Friday, March 18, 2011

A Place of Beauty

I've visited Te Rau Aroha Marae at Bluff in the deep south (near Invercargill) a number of times, yet I'm still amazed by the beauty of the carvings that decorate this place. The marae is set above the small, scruffy, portside town of Bluff, on the low rise of Bluff Hill and is home to Ngai Tahu's Awarua Runanga. It has commanding views and, within its own fenceline, a wealth of traditional and contemporary craftsmanship.

And the exterior carving is just a hint of the colourful contemporary interpretations that lie within. Much of the overall design and carving has been created by Maori carver and artist, Cliff Whiting (Te Whanau-a-Apanui), who was also responsible for the carvings at Te Marae Pounamu at The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington.
[Unfortunately, I've been sidetracked by earthquake events in Christchurch these past few weeks, hence the lack of recent posts on this blog. But I hope this will change in the coming weeks and I'll be able to continue bringing you regular snippets about New Zealand's indigenous Maori life and culture].

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