Saturday, August 15, 2009

Top of the South

On Thursday, I flew up to Blenheim for the day to carry out some interviews for a story on Maori health. In the process of that, I was taken out to Picton, to Te Ati Awa's Waikawa Marae. They've been busy carrying out renovations there over the last few months and everything is looking kitchen, new gardens, new fences, re-painted carvings, a new waharoa....lovely!

I particularly loved their beautiful wharenui (meeting house), [called Arapaoa], which was built in 1994. I wasn't allowed to photograph inside of course, but I have to say the interior carvings and tukutuku panels are stunning. I can however, show you some of the exterior carvings and the painted rafters. The carvings at every marae are entirely distinctive of course and these were a beautiful orange-brown I hadn't seen before - largely caused by weathering by the sea air.

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