Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Beauties of Rongomaraeroa

Two top images courtesy of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
The first time I saw Te Marae at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, I was gobsmacked by the rainbow of coloured light that was seeping across the forecourt – reflections from the beautiful stained glass windows behind me (which I’ll show you another time). It took me some time to re-focus on the stunning carvings that decorate the wharenui (Te Hono Ki Hawaiki) and in the many times I’ve seen them since, I’ve been no less impressed.

Wellington April 2009. Ajr
Rongomaraeroa is the name given to the marae, which was created by master carver, Cliff Whiting and the Maori advisory group to Te Papa, Nga Kaiwawao, who aimed to create a fully functional contemporary marae within the museum – “one that would embrace the concept of mana taonga and the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.” It was opened in 1997 and is “the museum’s response to the challenge of creating an authentic yet inclusive marae (communal meeting place) for the 21st century.” In addition to serving as ‘a living marae’ it is also an exhibition in its own right, designed to give visitors an insight into the meaning of the marae experience. It is also – obviously – a beautiful showcase of contemporary Maori arts and crafts; and a reflection of both the nation’s and Te Papa’s bicultural identity. “All people have the right to stand on this marae through a shared whakapapa (genealogy) and the mana (power) of the taonga (treasures) held in Te Papa collections.” It is a place for all cultures and all iwi (tribes).

1 comment:

  1. Kia Ora! You have a great blog, with some awsome pictures! There are not many blogs around acknowledging our people! Feel free to link to to my blog, I will do the same!


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