Guardians surface in DC
Te Papa exhibition ‘Whales | Tohor?’ has opened at Washington DC’s National Geographic Museum. The exhibition features whale specimens including an 18-metre-long male sperm whale skeleton. The cultural significance of whales to the peoples of the South Pacific is told from the Maori perspective through personal narratives and artefacts housed in a stylized pataka taonga. Te Papa’s kaihautu, or Maori leader, Michelle Hippolite, said Te Papa hoped the exhibition would help visitors understand how whales evolved, and their interaction with people. “In many respects the Maori people saw that they were caretakers for them,” Hippolite said. The exhibition runs through January 2009 before heading to Exploration Place in Wichita, Kansas, where it shows until September 2009.