Seini F Taumoepeau​

Identifies as: she/her
Language/Language Group: Tongan
Website: seini.world / sistanative.com / oceaniax.com (currently under construction)
Instagram handle: @iamseini @sistanative @oceaniaxcom

I am Sēini, SistaNative (a.k.a Napangardi & Cantora)

My Action explores Oratory & the micro-gestures in communication by looking at oration or oratory techniques as a specific Oceanic compositional process. I explore communication as a site of communion: how micro-gestures might help or harm socio-spatial relations & create or destroy intimacy or empathy.

My Action asserts ‘Talk-Story’ practices & acts of ‘Talanoa’ that form part of my story-telling & compositional methods. ‘Talanoa’ is a word which describes consultative oratory processes from the Pacific region known as Moana Nui, it is at once formalised & colloquial, political & pedestrian as a means of connection.

My Action asks: How do we communally manufacture & invest “trust” through exchange, rapport & understanding? And how else can we create our collective values, using all our senses?

My Action is a Series of 7 Ceremonies, like prayers, exploring the merits of inaction & the intangible that are central to Indigenous Oceanian experience. Deep listening/reading, as an act of active-observance of micro-gestures.

Like prayer, everyday small ceremonies can be performed individually or collectively, formally or politically & are part of the currency of vibration & space, which underpins our Indigenous reality.

Exploring ideas about Oceanic Art, Advocacy, Activism & Alliance. This Series of 7 Ceremonies considers the parameters of creating a Composition of Art for Industry versus Composition of Art for Alliance. How do our micro-gestures stifle or stimulate power in our interactions?

The main subject of this exploration is my recent commission by Artspace to contribute to the forthcoming artist book from Taloi Havini’s - my chapter entitled ‘Hymns of Blood & Land’ in Three Movements (with Coda).

I observe my own methodology as a collaborator & story-teller, composing content derived from interpersonal histories of trauma, war, resilience or turmoil that are not my personal experience & yet the subject on which I compose as a conduit in ‘Hymns of Blood & Land’. I analyse my own gaze as composer & new voice in a story.

The Series explores ways of intimacy through gaze or empathy as a lens in relation to micro-gesture & its influence on compositional form, as in ‘Hymns of Blood & Land’, which is published in text but is a structured verbal score (not-script) in 3 Movements & Coda, a classical music score reference - my Hymns are in the form of Chants.

3 of these Chants become Ceremony for Instagram. 1 Chant from each Movement is offered as an intimate vocal, whispered as a non-performance - intimate, in hope of closeness against a body landscape. How close must we become to perceive each other’s breath or skin?

I am exploring micro-gestures & social media posts as ritualised “performed graffiti”. Here observing the parameters of Instagram posts, from an Orator & Broadcaster’s perspective. Moving from consumer to producer in online space.

I am reigniting a personal ritual from the 2010’s ‘#SNtpp SistaNative Twitter Prose Project’, prose for Twitter as broadcast. Now, this action gives birth to an Instagram iteration for the 2020’s, called ‘#SNIpp SistaNative Instagram Prose Project’.

I like that the onomatopoeic word “snip” suggests & sounds like ‘the act of cutting a piece off’.

Artist bio

Sēini “SistaNative” Taumoepeau is an Orator & Songwoman with an Intersectional Oceanic-Pacific lens & First Nations focus. She is an Indigenous woman of the Mōana & the direct descendant of Ancient Polynesian Celestial Navigators & Chiefly lineage.

Sēini is an Analogue to Digital Interdisciplinary Artist & Coach/Mentor from Sydney’s early Hip Hop Generation & continues Ancient Polynesian navigational principles with leadership in her bloodlines & training. Sēini carries energy medicine in her hands & in her voice. With a strong aesthetic in harmony & rhythm, Sēini works in the invisible & the intangible first & foremost.

Sēini is Indigenous to the Kingdom of Tonga & an Australian veteran of Pacific Arts & Culture, with a career spanning more than 30+ years as a Performance Artist, Presenter/Broadcaster & Creative Industries professional – she is known by the names: SistaNative, Napangardi (Skin-name) & Cantora (Capoeira Name).

Working across the fields of Arts, Media, Culture, Education & Personal Development, Sēini remains dedicated to extending the stories & narratives of Indigenous Oceania.

Sēini explores ideas of connectivity, hōhoko (geneology), ritual, communication, relational intersectionality & displacement across Tā Vā (Time-Space). Talanoa, Talk-Story & technology are central to her praxis, often on the outskirts, the emergent, the fringe or in the margins.

An eternal scholar & emerging Elder, Sēini continues to grow her study & practices in every direction with the desire to bring Oceanic wisdom & indigenous science to the forefront, through sharing empathic, intuitive, intelligent, Heart centred creative practice to continue to create harmony & community praxis, as an extension of the Indigenous cultures of her people of the Mōana.

1.03.2021


#SNIpp A Series of 7 Ceremonies

Ceremony: Lotu 1 (Prayer 1)

“Fakatapu kihe Ta’e Hā Mai”

We make sacred & pay our respects to all the unseen invisible forces

Moonrise Tuliki Tonga (Nuku'alofa)
Marking time of Earth revolutions towards March Half-Moon of Easter season

Begin with nōa: void, zero, nothing
A Ngatu ‘uli (darkest black printed barkcloth - reserved for chiefly or royal status)
Your Gaze: an unlocking revolution dance of your iris - iris begins in an upward stance, at roof of eye socket, turns clockwise downwards to right hand corner of eye socket, then turns clockwise along baseline of eye socket to left-hand corner, then turns clockwise & returns to initial upward stance. complete 1 revolution of clockwise triangle - nifo maka (shark teeth)

CREDIT:
‘Ngatu ‘uli’ Australian Museum Collections - Humphrey No. 35

Image: SistaNative “#YOU ARE HERE” MCA ARTBAR – Primavera Edition, Curated: Taloi Havini at MCA 25/9/2015 image courtesy & © the artists photograph: Leslie Liu


2.03.2021


 

#SNIpp A Series of 7 Ceremonies
Ceremony: Lotu 2 (Prayer 2)

Moonrise Tuliki Kilisi (Athens, Greece)

“Fakatapu kihe kelekele oku ne tauhi ki tautolu”
We make sacred/pay our respects to earth/soil that nourishes us all

Now the expressed invisible within - our breath (air, space)

Spoken - does a macron matter?

Mālō (lit. gratitude, thanks) has 2 macrons above each vowel. Vowels that are held suspend sound momentarily - does the grace of a long breathe or short staccato breathe make much difference?

Yesterday eve of Half Moon pre-Autumnal Equinox (SH) Pre-Easter, I gave lopsided “thanksgiving”: Malō not Mālō

It’s difference is a beat, a sustained moment, the distance between a quaver (quarter note) & a minim (half note). A hold, a sustain, an indentation in time

CREDIT:
‘Ngatu ‘uli’ Australian Museum Collections - Humphrey No. 35
Video: Breath by SistaNative “#YOU ARE HERE” MCA ARTBAR – Primavera Edition, Curated: Taloi Havini at MCA 25/9/2015 image courtesy & © the artists


03.03.2021


#SNIpp A Series of 7 Ceremonies
Ceremony: Lotu 3 (Prayer 3)

Sunrise Tuliki Pilitānia (London, Britain UK)
Half Moon Pre-Easter Vernal Equinox (NH)

A Tongan proverb: “Koe koloa ‘a Tonga koe fakamālō” meaning “The treasure/wealth of Tonga is the expression of giving thanks”

My Creative-self is reinforced by Tātatau (tattoos which mark time, progress & walk through my life as accompaniment). It adds a visual rhythm to my wayward earthwalk. The ink draws & moves my blood inside, concentrating blood while I breathe. Arriving before I do, my marks constantly dance inside me, on my body & skin.

When my loved ones panic, I send them songs, to assist them to cope, create & make. I sang this song 1 night for Brian Fuata (@ghosted_sandwich) working alone on his Keynote performance.

Song is a gift of love & gratitude.

CREDIT:
Cover song: BJÖRK - The Anchor Song
Video: Tātatau of Seini "SistaNative" Taumoepeau: Tūfunga Tātatau: Julia Mage'au Gray & Terje Koloamatangi
Image & Sound courtesy & © the artists


04.03.2021


#SNIpp Series 7 Ceremonies
Ceremony: Lotu 4

Sunset Tuliki 'Amelika DC USA
Half Moon Pre-Easter Vernal Equinox NH

HYMNS OF BLOOD & LAND excerpt
by ©Seini 'SistaNative' Taumoepeau

Movement 1: Hymns of I
Chant 1

The Stars are watching
Quiet & waiting
Until those clear nights
When I watch the clouds stirred
Running & racing
Across the nightsky
When the celestial bodies
They scream so loudly
Even the Spirits stop to stand & stare
Their heads turned away
To gaze at the Skies
Where the celestial
Songs are in concert

(text omitted)

I don’t know
If I’m still breathing
But the air inside me
Moves gently like a lullaby
That clings floating on a current
Of a warm sea breeze
Rocking in tandem
Dancing with the Seas

(text omitted)

Singing along
My multiplicite harmony
I am feeling with my blood

As I listen
To my body
cycling through song
My Anchor is rising
I am rising
Risen

Buka body: Kuntamari Crofts
camera: Sinovi
audio: Hayley Forward


05.03.2021


#SNIpp Series 7 Ceremonies
Ceremony: Lotu 5

Sunset Tuliki 'Tonga (Nuku’alofa, TBU)
Half Moon Pre-Easter Autumnal Equinox SH

HYMNS OF BLOOD & LAND excerpt
by ©Seini 'SistaNative' Taumoepeau

A memory of Taloi Havini fresh from ARB Buka, we co-presented a workshop, she was present but her Spirit was still home

Movement 2: Hymns of S/HE
Chant 1

Hers
Are eyes that remember the mountains
They spill no secrets
pronounced sacred
By silence
and spaces left filled with purpose
mystery moulds
the mountains unseen & unshared
Most stories have no words
So ask no questions
But hold her weary smile
Her body forlorn

Her feet
Broad & bruised
Bearing scrapes & scratches
of the winding torrid
Wayward way to journey back
Here
Away from homelands
To overseas
Home
in Exile

(text omitted)

Heart strings strum silence
Ancestors sing to her loudly
She hears them
But mute unmute
Mute
helps heaps

Hers
Are eyes that remember the mountains

Buka body & camera: Kuntamari Crofts
audio: Hayley Forward


06.03.2021


#SNIpp Series 7 Ceremonies
Ceremony: Lotu 6 (Prayer 6)

Sunset Tuliki Kilisi (Athens, Greece)
Half Moon Pre-Easter Vernal Equinox NH

In Oceania we have amnesia about wars & military actions in our midst.

HYMNS OF BLOOD & LAND excerpt
by ©Sēini 'SistaNative' Taumoepeau

Movement 3: Hymns of THEY

Chant 1

They hold up much of the skies
Matrilineal pillars that stretch
and stretch beyond the beginnings of new tides

They neither know nor question her about hers
But futures are assumed based on ancestors
Belief breeds
and breeds
a divinity bridge no longer
but instead it embraces the measure
of spaces in between
of distance that becomes a tyranny
The bridge now a crown for nothingness
That metallic linkage helping the stealing happen

They who hold lands in their hands
They who hold negotiations at arms length
Like holding their babies away from their chest
Let the crisp air cool the skin
The closeness makes the warm cling

Buka body & camera: Kuntamari Crofts
audio: Hayley Forward


07.03.2021


 

#SNIpp Series 7 Ceremonies
Ceremony: Lotu 7 (Prayer 7)

Sunset Tuliki PIlitania (Britain UK)
Half Moon Pre-Easter Vernal Equinox NH

HYMNS OF BLOOD & LAND excerpt
by ©Sēini 'SistaNative' Taumoepeau

CODA - Chant:

Some are Sheep
some are shepherds

For each flock of birds
there flies a navigator

For every shoaling fish
There is a school

Yet all fish who swim
do not school
All the time

Blood flows
For land sea sky

Buka body & camera: Kuntamari Crofts
audio: Hayley Forward

Mālō 'aupito
Tu'a 'ofa atu
Sēini 'SistaNative' Taumoepeau (a.k.a Napangardi, Cantora)



Past Actions

10 May - 16 May 2021

Pat Brassington

26 Apr - 02 May 2021

Loren Kronemyer

19 Apr - 25 Apr 2021

Guo Jian

12 Apr - 18 Apr 2021

Kenny Pittock

05 Apr - 11 Apr 2021

Jannawi Dance Clan

29 Mar - 04 Apr 2021

Gillian Kayrooz

22 Mar - 28 Mar 2021

Nathan Beard

15 Mar - 21 Mar 2021

Pilar Mata Dupont

08 Mar - 14 Mar 2021

Michael Cook

01 Mar - 07 Mar 2021

Seini F Taumoepeau

22 Feb - 28 Feb 2021

Dani Marti

15 Feb - 21 Feb 2021

Lill Colgan & Sab D'Souza

08 Feb - 14 Feb 2021

Chris Yee

01 Feb - 07 Feb 2021

Rochelle Haley

25 Jan - 31 Jan 2021

Karrabing Film Collective

18 Jan - 24 Jan 2021

Nici Cumpston

11 Jan - 17 Jan 2021

Johnathon World Peace Bush

07 Dec - 13 Dec 2020

Aphids

30 Nov - 06 Dec 2020

Raquel Ormella

23 Nov - 29 Nov 2020

Léuli Eshrāghi

16 Nov - 22 Nov 2020

Rolande Souliere

09 Nov - 15 Nov 2020

TV Moore

02 Nov - 08 Nov 2020

Gutiŋarra Yunupiŋu

26 Oct - 01 Nov 2020

Ivey Wawn

19 Oct - 25 Oct 2020

Naomi Blacklock

12 Oct - 18 Oct 2020

Sancintya Mohini Simpson

05 Oct - 11 Oct 2020

Yhonnie Scarce

28 Sep - 04 Oct 2020

Ruha Fifita

21 Sep - 27 Sep 2020

Kaylene Whiskey

14 Sep - 20 Sep 2020

Adam Linder

07 Sep - 13 Sep 2020

Archie Barry

31 Aug - 06 Sep 2020

Min Wong

24 Aug - 30 Aug 2020

Hayley Millar-Baker

17 Aug - 23 Aug 2020

Erin Coates

10 Aug - 16 Aug 2020

Diego Bonetto

03 Aug - 09 Aug 2020

Tyza Stewart

27 Jul - 02 Aug 2020

Larissa Hjorth

20 Jul - 26 Jul 2020

Louise Zhang

13 Jul - 19 Jul 2020

Henri Papin (Meijers & Walsh)

06 Jul - 12 Jul 2020

Stelarc

29 Jun - 05 Jul 2020

Rainbow Chan

22 Jun - 28 Jun 2020

Jason Phu

15 Jun - 21 Jun 2020

Abdul Abdullah

08 Jun - 14 Jun 2020

Patricia Piccinini

01 Jun - 07 Jun 2020

Brook Andrew

25 May - 31 May 2020

Radha

18 May - 24 May 2020

James Tylor