Monday, May 31, 2010

From the Museum Files - Otago Museum

When I was in Dunedin last week and the rain fell, I retreated to Otago Museum to test my new camera in low light without flash. I have to say I was delighted with the results and what seemed like a gross over-indulgence when I bought it now seems like a very sound investment. And so to these stunning carvings...... They were made by Ngati Porou carvers near Napier in the late 1870s for the Hawke's Bay chief, Karaitiana Takamoana, who planned to erect a whare Runanga where they would feature. Unfortunately he died in 1979 and the incompleted carvings were abandoned. Dr T.M Hocken, who had heard of the carvings, secured their loan for the New Zealand Exhibition of 1889-90, where they were set up as a house. At the conclusion of the exhibition, Hocken purchased the carvings and gifted them to Otago Museum - which, I have to say, has a small but very beautiful collection of Maori artefacts. (These notes from the Otago Museum exhibition labels).

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Another Kete

One Small Kete
Sitting on the Sill
At Takahanga Marae
Kaikoura, April 2010. Ajr

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Portrait - 16

Resting on Stage
Te Puia Performer, Rotorua
May 2009, Ajr

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Moko and A Cultural Journey

These are two of my favourite photographs, taken at the Waka Wananga at Kaikoura back in April. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time as this young Ngai Tahu waka ama (outrigger canoe) paddler lent a hand to raise the sail on the beautiful waka unua (double-hulled voyaging canoe) that was the focus of the weekend workshop on the history and rennaissance of Maori ocean voyaging and celestial navigation traditions. An independent group of Ngai Tahu waka ama enthusiasts had organised the weekend to prepare their crew of 20 for their first waka unua voyage around Hauraki Gulf in Auckland. You can read more about this in my previous blog entries by clicking on Waka or Voyaging Waka in the label line below this entry.

Maori Place Names - 64

South Island
May 2009 Ajr

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Museum Stories

I took these two photographs in Auckland Museum last year. I was taken not only with the beauty of the carving but also the story behind how they came to be there. The boards were created in the late 18th century by the Te Whanau-a-Apanui people of the eastern Bay of Plenty (East Cape) at Maraenui, near Te Kaha. The museum exhibit shows the central barge boards (maihi) and doorway (kuwaha) of a pataka (storehouse), which was dismantled in the early 1820s and moved to Raukokere, where new carvings were begun. Before they were completed they were hidden in a cave at Te Kaha to protect them from the 1823 raids by the Northland Ngapuhi tribe. They were recovered from the cave in the 1890s and bought by the Auckland Museum in 1912. I have featured the Maraenui Marae, Te Kaha and Raukokere on this blog previously. Just click on any of the names in the label line below this post to take you to photographs of each of them.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Administering Maori Land

When I travelled around New Zealand last year updating Frommers New Zealand 6th Edition, I spent a couple of hours driving and walking around the small eastern Bay of Plenty town, Opotiki, which I always see as the start of one of my favourite driving adventures - the magnificent East Cape road. The town may be small but it is richly decorated with traditional and contempoary Maori art - everything from colourful street murals to school gateways embellished with amazing traditional carvings, modern Maori carvings and Maori-owned buildings like this one - home to Te Whakatohea Maori Trust Board.
The Trust was established in 1952 and now administers the properties of Te Whakatohea iwi (tribe) - buildings and farms - and also provides school and health services and training across a wide range of occupations and trades.

As I roamed the streets, I also came upon this Maori Arts Gallery - closed unfortunately, and a little hard to tell in fact, if it was even currently operating - also established by Te Whakatohea.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The School Gate - Opotiki

Every so often, when I'm leafing back through my photo files, I come upon photographs that I not only like, but enjoyed taking - images and the experience of capturing the image, that have stayed with me long after the event. These are three - taken at Opotiki Primary School at Opotiki in Bay of Plenty. Opotiki itself is the gateway to East Cape, which is one of my favourite New Zealand places for its richness of living Maori culture; and for me, the gateway at Opotiki School somehow summed that up. Like many schools around East Cape, it is so elaborately decorated with historical Maori carvings and designs that I was often given to wondering if the current pupils ever think about their unique school environments. I suppose not. It is after all, all that most of them have ever known. Perhaps they think all New Zealand primary school have beautiful gateways like this? I have written about the Opotiki School before and you can see full images of the gateway in that previous post by clicking on Opotiki Primary School in the label line below this entry.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Portrait - 15

A Weaver

On the Job at Te Puia


May 2009, Ajr

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Maori Place Names - 63

Kahukuraariki Marae
North of Kaeo
Far North
April 2009 Ajr

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Overlooking an East Coast Bay

Today I thought I'd bring you a small photo parade from Omarumutu Marae on the North Island's sunny East Coast. I arrived there at 11.30am almost exactly a year ago, at the beginning of my journey around East Cape. I saw the sign on the main road, just 10 kilometres north of Opotiki in the Bay of Plenty and decided to make a short detour.

The marae has a perfect location, sitting a top of small hill overlooking a pretty sand-swept bay (see below). It is home to the Ngati Ruatakena Hapu (Ngati Rua) of the Te Whakatohea iwi (tribe).

Te Whakatohea territory runs along a 35-km stretch of coastline from Ohiwa Harbour, near Ohope, to Opape just further along the cape road from Omarumutu; and inland through remote, mountainous country to Matawai
And this the Urupa (cemetery) down by the sea below the marae.
The memorial monument within the marae grounds.
Te Whakatohea is made up of six hapu (sub-tribes): Ngati Ruatakena, Ngati Patumoana, Ngari Ngahere, Ngati Tamahaua, Ngati Ira and Te Upokorehe.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Modern Moko

In a modern age of moko (tattoo) rennaissance, it seems only fair that I occasionally be allowed to play (with permission) with a few contemporary designs on Photo Shop - purely in the name of creativity. I photographed this Ngai Tahu man's tattooed arm recently - just small sections of it - and I was much taken with the marriage of pattern and background. Tattoo has always been the most personal of Maori arts - each one designed specifically to reflect a person's whakapapa (ancestry). In the old days, no Maori - man or woman - of rank went without a tattoed adornment of some kind. It is rare to see a full face tattoo today - although there are some - but arm and leg tattooing has become increasingly popular over the last decade. For many, it is a statement about their reconnection to their Maori ancestry and tribal culture; for others (usually non-Maori) is more about being part of a popular trend, about making some sort of design statement, or marking themselves in a distinctly New Zealand way - sometimes, sadly, with little thought to the meaning of the designs they adorning themselves with.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Portrait - 14

Penny Diver, Whakarewarewa
Counting His Coins
May 2009, Ajr

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Note From the Road

As of Monday, I will travelling around New Zealand again - this time researching and writing a brand new travel guide, Frommers New Zealand Day by Day 1st Edition. That means I won't have nearly as much time as I would like to devote to this and my other blog -Adrienne Rewi Online - so rather than more detailed posts, this blog will become a lot more photographic - for the duration of my travels at least. I will of course, be gathering masses of new material on the road, as I discover new marae and new people along the way. For instance, I'll be going to Whanganui, New Plymouth, Coromandel and Bay of Plenty on this trip - all places I had to leave out of last year's nationwide journey. So come October, when the manuscript writing is finished, you can expect a whole heap more of my interpretations of interesting new people and places. In the meantime, I hope you'll enjoy my pictorial journey as I go.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Pounamu - A Neck Piece

A Personal Taonga

Maori Place Names - 62

Hokianga, Far North
May 2009 Ajr

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

From the Kete Files

One Kete
A Work in Progress
In the Weaving Room
Takahanga Marae, Kaikoura
April 2010. Ajr

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ta Moko - Glimpsed Details

Ta Moko
Traditional Designs
Etched on Skin

Monday, May 10, 2010

Te Kaha - An East Coast Marae

The skies were putting on a show the afternoon I rolled into the little east Coast town of Te Kaha - home to around 350 people, who live in homes gathered around the Te Kaha Marae - sometimes also called Tukaki Marae

The main coast road curves around the small hill that offers the marae a commanding outlook up and down the coast. Across the road, in total contrast, sits the new Te Kaha Hotel, which clings to the cliffs above a wide sweep of East Coast beach.

There wasn't a soul about the day I drove through and, with an eye on the clock and due in Hicks Bay later that afternoon, I only had time for a brief stop. But it was nice to sit there and reflect on how the marae scene might have looked back in 2007, when locals staged a massive powhiri (welcome), for Corporal Willie Apiata to celebrate his being awarded the Victoria Cross. Apiata - like New Zealand filmmaker, Taika Waititi, calls this marae home. I suspect the little community hadn't seen so much action for decades, as then-Prime Minister Helen Clark, Defence Force chiefs and Maori dignitaries arrived to congratulate Willie Apiata in the traditional Maori way. Also in the traditional Maori way, the crowd of over 3,000 visitors was treated to a traditional hangi feast - crayfish, mussels, oysters, titi (mutton bird) and more - prepared by the Te Kaha locals. All of that required tractors to help burrow out hangi pits big enough to cope with the numbers.
Te Kaha Marae sits within the rohe (tribal area) of Te Whanau-a-Apanui.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Traditional Designs - 18

One Bowl
Embellished in Red and Black
Takahanga Marae
April 2010. Ajr

Maori Place Names - 61

In Otago
South Island
May 2009 Ajr

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Portrait - 13

Kapa Haka Performer
May 2009, Ajr

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

More on Waka

I thought I'd throw in a few more of my favourite shots from the Waka Wananga at Takanga Marae in Kaikoura that I reported on recently for Ngai Tahu's Te Karaka Magazine.

It was the first time a waka unua (above) - a double-hulled voyaging waka - had been launched in Ngai Tahu waters for possibly hundreds of years and for the young Ngai Tahu crew intent upon reviving Ngai Tahu's maritime traditions, it turned out to be a spectacular weekend.

But it wasn't just about waka unua, several of the particpants had brought along waka ama (outrigger canoes) - everything from one-man to double and multi-crew canoes took to the Kaikoura waters. And for those down from the Waikato (and those originally from Hawaii), there was something pretty special about seeing waka ama gkliding across the ocean in front of the majestic, snow-capped Kaikoura Ranges. If you'd like to see more photographs and words on this event, click on Waka in the label line below this post.


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