Te Maori in New York celebration

Te Maori – the ground-breaking exhibition of Maori art that toured the United States will be comm


Te Maori – the ground-breaking exhibition of Maori art that toured the United States will be commemorated and celebrated at a breakfast at the Waiwhetu marae in Lower Hutt.

It has been 25 years since the opening of Te Maori at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, on 10th September 1984.

About 200 hundred guests have been invited to attend a breakfast, on Thursday 10 September 2009, to be hosted by the Minister of Maori Affairs Hon Dr Pita Sharples, Morehu Kaumatua and the Te Maori Manaaki Taonga Trust.

A dawn ceremony of karakia will be conducted by noted tohunga where the Te Maori stone, the mauri or life-force of the exhibition will be taken into the cultural centre at the marae. Speeches of welcome and remembrance for those elders who have departed in the last twenty five years will be made by invited speakers.

“It will be a very emotional time I suspect,” says Professor Piri Sciascia, Chairman of the Te Maori Manaaki Taonga Trust, and Pro Vice Chancellor M?ori of Victoria University.

“We have lost so many of those who performed the ceremonies, both Maori and Pakeha – those who breathed life into the exhibition at that time. But we have seen such amazing progress as well, hence the celebration - it’s an opportunity to appreciate the transformational impact of Te Maori globally, and upon New Zealand. We value its legacy,” he says.

The four New Zealand delegations to the openings of the exhibition in New York, St Louis, San Francisco and Chicago, included talented younger members as well – one of whom was Pita Sharples, now the Minister of Maori Affairs.

“We have seen Maori art grow and flourish, and we intend to commemorate the time of the exhibition here in New Zealand also,” says Professor Sciascia.

Called Te Maori: Te Hokinga Mai, the New Zealand exhibition showed in Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, and finally ended in Auckland on the 10th September 1987, three years later to the day.

“Celebrations nationally and internationally have been organised for the next three years, and the interest is growing. This will include visual arts exhibitions, performing arts events, seminars involving the universities and wananga, as well as events involving the contributing and exhibiting museums and art galleries. I trust that our people will add to the story that is Te Maori, and I am sure that a platform for the suitable advancement of the place of Maori art in our lives will be provided.”

Te Maori Manaaki Taonga Trust

Written by

The Big Idea Editor

7 Sep 2009

The Big Idea Editor Cathy Aronson is a journalist, photo journalist and digital editor.

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