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NGA TAONGA O TE WHARE PORA

Presentation by Bethany Matai Edmunds at Papatoetoe Library – July 2018
 
Christine Liava’a and I attended Bethany’s presentation at the Papatoetoe Library’s Tea and Talk session in July. 
“Tui tui hono tangata, whenua ma te moana”
Connecting through sharing stories of peoples, land and seas.
 
The above is Tamaki Paenga Hira – Auckland War Memorial Museum’s mission statement and the plan, ‘Future Museum’, is about how they will action this mission in collaboration with the museum’s audiences, communities and other organisations over the next 20 years. 
 
Bethany talked to us about the current project ‘Te Awe’ that is part of  ‘Future Museum’ – the aim is to improve access to the Taonga Māori collection by enhancement of taonga records and improvements to their physical care. Each of the slides used in her presentation had a picture to the left of one of the many pieces in the Museum’s collection and she spoke a little about each taonga displayed. He Kōrahi Māori is the foundation to this project - strongly based on bi-cultural lines – the guiding principles of mana whenua, kaitiakitanga, and manaakitanga are the backbone of all their processes.
 
Te Awe is now in Phase 2 – running from September 2017 to September 2019. Of the 10,000 taonga, approximately 2500 of these are woven, textile and associated objects. The project team includes Māori specialists from outside of the Museum’s own staff who are working together on identifying the taonga, improving the records about each item, photographing the item and creating a digital image for later viewing via the website, conservation relative to each item and further storage improvements.
 
To give you some idea of what the project involves, the different categories are defined as:
 
Nga mea taptapu ie. Poi and Whai—344
Whariki—32
Piu piu and Māro—151 
Kete—1016                                      
Clothing—47                          
Kākahu—381                                   
Hinaki—50
 
It is an awesome task this group have ahead of them and the two year project is now nearly one year underway. I am hopeful that by this time next year we will be able to see and learn more about the textile taonga held in the museum – if not in person, then shared with us via their website. 
 
Watch this space.
 
Bethany will be presenting a similar talk at the Auckland City Library at midday on Wednesday 26th September 2018 – she will be sharing the stage with one of the museum’s conservators – put the date in your diary.
 
Lorraine RICE
 
Bethany Edmunds 
 
Te Awe Team - with display of some taonga