I never liked rainbows.
On the surface, it’s a style choice. But also I’ve rejected rainbows as having any part to play in my wavy identity.
Growing up, LGBTQ rainbow representation was very Pālagi, and not for me at all. True to current te Whanganui a Tara trend and maybe a sprinkling of serious scorpy feelings, pō uliuli is my uniform.
As we yearn and search for learning, tides will turn.Tagaloa is the name of a supreme deity in Niuē (not exclusive to Niuē though) and also the word for rainbow in vagahau Niuē.
I looked it up in the vagahau Niuē dictionary.
When I saw that the word for rainbow was Tagaloa I remembered a sense of belonging.
A familiar sense of belonging I remembered when reading The Ocean in Us, and Our sea of islands by Epeli Hau’ofa.It was arriving at this reading, I began with joy, likening the in-between and beyond oceanic consciousness and connectivity to gender and sexuality identities.
Vagahau Niuē knowledge holder Kiva Jackson says that Niueans believed that rainbows are a sign from God.
“When they saw them in the sky, they believed it to be Tagaloa. So Niuē peoples have always had a reverence for rainbows.”
How special are peoples of the rainbow! How special are we? Whenever I hear the spiritual exclamation:
“Monū monū monū Tagaloa!”
I’m reminded of the blessings of pre-colonial spirituality and ways of life, the protection from our ancestors, and the preciousness of our water fire wind earth gender wavy all the things bending rainbow peoples.
And so here is my latest mug for your beautiful rainbow faces. There a four of them at the moment at friendlyfeke.com.
KIVA JACKSON for kindly sharing more about the meaning of Tagaloa as rainbow when I asked.
HONOUR’D APPAREL for their layered signature HONOUR TE TIRITI HONOUR TE TIRITI HONOUR TE TIRITI gears especially their massive pink print mugs and ie lavalava. IYKYK.
KASSIE HARTENDORP for countless conversations on our Tagaloa in wavy contexts.
Monū in pō uliuli x3 ascends and arrives at the lip of rainbow Tagaloa.
I never liked rainbows. I don’t mind them as much now. Today I wish you:
- Warm ipu overflowing
- Rainbow hugs and harmony.