Sunday, September 27, 2009

Above the Door

I took this close up of the ornate lintel carving above the door of the Whare Runanga at Waitangi National Reserve. The lintel carving design is adapted from one found in a Hauraki swamp. The carving above the window (only just visible) is a replica of a lintel carving from the Napier district; and the skirting board design reproduces a design formerly carved on bargeboards of important pataka (storehouses). This mixed nature of the derivation of carvings on the Whare Runanga is very much in keeping with the fact that it was built to represent not one tribe, but all the tribes of New Zealand. This concept from proposed by Sir Apirana Ngata, then (in 1934) the Minister of Maori Affairs, as the Maori people's contribution to celebrate the 1940 centenary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, which was signed at Waitangi in 1840.

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