New York via Te Papa for Flax Art

Fifty woven panels by 40 Maori artists are to hang permanently next to the entry of the General Assembly Hall at the UN Headquarters in New York.

The tukutuku panels, a revered art form in Maori culture, will be displayed in Te Papa from today until November, before being sent to their permanent New York home.

The panels tell stories of the people and land of New Zealand in both customary and contemporary designs, Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples said.

Thousands of hours had gone into developing the panels by highly specialized weavers, acknowledged as experts in their field.

From early next year, the panels would hang permanently on New Zealand’s wall in the UN Headquarters.

As a founding member state, New Zealand gifted the wall to the UN in the 1950s, next to the entry to the General Assembly Hall.

“Thousands of visitors pass the wall each year, and from 2015 they too will be able to experience and appreciate a part of New Zealand and one of our most beloved traditional art forms,” said Sharples.

The works would be exhibited at Te Papa until November, in an exhibition titled Kahui Raranga: The Art of Tukutuku: New Zealand’s Heart at the United Nations.

Te Papa Acting chief executive and kaihautu Arapata Hakiwai said the art of tukutuku was highly valued among Maori and was an important taonga for all New Zealanders.

The exhibition at Te Papa is a joint partnership with Te Puni Kokiri and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Original story published on Shanghai Daily

Tags: Maori Affairs  Maori Art  Maori Arts and Culture  New York City  NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade  Pita Sharples  Shanghai Daily  Te Papa  Te Papa Museum of New Zealand  Te Puni Kokiri  tukutuku  UN Headquarters  United Nations  

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