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Exhibition of Kahungunu treasures closes on September 3

Largest ever exhibition of Kahungunu treasures closes on September 3

Korere/Feeding funnel from Pukengaki area. Collection of Auckland Museum Tamaki Paenga Hiro.

Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History in Masterton has been honored to exhibit the largest exhibition of Ngāti Kahungunu taonga ever on display, with about 200 historical items from national and international museums, including 70 items from the Aratoi Museum collection.

Aratoi Museum dedicated its entire space, some 450 sqm, for the once-in-a-lifetime exhibition which ends on Sunday, 3 September.

Approximately 15,000 people from around Wairarapa and around the world (at least 19 countries) have visited the museum since the exhibition opened in April.

The exhibition, curated by Haami Te Whaiti, corresponds with the Treaty settlement between Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Tāmaki-nui-a-Rua and the Crown. After a 30-year process, the initialing of the deed is set to occur at the Museum later in 2017. The exhibition presents the Treaty settlement to both the iwi community and the wider public. The visitor can discover and relearn some of the key events that have happened through history – the loss and disenfranchisement with 2.5 million acres taken under duress, as well as the iwi’s hopes and aspirations post-settlement.

Historical items featured in the major exhibition include 12 Gottfried Lindauer portraits (some of which have never been displayed in public before), a hand weapon intricately carved in celluloid which was an alternative to ivory/bone, ancient stone and wooden implements from as early as the 13th Century, contemporary photographs, and an interactive installation. Along the highest wall of the Museum stands the entire front of a marae.

A free community education programme for about 3,500 students has been running alongside the exhibition. To cope with the high demand from schools and community groups around the Wairarapa, Aratoi has had to contract additional educators. Students of all ages have participated in the programme, supported by Lands Trust Masterton and Tranzit NZ.

A bilingual Te reo and English publication on the exhibition is available for purchase for $20 from Aratoi Museum.

Aratoi Museum is open daily from 10am to 4:30pm. Entry by donation.


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