new feast for the senses in its boldly theatrical use of this wonderful performance space.

Kilter | One Fell Swoop

Summoning tension, gasps and applause this perilous playground rocks with elegant harmonious symmetry alongside a toybox of other acrobatic devices only the brave and trained would dare to mess with.

Tomfoolery – The Words and Music of Tom Lehrer

In 1980, a young Cameron Mackintosh created a revue of Lehrer’s work and Tomfoolery has enjoyed more than 200 productions since.

Accidental Death of an Anarchist | Sydney Theatre Company

The action is driven by the madcap meddling of “The Maniac”, a role the incomparably oddball Amber McMahon seems born to play. Imagine a kind of brilliant trickster character who is a manic cross between the Joker, Sherlock Holmes and Bugs Bunny.

Most read news

Wildskin a wild ride for Northern Rivers audiences

Wildskin, the latest work from NORPA, showcases an all-female ensemble of riotous physical performers, each portraying an array of hilarious, recognisable and oddball characters.

Circa receive Touring Legend Award

Australian contemporary circus, Circa, has been awarded the PAC Australia Touring Legend Award for 2018.

Sign up for our newsletter

* indicates required