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Voices at the museum

Native Voices

Described as an exhibition that both reinforces an indigenous legacy and challenges the impact of a nation’s “dual heritage” on our Maori futures, an opening preview for Native Voices: Ko au, ko matau — I am, we are, will be held at Tairawhiti Museum on Sunday.

Uawa-Tolaga Bay artists and designers Kaaterina Kerekere and Tai Kerekere’s KE Design, in partnership with Tairawhiti Museum, present a platform for indigenous dialogue through art as a response to the 250th commemorations of first encounters between Maori and European with the arrival of explorer James Cook in 1769.

Native Voices: Ko au, ko matau — I am, we are, Tairawhiti Museum, opening preview, Sunday 4pm. Adults $5, 12 years and under, Friends of the Museum and local residents free.

Tu te Whaihanga

Taonga, some of which were gifted and traded with Raiatea chief and arioi Tupaia and crew on the Endeavour in 1769, have been returned to this region for the year-long exhibition Tu te Whaihanga. Shipped to Britain 250 years ago the 37 taonga include hoe (paddles), kaitaka (cloaks) and the Hinematioro poupou.

That the hoe ended up in foreign museums is both a blessing and a curse, Toihoukura, Maori visual arts associate professor Steve Gibbs told The Gisborne Herald in 2016.

“The curse is they were removed from our cultural consciousness; they were lost from our memory. The irony is they were given to someone who came from across the sea.

“The blessing is that, if the hoe hadn’t been given to Tupaia they would have been lost.”

Tu te Whaihanga, Tairawhiti Museum, opens Monday, October 7, at 10am.

The Lieutenant’s Calling Card and the Response of a Quizzical Eye – selections from the fine arts collection. Works in this exhibition talk to the aftermath of October 1769, when HMB Endeavour made landfall on the East Coast.

First encounters were disastrous. Fatalities began with the shooting of Te Maro who, with three other men, approached four of Endeavour’s crew members after Captain James Cook, naturalist Joseph Banks, botanical illustrator Sydney Parkinson and marines headed up the northern side of Waikanae Creek.

Te Maro is believed to have been carrying out a wero, a ritual challenge, when he was fatally shot by the coxswain of a nearby boat. Further clashes resulted in the deaths of more Maori. The diversity of works in this exhibition is said to convey a narrative quality and at times makes a moral or a judgement call.

The Lieutenant’s Calling Card and the Response of a Quizzical Eye, Tairawhiti Museum concourse.

NATIVE VOICES: The exhibition includes Kaaterina Kerekere’s Agents of Virtue: To save the Maori (pictured). “As curators, we wanted to offer a platform for dialogue through art — Maori art, responding to and challenging the 250th Captain Cook commemorations,” writes Kerekere.