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Documentary Te Hono Ki Aotearoa to Screen At Auckland Museum

Documentary Te Hono Ki Aotearoa, 83mins, to Screen At Auckland Museum

2pm Sunday July 7 For Matariki - to Undisclosed Database

The Auckland Museum will be screening the documentary Te Hono ki Aotearoa in their Matariki programme -  2pm Sunday July 7.

A free screening of this extraordinary documentary that follows the story of the building and hand over of a waka taua, on permanent loan to the Dutch National Museum of Ethnology - Volkenkunde.

After the screening director/producer Jan Bieringa will join us for a Q&A. 

Although free, book at ticket desks,  or + 64 9 306 7048.

In this intercultural exchange, the director of Leiden's Museum Volkenkunde, Steven Engelsman, describes his elation at being "allowed in" to the heart of Maori culture. We too share the privilege, albeit vicariously, of being "allowed in" as we watch the evolution of the exchange from inspired conception to emotional delivery. Having hosted a successful exhibition on Maori culture, and wanting a permanent connection between Aotearoa and Holland to come out of it, Engelsman broached the idea of housing a waka permanently in the museum. What follows is the story of the building and the handing over of Te Hono ki Aotearoa (The Link to Aotearoa), a waka taua  on permanent loan to the Dutch museum, the first exchange of its kind. Hewn from a 600-year-old kauri grown in the far north, the waka was carved by a team lead by master carver Takirirangi Smith and constructed under the skilled guidance of master waka builder Hekenukmai (Hec) Busby. Hec is quietly proud in his assertion, "The waka is number one in our culture." One of the film's many highlights shows the waka's reception by its Dutch guardians on October 18, 2010, in a gorgeous ceremony where Maori and Dutch join together in passionately enacting the ceremonial rituals. Te Hono ki Aotearoa invites us into many of the conversations between Maori and Dutch interested parties, both in Holland and in Aotearoa, that accompanied the process - about waka history, about Maori kawa, about the business of building and floating a waka, about the roles of the scores of people involved in taking the finished craft to Holland.  Showing the ongoing symbolic nature of the ‘vessel’ as a carrier of cultural aspirations and the sharing of those aspirations with others, reinforces the cultural and spiritual bonds that have been created through the ambitious vision to bring Holland & New Zealand closer together.

'A great soundscape from Warren Maxwell and wonderful 1937 footage of the making of Ngatokimatawharaorua contribute to this riveting documentary'


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