Indigenous Master Practioner

The Kaupapa Māori Tikanga & Kawa for Indigenous Māori Hair & Makeup Artists:
An Attempt In Self-Preservation To Reconnect To Our Divine Spirituality.

A Taonga Tuku Iho submitted to Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in partial fulfilment of the Master of Applied Indigenous Knowledge requirements.


Kō Horouta te waka, Kō Hikurangi te māunga, Kō Waiapu te awa, Kō Ngāti Porou te iwi, Kō Te Whānau a te Uruahi te hapū, Kō Tinā-Toka te marae, Kō Bianca tōku ingoa.

About Me

I have been a hair & makeup artist for 25 years, holding a Master’s Degree Level 9 in Applied Indigenous Knowledge. These Tikanga & Kawa are part of my Taonga Tuku Iho (gift to my community). I have Models of Understanding & Practice for you to navigate different mauri levels in your tangible & intangible environments. I would like to thank Te Rau Ora Māori Leaders Scholarship & Ministry of Health Te Hauora Māori Post Graduate scholarships 2020/21. I am a wife and a mother running a private studio from my Auckland home, using the tools of my industry to shift resistant taukumekume and mauri-rere. As an indigenous practioner, I acknowledge client priorities for cultural, religious, spiritual wairua & mauri reconnection.

Nau mai haere mai

Taonga Tuku Iho


     Disentangling Ranginui and Papatūānuku embrace required severing their limbs, resulting in a tsunami of blood seeping into the Earth’s core. The bleeding font of red clay is the origin of kōkōwai, the consecrated red of Māori. From the first female atua came the menstrual cycle lava flowed through Rūaumoko, pouring into the world; air met fire, and the tears of Ranginui solidified to create landmasses. Our D.N.A. travelled within the firey discharge from the vulva of Papatūānuku.

     The kōkōwai obtained from mineral-rich clays, combined with water, is the basis of mineral cosmetics Māori use for personal protection and adornment. The red ochre was burned by fire, and ground into a fine powder mixed with shark oil to make paint known as kōkōwai, the red on marae and waka. The Tohunga Suppressions Act, of 1907 minimised natural practices and rituals. Egyptians created restorative mineral cosmetics as early as 10000 B.C. All indigenous nations used red ochre. Māori mixed it with shark liver oil as a sunscreen and insect repellant that reflected the light appearing luminous due to the metallic particles when buffed into the skin shimmer, enhancing human attraction for a radiant, younger appearance.          

     Both sexes wore cosmetics, and Māori male grooming involved skincare using kōkōwai and oils for their ta moko and entire body to shimmer. In 1769 soon after, the British requested Māori removed the kōkōwai from their physical being eliminating the tapu red (ochre) of Māori. The holistic and spiritual protective benefits were replaced by religion, severing a direct connection to the blood of Papatūānuku. 

Mauri-Tātai Makeup Brushes

     The image at the base of the handle is Rūaumoko symbolising growth and the need for solid foundations. A makeup foundation must have a solid base to maintain the subsequent processes, which will slip off if unstable. The triangles depict an ascension through the resistance of taukumekume towards acceptance of resistant taukumekume as each step achieves change. Finally, acceptance of taukumekume is the Harrier Hawk’s self-determination, our divine selves a wairuatanga mauri reconnection


     These liquid spritzers action an immediate sensation of refreshment, affecting one physically, emotionally and mentally. Māori evolution from Tangaroa is a philosophy that explains the human need to cleanse the seen and unseen with water. I use Wai-Tapu to shift my clients. The addition of Hawaiian Salts furthers the rongoā experience of preparing my client’s wairua mauri reconnection. 

Whaka-whiti-mauritau Sessions


Tūpāpaku:  In December 2020, my best friend Marigold disclosed she was suffering from depression after her mother’s death, & by June 2021, she was dead, returning to the unconscious mauri-moe. At her tangihanga Marigold looked sad; her clean, lifeless green-grey skin required a corrective application. I used the red kōkōwai foundation and the brown kōkōwai foundation to bespoke the right skin shade. The whānau commented how the wairua around her body looked pleased & more like her allowing mauri-tau to flow.

Spirit Festival


  1. Sitina Cowley

    Absolutely moving.
    Absolutely beautiful.
    Absolutely mana.

    I’d like to book an appointment with you to develop a fresh new look in make up for me please?


    1. Oh thank you Sitina 🙂 I would love to book you in at my studio, please email me at and we can discuss some different options for your needs 🙂
      Ngā mihi Bianca

  2. Moana Clark

    Nga mihi kia koe Bianca.

    I am a Nail technician and I’ve always believed and have wahine say that when they come to see me “it’s not just nails”. It is a place of healing and change. I can often feel how the person is feeling especially in their hands. I’ve never been able to articulate it, but you’re bang on!

    I have also had the honor of doing nails for tupapaku and one my Kuia whom was sadly passing away from Cancer. For someone who hadn’t been able to korero/communicate for a while, she was able to say hello and she knew who I was AND what colour she was getting 🙂

    Thank you, beautiful read.

    1. Tēnā koe Moana
      My work is intended to guide indigenous practitioners across all hands-on professions with the tikanga and kawa guidance with which to navigate the tangible and intangible spaces they work in, thank you for your kind words
      Ngā mihi Bianca

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