Last week saw the welcome return of several of the Living Cultures collection exceptional Maori objects. In October 2010 the objects were loaned to the National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden, the Netherlands. They were included in the stunning exhibition Mana Maori: The Power of New Zealand’s First Inhabitants which ran from October 2010 until May 2011. The Living Cultures collection is home to over 250 Maori objects, a significant amount of which are of international importance. One such object is the 19th century kuwaha, or carved doorway, which many visitors to Mana Maori saw for the very first time.
Furthermore, last week also saw the arrival of Mongolian performance artist Enkhbold Togmidshiirev as part of the Asia Triennial arts festival. Not only was Enkhbold able to give a wonderful performance using his traditional Mongolian ger, or tent, and a lecture, he was also able to see some of the Mongolian bows and arrows in the Archery collection. In an enlightening discussion Honorary Curator of Archery Wendy Hodkinson and Enkhbold shared their enthusiasm, experience and knowledge of the objects. The moment was captured in the images below, in which you can see Wendy, Enkhbold and interpreter Tsendpurev Tsegmid.
Stephen Terence Welsh
Curator of Living Cultures