26 Jan 2011
Native Americans & Dutch paddlers join Māori waka crews for Waitangi Waka Pageant 2011 & new Whare waka opens in Wellington on 6 February 2011.
The brisk waters of the Bay of Islands (Te Pewhairangi) will once again be hosting ceremonial waka of all designs from around the country, along with international guests, the Confederation of Grand Ronde Tribes of Portland Oregon, Suquamish representatives from Seattle and Dutch Representatives from Leiden, Holland.
Nga Waka Federation of Toi Māori has been involved with cultural waka art form exchanges with the Native Americans over the last two years at their Tribal Canoe Journeys (http://tribaljourneys.wordpress.com/) and our annual Waitangi Waka Pageant.
This has forged an invaluable relationship into the art form and the sharing of cultural practises which bodes well for the future.Who knows? We may even build a waka with them in their lands as another port of Nga Waka Federations international fleet of waka based overseas to promote Māori art and the country!
With the recent handover ceremony in October 2010 of the waka taua Te Hono ki Aotearoa (The Link to New Zealand) and the waka Tētē kura, Abel Tasman (Tāhīmana) based at the Volkenkunde Museum in Leiden, representatives from the museum and the oldest rowing club in Holland, Njord (Tangaroa or God of the Sea) Royal Rowing Club will be present at the Waitangi waka pageant.
Joe Conrad, Nga Waka Federation member and Kaihautu (Captain) of Nga Toki Matawhaorua says,
“Both Dutch and Native Americans will be training on the largest waka we have which is Nga Toki.The women can also participate on the waka tētēkura that will be made available.”
Robert Gabel, Chair of Nga Waka Federation and main organizer for the Waitangi Waka Pageant says,
“Maintaining our relationships on a national and international scale is one of our strategies to push kaupapa waka above and beyond these shores.”
In the meantime two waka from Whakatane, Mataatua Toroa waka taua (which has attended every Waka pageant in Waitangi since 1990) and Hinemoana waka tētēkura have been invited by Te Whare waka o Poneke Charitable Trust to attend and celebrate the official opening of its new waka premises located on the Wellington Waterfront next to the National Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
They will be part of an elaborate Dawn Ceremony on 6th February 2011.It will also involve locally based waka ama and other interested boating communities in the Wellington region.
Hinemoana will also be included as part of the International Sevens Rugby flotilla parade in Wellington on Thursday 4th February starting at midday.
All waka are in support of kaupapa waka and the two local waka taua, Te Aniwaniwa & Te Raukura.