Maori Treasures of New Zealand: Ko Tawa
This new book Maori Treasures of New Zealand - Ko Tawa tells the fascinating stories behind some of our most significant Maori treasures. All are from the collection of Captain Gilbert Mair, or Tawa as he became known among Maori, held at the Auckland Museum. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Mair built up a huge collection of prestigious weapons, carvings and weavings and, more importantly, he collected the stories of the tribes and people associated with each of the taonga. This book brings these stories to life and carries them into the present with interviews and photographs of the descendants of those who both created and gifted these special treasures to Gilbert Mair. Everyone knows the legend of Tutanekai and Hinemoa, and how Hinemoa swam the waters of Lake Rotorua following the sound of Tutanekai’s flute. This flute, Murirangaranga, is in Mair’s collection and is made from the right arm bone of a powerful tohunga (after whom the flute is named) who was killed by Whakaue, Tutanekai’s father. This and 26 other stories are presented in Maori Treasures of New Zealand, stories that bring our history to life. There are also essays by leading scholars on Gilbert Mair and his significance to Maori and Pakeha New Zealanders. Maori Treasures of New Zealand - Ko Tawa is part of the wider Ko Tawa project that includes a touring Auckland Museum exhibition, a Ko Tawa Matariki Calendar and a Ko Tawa DVD. The calendar covers 19 months starting from June 2006 and includes images from the Ko Tawa exhibition and important historical dates taken from the book. Also included are public holidays, phases of the moon and other important dates. The DVD is a documentary following the Ko Tawa team as they travel across the country researching for the exhibition and the book.