Thursday, February 12, 2009
Poutu Ki Rongomaraeroa - Carved figure Dargaville Museum
Over a thousand years ago my ancester Kupe voyaged from Hawaiki to Aotearoa in his waka to settle. Other waka came too which laid the foundations for the Maori Tribes European settlers would much later encounter. My Iwi is Ngaitahu (from the South Island or Pounamu) through Tei Tei who was a daughter of Paahi a brother to the sacred chief(Ariki) Te Maiharanui. Tei Tei married William Issac Haberfield in 1837 at Moeraki and my family through my mother's father descend from their eldest daughter Mere P. I am proud of my heritage. This carving on display at the Dargaville Museum is called Poutu Ki Rongomaraeroa. It was found at Poutu in 1991 and attributed to the Waitaha People. On a previous visit with Lisa aka Timespanner we had both viewed this carving and had asked the Curator questions about it. This carving hasn't been carbon dated to verify its age. Whatever story lies behind it this is a beautiful piece of art from the past. The image is a stiched together one the file size doesn't do the carving true justice. Last time it disturbed me greatly now I see it in a different light.
An update since this post was done. Maps from Reading the Maps raised the issue of the pseudo history behind this carving and the manner in which it was displayed. The carving was displayed lying down which caused me concern at the time. No carving should ever be displayed in such a manner. Thanks to Maps the Dargaville Museum have withdrawn the "history" and are making steps to ascertain the carvings true provenance. Well done Dargaville Museum for at last taking heed of well informed and very valid opinions.