July 15, 2019
Te Rarawa welcomes lintel after Oceania showing
Te Rarawa was out in force last night at Auckland War Memorial Museum to welcome back taonga that had been in the Oceania show in London and Paris.
Among the 80 artefacts returned was the Pukepoto Lintel that has become a symbol to the far north tribe.
Chair Haami Piripi says the object, believed to be the oldest carving found so far in Aotearoa, is a source of continuing spiritual sustenance to the people.
He says it's probably wrong to call it a lintel or top of a doorway.
"Because it's carved on both sides, and also one on each end, there's four faces to it, so it's unique in that sense. If it's not a lintel, it must be some kind of waharoa or gateway so it must have had some ritualistic use. Those kinds of things have been lost to us today but are there for us to rediscover," Mr Piripi says.
Auckland Museum is the work's kaitiaki in a museum sense, but it recognises Te Rarawa's connection and the work was recently on display in the tribe's Te Ahu Centre in Kaitaia.
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