20 ene 2012

Maori: Their treasures have a soul

Name: Maori: Their treasures have a soul 
Dates: 4th October 2011 to 22nd January 2012 
Place: musée du quai Branly, 37, quai Branly, Paris (France) 
Webpage: www.quaibranly.fr
The musée du quai Branly presents Māori: Their treasures have a soul, featuring Māori culture through 250 pieces from the collections of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. This exhibition, never shown before outside New Zealand, is a testimony to a strong and living culture. It affirms a people’s will to master their own future by emphasising tino rangatiratanga: Māori self determination and control over things Māori.
The exhibition presents a great range of artwork, including sculpture, adornment, daily and sacred objects, architectural elements, photographs, audiovisual documents, and so on. It highlights the links between taonga (ancestral Māori treasures) and contemporary art, shedding light on important issues and debates for Māori today.
The exhibition presents Māori culture as seen by Māori, free from Western views and biases. The heart of the exhibition features art that addresses the political, spiritual, and aesthetic developments that have shaped Māori culture.

The introductory area orientates visitors to the Māori world by presenting a major underlying concept of the exhibition.
* Tino rangatiratangais a phrase synonymous today with the struggle of Māori for greater control over their own destiny and resources. The core word is ‘rangatira’, or ‘chief’ – someone acknowledged as a leader, holding authority over their tribe and geographical dominion. Tino rangatiratanga embodies the ideas of sovereignty and self-determination – the will of Māori to regain control over their culture, identity, and resources, and to participate and contribute to global issues, such as environmental protection.
* In the 1835 Declaration of Independence, Māori clearly asserted their desire to maintain their sovereignty. They reiterated this desire with their later signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi) in 1840.
The signing of these documents would, they understood, guarantee the recognition of theirauthority over their land, forests, fisheries, and so on.

© Text and image: Musée du Quai Branly

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