Sunday, November 7, 2010

Taonga returned

Great news that this taonga māori rock art has been returned home. I have posted about the taonga of the māori rock art here and here and it is great that Te Ana, the Ngāi Tahu Māori Rock Art Centre is opening in December.

From Katarina Filipe Timaru Herald
"After nearly 100 years, 12 pieces of art were welcomed back to Waihao Marae with a powhiri yesterday, attended by representatives from Waihao, Arowhenua and Moeraki runanga.
The drawings were removed from sites in the Aoraki area in 1916 by American antiquarian James Lee Elmore and have since been housed in museum collections around the country and overseas.
How do the people feel?
Wendy Heath, kaikaranga of the tangata whenua, said the return of the art was "huge".
"They mean so much to us. They were done by our tupuna, they're our link to our tupuna in that sense. It's just so heartwarming.
"[The centre is] going to be brilliant for Timaru and South Canterbury as a whole. Us sharing our treasures with people will give them a better understanding of who we are."
Good effort from all concerned. Visiting these taonga will be a essential for anyone coming through Timaru and that is awesome because each of these visitors, whether from here or somewhere else, will get an introduction to Ngāi Tahu whanui. Eco-cultural tourism, where context is given to create connection, is what visitors want - they want to understand and interact.

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