Museum & Heritage Trip – Auckland Museum

Kia ora whanau,

I hope you’re all well and enjoyed the beautiful weekend we have been blessed with in Te Tairawhiti.

There has been a lot of major events happening at Toihoukura the last couple weeks.. The farewell of Nanny Ra, a great contributor to our community and iwi in many ways; a Kauwae Wananga with the whanau in relation to Nan and the moko Wananga last week which saw a wide range of whanau coming in to ‘tautoko te kaupapa’ (support the event at hand).


I hope you took the chance to observe if you were around during these wananga. It was an amazing feeling and experience to be alive and around these women and whanau whilst they proudly received their taonga (for them and their whanau); or supported with beautiful waiata (song) and aroha (love) in our midst. Arohanui whanau xoxox

The weekend Nan went to hospital was the weekend some of us were away on our Museum & Heritage Studies Class Trip in Rotorua and Auckland. I have been so pre-occupied lately with catching up on work and organizing other projects inside and out of Toi that I have only just got to writing this and more to do.

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Our first stop in Auckland was the Museum that hold lots of amazing taonga.

In this blog I have only featured a few images of my favourite pieces in amongst the huge collections of Maori taonga including a Pataka (a beautifully carved storehouse) originating from Te Arawa, depicting the lovers Tutanekai and Hinemoa on the side front panels of the house as well as ‘te haumi o te waka’ (the beautifully carved front piece) of a very significant canoe worked on by many carvers from this region in the 18th century, including ‘Raharuhi Rukupo’ originally descending from the Manutuke/ Muriwai area and also the main designer and carver of Te Hau ki Turanga which is still currently sitting in Te Papa Museum in Wellington and proposed to be returned to this region in the year 2017.


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This waka is huge and very impressively stretched out between two ginormous rooms across from the pataka I spoke of earlier and is an amazing feature in this Museum if you ever get the chance to go to Auckland you should check it out.. it is totally worth it and thoroughly blew me away, an example of how clever our tupuna (ancestors) were.

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While visiting at the Museum, I got the chance to catch up with my amazing former Weaving Tutor/Mentor, friend and confidont, Rawinia Wright (originating from Te Arawa and currently living in Auckland, who showed me a passion for art, weaving and life and planted the seed in my heart and then grew it in her classroom – now an office – behind the shed at Toihoukura) before I attended Toihoukura in 2009. She is the maker of the Kakaahu residing in France that accompanied the Toi Moko heads on the lead up to their journey home to New Zealand through Te Papa Museum two years ago.

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Another part of the Museum that I found intriguing was inside the reception area they have these nice comfy seats you can lie down on and admire the inner architecture of the building.. which is exactly what I

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The last image is a model of what a fortified pa would have possibly looked like before the colonizers arrived on our shores to control and shape us as a nation.. I thought it was pretty cool anyway.

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Hope you enjoyed.
Nga mihi
Lee 🙂


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