May 21, 2017
Pounamu treasures shared with Paris
An exhibition of pounamu treasures collected from all parts of New Zealand opens in Paris today.
La pierre sacre' des Maori (Sacred stone of the Maori) at the Muse'e du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac was created by Te Papa, working closely with Ngai Tahu.
It includes 95 hei tiki (pendants in human form), 20 mere (weapons), and four large pounamu touchstones, including the 170 kg Te Hurika.
The oldest items may be the toki or adze blades made in East Polynesian shapes and thought to originate from early settlement times some 700-800 years ago.
Te Papa kaihautu Arapata Hakiwai says there are long-standing ties between Quai Branly and New Zealand datingback to the Te Maori exhibition of the 1980s, which led to a major repatriation of human remains from French museums in 2012.
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