Te Moananui a Kiwa


exhibition Details

The Pacific Ocean is vast, occupying nearly one-third of the Earth's surface. Named in 1520 by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan for its placid waters, to its Polynesian inhabitants it is Te Moananui a Kiwa - the Great Ocean of Kiwa. Polynesia encompasses a triangle within this ocean extending from Hawaii in the North to Rapanui (Easter Island) in the East and Aotearoa New Zealand in the South. Each of the cultures tells stories of an ancestor named Kiwa, famed as a great ocean explorer.

Albert Wendt, Reina Whaitiri and Robert Sullivan noted in their recent anthology of Polynesian poetry; 'Polynesia was written into existence by outsiders and that literature has created many myths about our region.' The same is true of the historic art that depicts the Pacific - it conveys the view of the European explorer, coloniser and settler. This exhibition seeks to redress the balance, bringing together diverse perspectives through the mixing of periods and cultures, to tell stories of Te Moananui a Kiwa, its peoples, its lands and its histories.

Curated by
Ron Brownson, Ngahiraka Mason, Jane Davidson
Main Gallery
Free entry

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