February 16, 2016
Four tonne pataka for UN
Representatives from the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki and Ngaruahine are off the United Nations in New York this week to discuss the gift of a bronze whatarangi or elevated storehouse.
The four tonne sculpture is a symbol the Maori nations of Aotearoa New Zealand have endorsed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,
Institute director Karl Johnstone says the Maori Tu project was backed by this month's Iwi Chairs Forum in Waitangi.
The whatarangi is a symbol of safe-keeping, identity and cultural wellbeing, and it represents the storage and maintenance of heritage which the Declaration sets out to protect.
He says bronze is able to capture the finest elements of the original carving, which will stay in New Zealand.
Bronze has a long history in New Zealand, with Captain James Cook bringing cast bronze patu for trade on his second voyage to New Zealand between 1772 and 1775.
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