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Maori Art Meets America

Maori Art Meets America
Toi Maori Aotearoa

Around 600 people greeted the Maori waka Te Ika a Maui when it arrived into San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park this morning* at the start of a major Maori arts and tourism promotion in San Francisco.

The waka ceremony, in which Maori were formally welcomed by Ohlone representatives, the indigenous people of San Francisco, heralded the start of an 11 day series of events and promotional activity in the city.

Maori Art Meets America is a joint project by Toi Maori Aotearoa and New Zealand Tourism.

Toi Maori Aotearoa Chair Waana Davis said this morning’s ceremony was a deeply moving occasion which included the presentation of a traditional cloak by Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu. The cloak was made by Maori weavers from throughout New Zealand to the city of San Francisco.

“The interest here in this event is enormous. The people of San Francisco have embraced Aotearoa in an overwhelming manner,” she said.

“There is a real presence of New Zealand and Maori around the city,” she said.

The event has attracted significant media interest in San Francisco with about 50 media representatives at this morning’s ceremony.

At 7.00am (NZ Time) the exhibition Toi Maori – Art from the Maori people of New Zealand opens at the Yerba Buena Centre. The exhibition has work from top traditional and contemporary Maori artists and includes live demonstrations of weaving, carving and ta moko and clay work. It also encompasses The Eternal Thread /Te Aho Mutunga Kore a major weaving exhibition that is starting a year long tour of the United States.


*1.00am Friday 5 August, New Zealand time, 6.00am Thursday 4 August San Francisco time.

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