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Rongo Tuhura: Tangata Whenua - The People of the Land


Thu 10 Feb 2011, 10:00am–4:00pm
Fri 11 Feb 2011, 10:00am–4:00pm
Fri 11 Feb 2011, 10:00am–4:00pm
Sat 12 Feb 2011, 10:00am–4:00pm
Sun 13 Feb 2011, 10:00am–4:00pm

Where: Tairawhiti Museum, Stout St, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay / Gisborne

Restrictions: All Ages

Listed by: tairawhitimuseum

The local people; the hosts; they who are indigenous to the land. Tangata Whenua, literally means the people of the whenua; whenua being the land or placenta; the place where our ancestors were born, where they lived and where their placentas are buried.

Artist statement:

“Growing up as a young Mâori male in rural and in urban New Zealand, the idea of Tangata Whenua started at home. Mâori Culture filled our home in song and dance and in its many diverse art forms and traditions. I see the influence my mother and father had on my elder siblings in many different ways. They were taught how to both live off and respect the land and the sea, and how to care for and replenish their stores. This ensured that the bounty that they provided would be there not only for us right now, but also for the generations to come. They were taught also how to respect one another, and to always respect other people. Indeed, Tangata Whenua for each of us begins in our own back yards, and with some amount of life and living it extends far beyond that.

"Tangata Whenua reveals itself in many forms, reaching far across borders and boundaries. It inspires and embraces the mana of all living things; a reciprocating respect extending right on through to the very land, sea and air that sustains us all. It holds great value in the living and the dead, customs and traditions, religions and beliefs. It puts all other things before itself. It’s a respect for all life, past, present and future; an old-world perspective which in these modern times has never been more relevant. I believe we are all connected to each other and to all things. It’s an idea that I’m passionate about, and one that I thought that I would share.

"It’s my hope that the Tangata Whenua exhibition will allow people to consider what Tangata Whenua means to them.”

Rongo Tangatake Tuhura was born in Gisborne, New Zealand in 1971, to parents Romeo Tuhura and Charlotte Tibble, each sharing a rich and diverse heritage. Being of Ngati Porou decent, Rongo acknowledges also his Spanish, Scottish, Norwegian, French, and Lebanese blood ties.

In 2008 Rongo emerged a recent graduate of the Te Toi o Nga Rangi Bachelor of Maori Visual Arts program run by esteemed local Maori Visual Arts School Toihoukura, Gisborne. Prior learning in multimedia: visual and graphic design held Rongo in good stead to progress swiftly and successfully through the program. However, like many artists, Rongo’s love and appreciation of art began at a very early age.

Inspired by the masters of the Renaissance era, Rongo was later encouraged to delve into his own culture and heritage where among many things he discovered diverse genealogies about the pantheon of the gods, great leaders of men, and inspiring histories concerning the audacious heroes and heroines of Maoridom.