Friday, April 17, 2009

NZ Conference post 3

Spent an amazing day at Whangara Marae where we reconnected (or in my case connected) with Maori culture. A marae is a sacred Maori meeting place (see here for further information).

Reminded me how powerful the Maori language and culture is, as well as fun, funny and welcoming. Some points I gleaned:

  • Need to understand the culture before you begin to build the building (or, in our case, the exhibition)
  • People's life stories are interwoven with their work history
  • Importance of genealogy in Maori culture
  • Maori struggles for repatriation and recognition in museums mirror those of Australian Indigenous people
  • Cultural objects need to be steeped within the context of their culture and kept warm
  • What is the true version of truth?
  • Need to remember that we who work in museums are there to 'serve the people' (not the other way round, something wroth being reminded of I think)
  • Focus on the core business
  • Need to have and maintain good relationships – if people don't get on nothing happens

No comments: