Easter and our cultural legacy

Easter is a familiar holiday; one that brings traditions, celebrations and with some luck, a visit from the Easter Bunny. At Te Puia, we have our own unique way of recognising this special holiday alongside a celebration of Māori culture.

 

Coming together with friends and whanau (family) is a value at the heart of both Easter and Te Puia. We are renowned for whanaungatanga; a family-friendly environment, built on relationships, connections and a sense of belonging.     

 

Te Puia will be celebrating the Easter long weekend by showcasing its cultural legacy. Manuhiri (visitors) to Te Puia will have the opportunity to learn about and take part in traditional Māori arts and crafts; such as poi, te rito (weaving), te takapu (stone and bone carving) and cultural performances.

 

Te Puia’s values and story were inspired by renowned Māori leader, Sir Āpirana Ngata, who recognised that Māori material culture was integral to preserving mātauranga-a-iwi (tribal knowledge and identity), particularly through maraes; the epicentre of tribal histories, societies and identity.

 

Sir Āpirana was also a man of faith and an advocate for the promotion and protection of Māori culture and language. Involved in Te Hāhi Mihinare (The Anglican Church), everything he did and stood for was driven by his vision, which is encapsulated in this Māori proverb:

 

E tipu e rea, ko tō ringa ki nga rākau a te pākehā, hei ora mō te tinana, ko tō ngākau ki ngā tāonga a ō tipuna Māori, hei tikitiki mō tō māhuna.

Grow and branch forth tender youth, take on and use the tools of the pakeha, for the sustenance of your wellbeing, your heart to the treasures of your ancestors, to wear as an adornment/plume for your head.

 

Sir Āpirana had a dream to establish centres of learning to maintain and preserve traditional practices for future generations, which he brought to life by instilling the first carving school, Te Ao Marama, on the shores of Lake Rotorua in 1927. Today, his vision is kept alive by NZMACI’s Wānanga Precinct.

 

With the celebration of cultural legacy at the centre of Te Puia, Easter will be a time for us to reflect on our history, founding and successes in preserving of Māori art, craft, culture and identity.

 

Most New Zealander’s would agree that Easter is a time to spend time with whānau, so why not come along and join us at Te Puia for a day of cultural celebration and immersion in Aotearoa legacy.