Students visit Aratoi

Last week the students  form years 7-9 visited Aratoi museum.

Two years of preparation work went into preparing for this historic exhibition. Items were gathered together from all over New Zealand and overseas. We thank our tour guides, Diana Cruse and Wayne Pitau for sharing their knowledge and helping us to widen our own. We thank Tranzit for sponsoring the buses which meant that thousands of students from all over the Wairarapa could share this special event.

We saw an amazing range of exhibits – from a room full of Gottfried Lindauer paintings of Ngati Kahungnunu ancestors to a contemporary interactive art work by artist Ngatai Taepa where visitors could place a chevron placed piece into the installation or alter its design. We admired many carvings including the carvings for Nga Tau e Waru at the Te Ore Ore Marae which had been carved by Te Nahay Haeata and Hohepa Hutana. Mr Frank McNally, our teacher of Te Reo and Jason Paku, a Chanel parent were both involved in the restoration of these carvings and are presently engaged in the restoration of the carvings of our Chanel College wharenui, Hinerangi.

We saw precious korowai (cloaks) of Maori feathers. There was the jaw bone of a whale that had recently been stranded at Glenburn on the Wairarapa coast so we could compare whalebone in its natural state with intricately carved whale bone hand clubs that were not only works of art but also examples of what was possible with the technology of the time. There were many cultural exhibits including a river waka, a huge hinaki tuna trap, bird spears, taiaha, jewellery, bone needles and combs, adzes made from stone and pounamu, many large photographs of historical significance and maps.

After the tours students had the opportunity to participate in a large range of activities connected with the exhibition experience.  The organisers were impressed when our students thanked them with waiata,  haka and the blowing of the conch.