April 29, 2022
An internet link giving access to a treasure trove of traditional knowledge, expertise and historical information on Pacific Voyaging – which has never been assembled in one place before – was published online in time for New Zealand Archaeology Week (April 23-May 1 2022).
The link connects people to a series of audio, video and written presentations made by an extraordinary range of speakers covering different aspects of traditional Polynesian voyaging.
The presentations were recorded at a ground-breaking wānanga held at Waitangi in 2019 which – for the first time ever – brought together the disciplines of traditional, practical and academic knowledge of Māori voyaging. The wānanga was supported by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, the Department of Conservation, the University of Auckland and the University of Otago.
The wānanga – convened by the Arakite Charitable Trust under the mana of Matutaera Tenana Clendon ONZM with support from Tuia: Encounters 250 – drew leading academics and artisans, tohunga and kōkōrangi (astronomers and navigators), tohunga tārai waka (boatwrights and carvers) as well as anthropologists, archaeologists, traditional and academic historians, museum
conservators, biologists, geneticists and even a geochemist.
The objective of the wānanga was to assemble a broad range of people with different areas of expertise, knowledge and perspectives on Pacific voyaging to enhance understanding of this important aspect of our heritage.
“The web-based resource that was produced from the wānanga contains specialist knowledge presented by a gathering of exceptional tohunga and experts in their different fields,” says Kaumātua and Arakite Trust member, Matuaera Clendon.
“The information recorded here will help advance our understanding of the story of voyaging in the Pacific. Although the subject matter is often quite specialist in nature, the presentations are very accessible and will be of great interest to a wide range of people.”
A selection of speakers and topics include:
- The Late Professor Manuka Henare and Professor Dame Anne Salmond – a conversation
about voyaging that set the scene for the wānanga
- Jack Thatcher – historical, technological and cultural continuity of Pacific voyaging
- Professor Richard Walter – Hawaiki – an Archaeological Perspective
- Ral Makiha – Matariki, Living by the Seasons
- Dr James Robinson – the Mangahāwea Bay excavation
- Ockie Simmonds – the coming of the Māori
- Professor Lisa Matisoo-Smith – DNA and the Pacific origins of settlement of Aotearoa
People can explore the wānanga material free of charge by folliwing the link: