First online exhibition of New Zealand's Te Papa Museum
The Maori Showband Exhibition is the first ever online exhibition of New Zealand's amazing museum complex in Wellington, Te Papa. Celebrating Kiwiana's rich (but comparatively short) history, Te Papa portrays the nation's natural history, as well as the 800 years of Maori colonialisation and the 230 odd years of Pakeha presence. Being 700 km away from where I live, I can't unfortuntely visit as often as I would like to. Somebody must have heard my yearning, though, as they have now launched an amazing feature on the web:
I first heard about it on my favourite show on National Radio New Zealand, Kim Hill's saturday morning slot
. On 4.12.04 Mahora Peters of the Maori Volcanics was telling the nation of how she has been working in these amazing conceptions for almost 50 years now, working with Tom Jones, the Bee Gees, opening for The Beatles and how much fun this has been. The Maori Showbands were a pretty unique Kiwi invention, in which numerous bands would blend an amazing mix between contemporary pop, rock'n roll and classic Maori dances, comedy and cabaret.
The exhibition itself can be found at http://www.maorishowband.co.nz and launches in a new window as flash presentation. Quite quirkily designed, with more videos, sounds and more information than you can shake a Taiaha at. If you can't make it to Te Papa yourself, here is a good place to start learning about this amazing melange of the western world and Maoritanga.