Emotional ceremony for the return of historic Hawaiian taonga


Over 200 years ago, a Hawaiian ariki gifted Captain Cook
a cape and traditional helmet. In the passage of time, the taonga came to be
in the possession of Te Papa. But today, with much ceremony, a Hawaiian delegation came
to the national museum to take their taonga home. Peata Melbourne reports. Approaching with caution toward those who’ve long been
in possession of their treasures. A moving welcome as ihi and wehi
are shared between two cultures. The Hawaiians came face to face
for the first time with a traditional cloak
and helmet from the late 1700s. It’s estimated 4 million feathers from 10,000 birds were used
to weave the ‘Ahu’ula. In an act of gratitude towards those who cared for the pieces
over the last 100 years, gifts were crafted and presented
by the Hawaiians. Art is man’s legacy. I believe this phrase epitomises the connection between man
and our treasures. A ceremony will be held
on March 17 in Honolulu to celebrate the return of
these treasures to their homeland. Peata Melbourne, Te Karere.

Michael Martin

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