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Raglan Museum to open significant new exhibition

Raglan Museum to open significant new exhibition of early Maori artefacts: Te Horea – the Bird Family Collection exhibition

The Bird Family Collection of Maori artefacts is from Horea, the north head of Raglan (Whaingaroa) Harbour. Horea was a desirable place to live. Large numbers of people lived there in kainga (villages) over the centuries. Some of the sites are amongst the earliest known for the west coast between Manukau Harbour and Mokau dating back to before 1250 when moas were last seen in the area.

Keith Bird farmed Horea from the mid-1940s. Keith and his family collected the taonga (treasured artefacts) from the property. The collection is significant because of the age of the many artefacts and in being one of the largest collected in New Zealand by one family from a small localised area. In 2012 the Bird family deposited the collection of over 2000 items in Raglan Museum as a long-term loan.

Since then Raglan & District Museum Society volunteers and its consultants have been working with Keith Bird's children and the Ngati Tahinga iwi on putting the collection on display. Lynette Williams was the lead consultant for the exhibition assisted by Dean Cato, a 3D designer from Design Strategies. Anderson Design turned the design concepts into three dimensional reality.

Museum President Rodger Gallagher, said, “The result is a superb exhibition which displays this collection beautifully and tells its story well.”

The exhibition was made possible with funding from the Lottery Grants Board, Trust Waikato, the Stewart Bequest and Waikato District Council.

The official opening is on Saturday 17th October at 10am at the Raglan Museum, 15 Wainui Road, Raglan. The Museum Society Raglan Whaingaroa has invited the community and says everybody is welcome. There will be free entry to the Museum for the morning.


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