Sharing a cultural experience

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TRADITIONAL Maori crafts and modern technology have been combined to create a live cultural experience at the Southland Museum & Art Gallery.
Nga Taonga O Nga Matua Tupuna (Treasures Of Our Ancestors) is the first exhibition by the Te Taonga Mauri (Living Treasure) Cultural Trust which was launched earlier this year.
The exhibition features live weaving (raranga), carving (whakairo) and digital media, along with examples of previous work such as Oamaru stone and MDF sculptures.
Trust director Tahu Parkinson said he was very happy with how the exhibition was going and said putting it together had been a good experience.
‘‘There’s been a lot of love and energy gone into getting it to this point.’’
Master carver and trust director Oti Murray said quite a few groups had come through and the exhibition was receiving positive feedback.
One of the carving projects was three taumata atua, or Maori god sticks, Murray said, which were blown up about 500%.
There were also lessons on genealogy, and the exhibition gave the trust an opportunity to showcase what programmes it would be offering, he said.
Nga Taonga O Nga Matua Tupuna (Treasures Of Our Ancestors) was also being used as an educational activity for schools, with interactive weaving every Monday, Tuesday and Friday, from 10am-1pm.
Weaver Sharne Parkinson said she had been showing basic weaving skills such as Matariki stars and bracelets to younger pupils.
‘‘We want to give them a real nice, easy introduction to raranga (weaving).’’
The technique gave the pupils a taste of plaiting and shredding, she said, and older pupils would also be shown how to create baskets.
The exhibition is on until Sunday, June 19.

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