05 Jul 2012
Viewers of a new series on Maori arts are being encouraged to follow simple tutorials in the art of weaving, carving and kowhaiwhai design.
Te Irikura features the history and customary use of many Maori art forms, as well as the work of renowned Maori artists and craftspeople.
Producer Lara Northcroft says the series was produced in partnership with Te Puia, the NZ Maori Arts and Crafts Institute in Rotorua.
“Many taonga Maori are now admired as art but in more ancient times, The functionality was most important. Some were highly prized because of the degree of skill needed to produce it, the length of time it took or the scarcity of materials. Others were associated with rituals, prominent ancestors or spiritual beliefs.”
Lara hoped people of all ages would gain an appreciation for the artistic value and workmanship of taonga, and be inspired to learn to create pieces and investigate the taonga of their own tribe.
The series begins with simple instructional methods for basic taonga. As the series progresses, so does the level of difficulty.
“For example, the episodes on weaving tells viewers about the customary importance of flax to Maori; how it grows and is harvested; and how it’s prepared and dyed for different uses. This is followed by a tutorial session on the making of a rourou and a taniko headband.”
A bilingual version of the series with subtitles will screen on Maori Television and a Maori language version would broadcast on Te Reo, to ensure a broad audience.
Te Irikura airs on Te Reo Channel from Saturday 7th July at 8.30pm and on Maori Television commencing Sunday 5th August at 5pm.