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Maori Weaponry Commemorates Anzac Day

Maori Weaponry Commemorates Anzac Day

Local RSA members are joining a Wellington Art Gallery feature on traditional Maori weaponry to commemorate Anzac Day.

Iwi Art Gallery in Tory Street, has called in Maori warfare expert Dr Pita Sharples to present a range of traditional Maori weaponry. Dr Sharples will have a group of taiaha performers on hand to demonstrate how the weapons were used.

Huhana Rokx, Director of the Gallery says this celebration will show the role that hand-to-hand methods played in maintaining the dignity of traditional Maori battle traditions. "The intention was not about mass destruction but about the deftness and agility of mind and body to overpower the enemy. The weapon stayed within the hands of the combatant throughout the battle and it is interesting to note that projectiles did not feature in traditional battle methods. Instead the hand weapons were revered and quite often ornately carved to honour their protective purpose."

The range of traditional weaponry in the presentation will include greenstone mere (club), carved patu (wooden club), and a range of hand lances known as taiaha, tewhatewha and pouwhenua. The presentation begins at 10.30am on Anzac Day.


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