Pūkana — curator’s talk

Listen to Paul Diamond, one of the curator’s of Pūkana, talk about the exhibition.


Karetao in the Pūkana exhition.

Origin stories

Their performance was so irresistible that Kae smiled broadly, revealing his distinctive overlapping teeth – Valance Smith
Opening of Pūkana.

Camera on the shore

Māori perspectives of performance — what is it like to be a performer.
People looking at the Pūkana exhibition.

Rhythm and movement

Haka a Tānerore: Me te mea tērā ko te haka a Tānerore, e wiriwiri nei i te raumati | It was as if it was the shimmering of heat haze in the summer – Te Puke ki Hikurangi
Carved panel.

Performance and grief

He wāhine tangi haehae, he ngaru moana e kore e matoki | For grieving women and ocean waves, there is no rest – Leo Fowler Collection ATL Ref. 77-014-1/17
Badge red and white with work Pūkana on it.

Ngā Puna Waihanga

Nga Puna Waihanga is a great thing to inspire the young generation to carry on. I would not like to see it lost — Dr Rangimarie Hetet
Looking at a red eye-cathing poster for Carmen's International Coffee Lounge.

Making our voices heard

The marae ātea is the Māori stage and the drama of whatever was happening at the marae was played out there — Te Haumihiata Mason
Two men standing and talking in front of the images from the Māori Strum section of the Pūkana exhibition.

The ‘Māori strum’

See the Māori strum . . . jingajik a jingajik. That’s what they call it, ‘Do you know the jingajik, bro?’ – Jamie McCaskill
Two men looking at the Porgy and Bess poster.

Porgy and Bess

One thing is certain: neither opera, nor Maori entertainment is ever likely to be the same in New Zealand after Porgy and Bess — Auckland Star, 25 February 1965
Postcards promoting Pūkana featuring Dame Kiri te Kanawa and Tina Cross.

Māori and Pasifika

We come chanting, we come singing, we come proudly from Rangiātea, there our seed was sown We come, still voyaging by star canoes by aurora australis — Witi Ihimaera, ‘Oh Numi Tutelar’
Contact sheets of Ans Westra images. Women dancing, children singing.

Ans Westra

These are real people. No one can accuse Ans Westra of favouritism, as her subjects are from the four points of the compass . . . Ans Westra has seen and then shown the Māori people as they are – N. P. K. Puriri
Images hanging on a wall of Māori performers showcased in Pūkana.

Performing careers

Once you embrace the audience, share your experience of what you do and they will come with you — and you can feel it. It’s manipulation in a way, but it’s the most wonderful feeling. — George Henare, as told to Katherine Findlay
Paul Diamond looking at the poster for ‘The Untold Tales of Maui’

Complete curator’s talk

Hear the whole of Paul Diamond’s talk as he walks through the Pūkana exhibition.