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Omar: From Tama to Kaumatua

In the AI-inspired portrait Omar: From Tama to Kaumatua, we are drawn into the powerful representation of a Maori Kaumatua, and his journey of self-discovery. This captivating ARTifact beautifully portrays the essence of Omar's life story as he cradles a young boy, inviting viewers to explore the layers of his transformative narrative

Maori elder represented in AI, Artificial Intelligence art work by Magno Barros,

Omar: From Tama to Kaumatua

The portrait beautifully captures the essence of Omar's story, depicting a Kaumatua (tribal elder) carrying a tama (boy). This imagery can be interpreted in multiple ways, each reflecting important aspects of Omar's journey. On one hand, it represents Omar carrying a younger version of himself, symbolising his early experiences of learning to fend for himself and shoulder his own burdens from a very young age. Moreover, the image reminds us that we carry the memories, both the joyful and the challenging ones, that have shaped us into who we are today.

On the other hand, the portrait can also be seen as a representation of the father figure Omar longed for during his upbringing. It encapsulates the yearning for a paternal figure that was not present, highlighting the emotional weight carried by Omar throughout his journey of self-discovery and growth.

Furthermore, Omar: From Tama to Kaumatua can be interpreted as Omar embodying the role of a father figure himself, not only to his own family but also to his community. This dynamic and never-ending cycle of mentorship and guidance between generations is a significant aspect of Maori tradition. It highlights the interconnectedness and responsibility that individuals have towards their families and communities.

The stillness in the air within the portrait represents the calmness of the wind, reflecting his life journey, from the whirlwinds of his childhood to the tranquillity and wisdom he has attained in maturity. This parallel draws a connection to Tāwhirimātea, the Maori god of the winds, who embodies both power and tranquillity.

Hau whakararuraru, whakahauhau ana i te korero whakahirahira. Tama ki te kaumatua, te whakaahua e whakakotahi ana i te kaha me te whakapau kaha. Tino whakaputa i te huarahi a Omar, me Tāwhirimātea, te atua Maori o nga hau, he whakatakataka, he hau pū, he āwha....

Despite being the youngest, Omar's role as a spiritual head of the family is evident in his ability to act as a powerful wind, navigating through life's obstacles. He harnesses this strength to transform into a gentle breeze that calms and comforts others, embodying the qualities of a Kaumatua.

The image also highlights Omar's deep connection to nature and his Maori heritage. The lush green bushes suggested in the background evoke memories of Omar's experiences hunting wild pigs and his love for growing plants.

Overall, Omar: From Tama to Kaumatua beautifully tells the story of Omar's profound journey of self-discovery, resilience, and his profound connection to his Maori heritage. It symbolises his growth from a young boy burdened by loss to a wise Kaumatua who nurtures the growth of those around him and serves his community.

Omar's ability to harness the power of the wind, both unstoppable and calming, reflects his remarkable journey towards tranquility and wisdom.

SO50 logo, ageing positive, Magno Barros

Omar is a fictional character whose story draws inspiration from the life experiences of a Kaumatua affiliated with the Rauawaawa Kaumatua Charitable Trust in Hamilton, New Zealand. Magno Barros was invited by RKCT to collaborate with groups of Maori elders (Kaumatua), introducing them to AI technology and capturing their ageing stories into ART-tifacts, which were created based on their narratives.

This captivating image and story are the fruits of the innovative SO50 workshop, which empowers older adults to embrace AI - Artificial Intelligence technology and intertwine it with real-life tales. It's a testament to the power of learning and new experiences as we age, a mission championed by SO50. Magno Barros led this transformative initiative, showcasing the incredible potential of lifelong learning.

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