Tuku Iho | Living Legacy exhibition wows Washington DC – next stop California

American audiences have been wowed by New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts incredible exhibition Tuku Iho | Living Legacy – with about 250,000 visitors attending the exhibition and more than 1 million people engaging with the exhibition via social media channels.


The exhibition, held at the world famous Smithsonian Institution, included more than 70 works of art handcrafted by students and teachers from NZMACI, along with traditional and contemporary displays of art, in-situ waka building, carving, live ta moko, kapa haka and contemporary performances.


Tuku Iho | Living Legacy project director Karl Johnstone says there was significant interest in Māori culture, traditions and people, evident from the record-breaking daily visitor numbers.


He expects this kind of interest to be repeated when the exhibition is showcased at Venice Beach in Los Angeles in October.


“With so much coverage and huge online engagement from the Washington DC event, we expect significant interest when we arrive on the Western seaboard.”


Mr Johnstone said it was a privilege to be able to present Tuku Iho | Living Legacy at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, one of the most frequented museums in the United States.


"The exhibition, a combination of traditional and contemporary disciplines, is a remarkable representation of the diversity and dynamism of Maori culture and this captured the attention of the audience," says Mr Johnstone.


"The aim of the programme is to not only share Maori culture and New Zealand, but to also learn as much as we can about other cultures, and create dialogue about identity and its importance to our individual and collective well-being.


“I think we not only achieved, but excelled at this at the Smithsonian.”


As well as thousands of people visiting the exhibition, Tuku Iho | Living Legacy also gave those in the US travel industry a real sense of New Zealand and the authentic Māori culture on offer.


“We can’t wait to travel to Los Angeles and impress yet more people with the Tuku Iho experience.”