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Traditional Wharerau Being Built

Traditional Wharerau Being Built

Dunedin (Thursday, 22 May 2014) – A traditional wharerau is under construction at Toitū Otago Settlers Museum.

Māori traditionally built wharerau as temporary dwellings used for an extended period while camping at a food gathering site.

Project Manager Rua McCallum says, “The wharerau was not only used as a dwelling, but functioned as a place of learning through the medium of storytelling. Stories were the vehicle in which ancestral histories could be related including creation narrative and whakapapa (genealogy).

“These were very important aspects of traditional life and remain so even in contemporary society.”

Construction of the wharerau began in April with the external cladding material (ferns, tussock and sedges) being applied from 21 to 27 May. During this period there will be two times a day (10.30am-11.30am and 2pm-3pm) when the public can participate in the preparation of the cultural materials and see the actual construction taking place.

A film about the building of a wharerau will be shown at the Museum on Tuesday, 27 May at 12.15pm.


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