Continuing our series on Family History - The Best of 2016. Here's Maata, our Maori Reference Librarian, with her "best of."
He manu hou ahau, he pi ka rere – I am a chick just learning to fly
The above Maori proverb describes my recent experience as a new staff member at Te Kohinga Rangahau o Tamaki Makaurau - Auckland Research Centre, aptly. Albeit perplexing at times, my seven months navigation of the research centre and its environs, the nearby stacks, the library basement and the Sir George Grey Special Collections has been very rewarding. Also discovering the depth and breadth of the cultural and historical material within the numerous collections held on the Heritage floor has been inspiring. As an unwitting fledgling, now airborne, I feel very honoured to be a kaitiaki/guardian of this extremely important environment that is rich with the cultural heritage of Aotearoa-New Zealand, the Pacific and Great Britain. I would like to share some of the highlights of this wonderful journey.
Hinemihi: Firstly, locating information about the Whare tipuna Hinemihi of Te Arawa was emotive but enormously worthwhile. This treasured Whare Tipuna was uprooted from Aotearoa/NZ and relocated to England by William Hillier, 4th Earl of Onslow, a colonial Governor of New Zealand during the late 1800s. He purchased the meeting house as fond memorabilia of Aotearoa, to take back to his family home in England. There are many books in Auckland Libraries on Hinemihi, along with a blog post from Heritage et Al.
|Hinemihi meeting house at Te Wairoa. Original photographic prints and postcards from file print collection, Box 8. Ref: PAColl-6075-19. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22821942|
Piuipiu: I also responded to an international enquiry from Utah regarding the current status of the Piupiu in Aotearoa. The art of piupiu making is thriving in Aotearoa and is being upheld by custodians such as Hetet whanau, Christina Wirihana and many others. Traditional and contemporary piupiu making techniques are currently used, and a number of Maori Art and Craft training providers throughout Aotearoa provide piupiu making as a part of their curriculum. Furthermore, piupiu are worn at the official Matatini Kapa Haka Festival which is a major New Zealand event
|'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 471-9724'|
|'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 4-400|