April 05, 2018
Stories sought for taiaha
Napier's Museum Theatre Gallery hopes information may come out of the woodwork from its display of 10 ancient taiaha dating back to pre-colonial times.
Maori curator Michelle Lee says the museum has one of the largest collections of taonga Maori in the country because of its association with early collectors like the missionary printer William Colenso, politician Donald McLean and his son Douglas.
She says while some of the fighting clubs can be identified from their feathers or historical records, many of the museum's 200 taiaha have lost their stories.
"In selecting the ten I particularly chose ones that don't necessarily have a lot of provenance because sometimes when those things come out of the box subsequently people recognise them from their own family stories or histories. That's part of the service we do in the museum sector, we reconnect taonga to whanau," Ms Lee says.
The taiaha will be part of the permanent Maori exhibition Tenei Tonu.
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