Te Hono ki Aotearoa: The Link to Aotearoa
- Date: Tuesday, 20 February, 2018
4:30pm for guided tour of He Tohu.
5pm for 5:30pm–7:30pm introduction and film screening.
Free but booking required.
Programme Rooms, Te Ahumairangi (ground floor), National Library, corner Molesworth and Aitken Streets
- Contact Details:
For more information or to book a seat, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us for an extraordinary film about an extraordinary intercultural partnership
Ahead of the New Zealand Festival opening night waka odyssey on Wellington Harbour, the National Library, Toi Māori Aotearoa, and the Dutch Embassy have come together to present a film tracing an extraordinary intercultural partnership.
Te Hono ki Aotearoa (82 minutes, directed by Jan Bieringa) follows the journey of a waka taua (ceremonial canoe) hewn from a 600-year-old kauri and ceremonially gifted, on permanent loan, to the Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden, Holland.
- A pre-event tour of He Tohu will be available.
- The film will be introduced by Tamahou Temara from Toi Māori Aotearoa, the Dutch Embassy, and filmmaker Jan Bieringa.
- After the film, there'll be refreshments and an informal discussion with questions and answers.
After hosting a successful exhibition on Māori culture, Steven Engelsman, the director of Leiden's Museum Volkenkunde, wanted to create a permanent connection between Aotearoa and Holland. So he broached the idea of housing a waka permanently in the museum.
What follows is the story of the building and the handing over of Te Hono ki Aotearoa (The Link to Aotearoa), a waka taua (ceremonial canoe) on permanent loan to the Dutch museum, and the first exchange of its kind.
The waka was carved by a team led by master carver, Takirirangi Smith and constructed under the skilled guidance of master waka builder Hekenukmai (Hec) Busby. Hec saw the exchange as the beginning of something bigger. A man who 'loves playing with wood' (this was his 27th waka), Hec is quietly proud in his assertion that "the waka is number one in our culture".
One of the film's many highlights shows the waka's reception by its Dutch guardians on 18 October 2010. It was a gorgeous ceremony where Maori and Dutch joined together in passionately enacting the ceremonial rituals.