Aotearoa – New Zealand Interactive Pavillion

I stumbled upon an announcement about this in the Events list, and boy, am I glad I did! Lost among the gazillions of tringo, slingo, yard sales and camping chairs fests, was this gem: the Aotearoa/New Zealand Interactive Pavillion in Uli. I couldn’t go there at first, due to connection problems and the twin power outages that kept the grid down, but Saturday was the day I’d finally get a chance at having a closer look at it. I sure don’t regret it, and I’ll encourage everyone reading this post to take a peek as well.

The first floor is, so to say, the “shopping area”: postcards, Maori artwork and costumes, books, and even a small stage–on which Luthien Unsung performed a traditional dance just for us when we were there yesterday. It’s already pretty interesting in my opinion, although the best is to come.

Up to the second floor I go. First, the Pavillion is beautifully done, that’s the least I can say. Lots of pictures of birds, fishes, NZ currencies and stamps, as well as a slideshow with landscape photographies. Second, it’s also very instructive: with all these pictures, come notecards telling the visitor a little more about what he’s currently looking at. Historical information disputes it to samples of birds’ cries.

The third floor is a reproduction of a meeting house, and of the “Marae”, the sacred courtyard in front of said meeting house. In there are displayed traditional Maori weaponry, pictures and statues. A few panels on the wall marked “Pakiwaitara” also hand out notecards that tell the story of the world’s creation, and more.

One post in one blog wouldn’t be enough to tell of all the wonders shown in this exhibition, so I’ll once again urge you, reader, to go have a look by yourself. It’ll be worth it, and a good use of your time.

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