September 29, 2017
Rongowhakaata in the light at Te Papa
Ruku i te po, ruku i te ao.
As dawn approached the harbour of Whanganui a Tara this morning, Rongowhakaata tohunga entered Te Papa to guide their taonga from the shadows into the light.
More than 150 items associated with the iwi will be on display at the museum for the next two and a half years.
Museum kaihautu Arapata Hakiwai, who is from Rongowhakaata, says the voice of the tribe will be heard on the paepae and on the walls.
"We have the korero of Rongowhakaata, of our prophet Te Kooti Rikirangi and many of our tipuna there. Today we celebrate ourselves as Rongowhakaata but we also remember our history. That was noted this morning. It is as much about a spiritual journey as it is a celebration of us as Rongowhakaata," he says.
Dr Hakiwai says the show is a celebration of artistic excellence, from the house Te Hau ki Turanga which was taken from the iwi 150 years ago to the typewriter used by Witi Ihimaera for his first books.
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