February 20, 2013
Technology meets tradition in massive Matatini mahau
Te Matatini is in full swing down at Rotorua’s International Stadium, and framing the kapa haka performances is the largest carving ever made in this country.
Karl Johnstone, the Chief Executive of the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, says a team of 20 teachers and students spent a total of 15,000 hours carving the 20 metre, 26 tonne mahau.
It is held in place with 8 tonnes of steel and 26 tonnes of concrete.
“We’ve used the best of modern technology to support these very traditional kōrero, they’re very much Hawaiiki kōrero. It’s really important that the tāonga is there of the nation. It will come out every two years for the Te Matatini Festival from here on in and it will continue to do alot of really good work at an educational level". says Mr Johnstone.
Karl Johnstone says the themes for the carvings were developed by the arts institute in collaboration Te Matatini.
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