M?ori elders lead procession into gallery

Share Canberra's trusted news:
M?ori elders prepare for the procession

IN a poignant reminder that M?ori is still a living language, elders from the M?ori community – Australian and New Zealand – led a large crowd from the National Gallery of Australia’s Australian garden into the heart of the new exhibition, “M?ori Markings: T? Moko”.

The procession, involving energetic ritual incantations, followed a smoking ceremony by Ngunnawal elder Paul House and his son Reuben.

Once in the “T? Moko” gallery, the NGA’s head of programs and education, Katie Russell, introduced the crowd to New Zealand High Commissioner Dame Annette King, who presided over a one-minute silence acknowledging the victims of the Christchurch shootings.

Paul House and Trevor Maxwell during the one-minute silence

There followed recitation by all present of the Christchurch response, which began: “Our values provide a guiding light in our darkest hours.” The statement of positivity was devised in Canberra between the local community and the New Zealand High Commission.

Rotorua councillor of 42 years and a leading advocate for Maori culture Trevor Maxwell was on hand to praise the initiative of the curator for Pacific Arts at the NGA, Crispin Howarth, for bringing to light the traditions of M?ori face-marking in an exhibition showing 250 years of the art form, and concluded with a rousing song or “waiata” joined by most members of the crowd.

Dame Annette King with Tumanako M?ori Cultural group

Dame Annette took to the podium again to welcome visiting artists and to elaborate on the significance of the exhibition in bringing Australians and New Zealanders together, also praising Howarth’s initiative.

The formalities finished with another arousing waiata sung by Isaac Cotter and Canberra Tumanako M?ori Cultural group of adults and children.

“M?ori Markings: T? Moko”, National Gallery of Australia, March 23 to August 25. Free exhibition. Artist talks by Tamahou Temara, 11am and 1pm, Saturday, March 23 live demonstrations of the M?ori arts of weaving and T? moko, 10am and 2pm. All welcome.

Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep citynews.com.au free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Previous articleMovie review / ‘Fighting With My Family’ (M)
Next articleBomb squad called to Mawson drug lab
Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

Leave a Reply