A Meeting of Cultures Exhibition 2007

A Meeting of Cultures was an exhibition held in Tauranga in 2007. The exhibition focused on the exchange of ideas between Maori and Europeans, and some of the people associated with Te Papa Mission Station.

Dame Anne Salmond, Joy Drayton and Lyndsay Bluck at the opening of the exhibition.The banner shows Wiremu Tarapipipi Tamihana as a young man, dressed in a korowai, a traditional Maori cloak with black thrums and fringing. An excerpt from the text panel reads: Kaitaka, a Maori cloak with a taniko border c.1850. The kaitaka features a plain base-kaupapa, woven in double pair twining called, 'whatuoah orua'. Weft rows woven from side to side of the cloak, interlock warp, or 'whenuo' thread in a twining stitch that appears as a chain stitch. The kaitaka is one of the most prestigious of cloaks, because of the time taken to weave the taniko border. The deep Taniko border on this cloak is woven with dark green Berlin wool and white cotton. There is also a narrow Taniko border running down each side of the cloak.A display of items, many from the early missionary period, including a medical field case and telescope brought out from England by Reverend Brown in 1829.Joy Drayton and Dame Anne Salmond opening the exhibition.Life on the mission station was very different to life as we know it today, and this is illustrated by some of the objects in this display. The iron cooking pot is very different to the pots we use to cook in today. There is an iron pot at The Elms that is believed to have belonged to a young Maori girl called Tarore, of Ngati Haua. The text panel in this display reads: TARORE’ S IRON COOKING POT “The land will remain forever to produce food, and after the old trees have been cut down to build houses with, the saplings will continue to grow and, after years become large trees, while the payment for the land will come to an end. The blankets will wear out, the axes be broken after cutting down the trees, and the iron pots will be cracked by the fire.” So spoke Te Waharoa, the chief of the Ngati Haua people, on receiving payment from the Church Missionary Society for land for the mission. He did not keep the money, the blankets, the iron cooking pots, axes, hoes and spades for himself, apart from a couple of spades, but distributed the goods amongst his people. One recipient of a cooking pot was his great— niece, Tarore, daughter of his nephew, Ngakuku of Okauia.  A 19th century woman's silk gown and Ecclesiastical robes from the early 19th century, beside an early bible in Maori and a greenstone mere in the display case.The exchange of ideas between Maori and European is illustrated here by these wonderful kete, or woven baskets. Originally used to carry food and often quite large, the kete of our time is smaller and more like a handbag for personal posessions. Traditionally in Maori society it was women who were weavers. The two kete mounted in the white supports, are believed to be over one hundred years old and are very finely woven, by highly skilled craftswomen.