Hopefully many of you have taken the opportunity to come in and view Turuturu: Fingers, Feathers and Fibre. This vibrant exhibition showcases textile items from the taonga Māori collection. Many people have commented on the striking design of this display – which draws on a combination of two elements. The harakeke plant or flax bush and the woven structure of a kete. Our designer has created the sense of a woven item, with convex and concave alternating panels creating the structure on which objects are displayed. The use of colour references the harakeke leaves, stalk and flower. Kairaranga weavers are considered knowledge holders and this exhibition gives a glimpse of the talent and knowledge used to create these stunning taonga.
Having completed the installation of Turuturu: Fingers, Feathers and Fibre, our team are now turning their attention to our next exhibition. This week the team have been de-installing Project Banaba to make way for Mystery of History. This exhibition is aimed at our younger audience and is bringing out all sorts of beautiful, ugly, special and interesting objects from the collection. Covering a wide variety of topics this exhibition allows us to put on display objects which may not have been seen for some time and to, once again, highlight the richness of the collection which we hold and care for on your behalf.
There are whistling jars from the Chimú culture of Peru, Egyptian artifacts, a Samurai suit of armour, along with Greek, Roman and Byzantine coins. A whole raft of legendary creatures are included; dragons, mermaids, phoenix, sphinx, taniwha and unicorns. There are magician’s wands, boxes, card tricks and more – you may even get to see some tricks in action.
Historic medical practices and equipment are also included with bone saws, a ‘guillotine’ to remove tonsils, and the once common practice of bloodletting – there’s even a jar for the leeches used to suck someone’s blood. We look at some New Zealand shipwrecks including the Northumberland and Montmorency, which both sank right here in Hawke’s Bay
Dragons and taniwha, shipwrecks and mermaids, medical guillotines and leeches – the whole point of this exhibition is to engage the imagination and interest of the younger ones and we believe this exhibition will do exactly that. Opening to the public on 28 September we hope to see many of you bringing in your children and mokopuna to visit Mystery of History.
Next week is Māori Language Week Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori and we’re providing a couple of free introductory te reo Māori lessons – see “what’s on” or our website for more details. We will also, for the first time, produce this weekly column entirely in te reo next week, with a translation available on our website. We hope you’ll enter into the spirit of things and try to add a bit more te reo Māori into your everyday life.
WHAT’S ON –
Image: Leech jar, c1850, gifted by Mr P.J.E. Leigh
15 September 2019
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