Friday, February 19, 2010

karetao - the art of maori puppetry being revitalised

This is a great story. There is no doubt that much appears to be lost but is it really lost forever and can some apparently lost arts and practices be reborn - into this new world? I say yes! It is all still there just hidden, but not really lost. Karetao, or Maori puppetry is an example of knowledge coming forth.

From NZH
"Reviving the lost art of karetao, or Maori puppetry, will be discussed at a Waikato University wananga on Tuesday and Wednesday next week.
Professor Aroha Yates-Smith is bringing together kaumatua, carvers and artists to talk about guidelines for a revival.
"We know they were used for instruction and entertainment but I think traditionally they were quite tapu ritualistically. I know of at least two that have been buried with whanau."
"They told stories ... I would imagine they also had a spiritual and healing quality and that's something we need to talk about with our elders."
Te Papa has some in its collection, the figures had a number of names including keretao, korotao, rapatahuri, repetahuri and tokoraurape.Te Papa also notes one account of a giant karetao being operated by an iwi who were under siege at their pa - basically so they could taunt their enemies outside the gates."
Thank you to all those engaged in revitalising this traditional practice.

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