[Germany] Maori: New Zealand’s First Inhabitants

Maori: New Zealand's First Inhabitants

New Zealand, a diverse and rugged country. Still undiscovered when the Maori first arrived on its shores. Explore the exhibition and discover the Maori, their country, world view, social networks and their art and family treasures.

The dance “haka” and the tattoo-tradition “moko” are world-known symbols of Maori culture. Today, the Maori, first discoverers and inhabitants of New Zealand, make up roughly 15% of the population.

The exhibition explains the Maori concepts of “mana” and “tapu” and invites to discover the Maori culture in the past and the 21st century. Themes of the exhibition are:

  • “waka”: the mythical canoes of the first discoverers
  • “marae”: the central meeting grounds and houses – a tradition still alive
  • “whakapapa”: the genealogy, a paradigm of cultural discourse that provides the basis for establishing, enhancing, and even challenging relationships between individuals, families, local tribal entities and regional tribal bodies
  • “taonga”: The cultural treasures embody the ancestral identity

The exhibition contains 140 objects from three centuries and contemporary art works. Film and audio sequences specially made for the exhibition reflect tradition and change in Maori culture. The exhibition is suitable for the whole family. In addition to beautiful objects, interactive media stations and educational installations, children from the age of 6 years can follow a kiwi on a trail through the exhibition.

“Maori” is an exhibition of Museum Volkenkunde Leiden. The concept was varied for Linden-Museum Stuttgart. Objects are from the collections of the ethnographic museums in Leiden, Stuttgart and Dresden and from private collections.

Be fascinated by the power, the creativity and persistence of the Maori who still struggle for land rights.

Dance the haka! Try the moko!

Immerse yourself into the Maori world.

Maori: New Zealand’s First Inhabitants

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