TangataWhenua.com recently announced the upcoming exhibition, Their Treasures have Souls, in Paris. So it makes sense to provide details of the renowned Maori traditional arts experts who will be sharingtheir culture through public events designed to bring traditional culture alive for young and old alike. The group is in Paris promoting the work of Toi Maori Aotearoa: Maori Arts New Zealand.

This cultural exchange programme coincides with the conclusion of Maori, leurs trsors ont une me at de muse du quai Branly, and the exchange of Maori ancestral remains which are being repatriated to New Zealand.

A group of six Maori artists led by Maori cultural expert and Ta moko (Maori tattoo) exponent Derek Lardelli are facilitating workshops and presentations at Musee du Quai Branly during the closing weekend of the Maori exhibition in Paris.

Held on Saturday and Sunday from 1.00pm the group will demonstrate Ta moko and performance art forms using implements such as poi, t?t?torea and traditional musical instruments. In addition to the practical demonstrations and workshops the artists will lead public presentations and discussions on subjects such as Te Uhi a Mataora Traditional Knowledge and Histories of Moko and its evolution from the past through to its contemporary renaissance and revival. Other presentations cover the subjects on visual and performance arts and customary practice.

Michelle Hippolite, Kaihaut? of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa says Te Papa is pleased to join with Toi Maori to promote the dynamic living culture of Maori to international audiences. This programme of public events demonstrates the importance of the taonga (treasures) in the exhibition and how they are relevant in shaping and informing Maori art forms today.

Garry Nicholas, General Manager for Toi Maori says, Artists have been successful in developing friendships with European museums, art galleries and collectors. Despite the distance from New Zealand it’s invaluable to support their ongoing interaction with French audiences and to encourage further international exchanges.

Artists involved in this cultural exchange include:

  • Derek Lardelli Derek is acknowledged as one of New Zealands foremost Ta Moko Artists. His work has focused on the revival of the art form and its spiritual significance. He is a choreographer and composer as well as a highly regarded expert in Maori carving.
  • Georgina Kerekere Georgina is recognised as an expert in the traditional prose and ancient songs of the East Coast/Tairawhiti region of New Zealands North Island. She is actively involved in promoting M?ori culture both as an educator and as a performer.
  • Joe Harawira Through storytelling and music, Joe has shared Maori stories to a broad international audience. Tours to the Pacific, Australia, USA, Europe and Canada have developed a strong network.
  • Tamahou Temara Tamahou is an expert in M?ori customs, language, music and history. He has extensive experience in promoting M?ori arts internationally as Manager for Toi Maori, the national network of Maori artists organisation.
  • Hinemihiata Lardelli At just 18, Hinemihiata already possess a world of experience in M?ori performing arts. She has performed in maori cultural competitions and has been a member of the New Zealand contingent at the recent World Expo in Shanghai, China in 2010.
  • Poutaka Kihi Originally from the Waikato Region of the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand Poutaka is currently a performing member of a national winning senior Kapa Haka group Whangara-mai-tawhiti as well as contemporary visual arts student training also in t? moko at Toihoukura School of M?ori Visual Arts and Design.
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