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Tühoe Exhibition At Te Papa To Close

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Tühoe Exhibition At Te Papa To Close

Tühoe Moumou Kai - We Give You Our Stories
Tühoe Moumou Taonga - We Give You Our Treasures
Tühoe Moumou Tangata Ki Te Pö - We Give You Our Lives

Tühoe - Children of the Mist, Te Papa's current iwi exhibition, closes on Saturday 1 November after two very successful years. It is estimated that over 800,000 New Zealanders and overseas visitors have visited the exhibition in that time.

The closing will be marked by a day of free entertainment throughout Te Papa featuring a range of Tühoe artists.

Tühoe - Children of the Mist is a collaboration between Te Papa and the Tühoe people of the Urewera Ranges. It is a compelling exhibition that tells the stories of the Tühoe iwi, and is the latest in an ongoing series of iwi exhibitions that will eventually tell the stories of all of the iwi of Aotearoa New Zealand.

After fifteen months in development, Tühoe - Children of the Mist opened in 2001 with a dramatic dawn ceremony at Te Papa when over 1500 Tühoe representatives, who travelled from the Urewera ranges and from elsewhere in New Zealand were welcomed onto Te Papa's marae.

The exhibition features the whakapapa (genealogy) of the iwi, crucial moments in history, and major contemporary events in the Tühoe calendar such as the Hui Ahurei, or festival, which is held every two years in the Tühoe rohe (tribal area).

Tühoe - Children of the Mist is filled with beautiful and powerful objects including weapons, cloaks, carvings, and other significant taonga (treasures). These are accompanied by striking images of the mist-filled valleys and forests in and around the Urewera Ranges. The Urewera forest is sacred to Tühoe, and the exhibition looks at how it has been utilised as an important source of food and medicine for the people.

A feature of Te Papa's iwi exhibitions is the presence of kaumätua (elders) during the time the exhibition is open. Tühoe koroua Ihaia Biddle and kuia Hokimoana Tawa have been involved in the exhibition as well as in ceremonial duties on Te Papa's marae for the past two years.

The Kaumatua role at Te Papa is very varied. 'For the duration of the exhibition we have worked at Te Papa on a daily basis, taking an active role in the planning of future exhibitions, ceremonies, and events' said Ihaia Biddle. ''We have been involved in a wide range of activities including Matariki, teaching Te Reo to staff, and welcoming visitors onto Te Papa's marae in accordance with Tühoe protocol. It has been a wonderful experience working at Te Papa.'

Te Papa sees iwi exhibitions as a unique opportunity to work in partnership with iwi to tell the stories they want told. 'We provide the platform, and the iwi provide the content,' says Te Papa Kaihautü Te Taru White. 'It is a partnership that allows us to speak with authenticity and authority.'

Tühoe - Children of the Mist will be replaced by Te Awa Tupua - The Whanganui Iwi Exhibition which opens on 29 November 2003. Admission is free.

ENDS


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