Exhibition aims to inspire knowledge amongst whānau and community
Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu has partnered with Ahi Kaa o Ngā Pakiaka Mōrehu o te Whenua, Whānau Ora initiative.
Using storytelling as a medium, the goal of the initiative is to increase awareness amongst Ahi Kaa of their historical roles and responsibilities in the active protection and guardianship of cultural heritage.
Helen Leahy, Pouārahi of Te Pūtahitanga o te Waipounamu says, “Storytelling is a powerful art form. It existed long before Snapchat and Facebook, television and movies. It keeps our histories alive, it enables us to pass information down through the generations, and in doing so contributes to our sense of identity, belonging and connection”.
“Whānau Ora is based on the belief that if you know who you are and where you are from, then you will know where you are going. Ngā Pakiaka Mōrehu o te Whenua, in this unique art exhibition, have shared their own stories with the wider community. In doing so, we gain access to the unique understanding of what it is to be “Ahi Kaa”, the repositories of tribal history and knowledge of the ancestral lands within their iwi”.
Curator Dr Peter Meihana says, “The wānanga have been documented to provide a resource for future whānau learning of customary values and practices of the Ahi Kaa of the Wairau. The focus is on developing competency of Ahi Kaa whānau to understand the physical and metaphysical world of our shared tupuna”.
The exhibition 'Remembering the Settlement' opens this Thursday.
The exhibition documents the settlement of the Kurahaupo claim beginning in 1840 when Ihaia Kaikoura signed the Treaty of Waitangi at Te Whanganui, through to 2014 when the claim was finally settled. The exhibition is based on a chapter in the book, The Treaty on the Ground "New Grounds Old Battles: The Kurahaupo Settlement", co-authored by Richard Bradley, Judith MacDonald, Mark Moses and Dr Peter Meihana . The exhibition also features work from iwi members Margaret Bond, Clarry Neame and Keelan Walker.
The exhibition runs for six weeks at the Millenium Art Gallery, Corner of Seymour Street and Alfred Street, Blenheim. For more information email: P.N.Meihana@massey.ac.nz or visit their Facebook page Ngā Pakiaka Mōrehu o Te Whenua.
Dr Peter Meihana was a keynote speaker at this year’s Whānau Ora Symposium which was held at the Marlborough Convention Centre, 21-23 March 2018. In his keynote address Dr Meihana reflected the experiences of those tasked with negotiating the Kurahaupo settlement ‘Repatriation, Reconciliation and the Inversion of Patriarchy’.
Photo by Keelan Walker