Tū te Whaihanga is a resurgence of the creative genius of the past, and carries the cultural aspirations of tangata whenua into the future.
Sacred taonga that left the shores of Te Tairāwhiti 250 years ago will return home to be celebrated in the upcoming exhibition, Tū te Whaihanga.
The homecoming will see these taonga stand in their rightful place with their descendants, as part of a year-long exhibition.
The 37 taonga include some of those which left on board the HMS Endeavour, after its first voyage to Aotearoa in October 1769.
A connection to the taonga is now being re-forged and Tū te Whaihanga is the result of the determination by Tairāwhiti iwi for the taonga to return to reconnect with their descendants, to reclaim the knowledge they hold, and to sustain their legacy.
This project has been led by Hei Kanohi Ora Iwi Governance Group, which is made up of tangata whenua of Tūranganui-a-Kiwa and Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti and has been developed in partnership with Tairāwhiti Museum with the support of Eastland Community Trust, Te Puna Tahua Lottery Grants Board and Air New Zealand.
Taonga are returning on loan from The British Museum; Pitt Rivers Museum University of Oxford; University of Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology; Great North Museum: Hancock and Tübingen University Museum, Germany.
Taonga returning include eight painted hoe paddles, traded at sea off Whareongaonga (south of Tūranganui-a-Kiwa) on October 12, 1769, and Te Poupou o Hinematioro from her whare on Te Pourewa Island on October 28, 1769. Other taonga include rākau (weapons), kākahu (cloaks), tātua (belts), whakairo (carvings) and adornments.
Tū Te Whaihanga Media release 13 September 2019