‘TE HONO KI AOTEAROA’ Can the waka be seen as an ‘ambassador object’ and represent Maori people?

Vivian Mac Gillavry
Master’s thesis Social and Cultural Anthropology June 24, 2016
Supervisor: Dr. R. Woets
Second assessor: Dr. F. Colombijn
External advisor: Dr. W. Veys

The museum organises a waka weekend every year that aims at fostering relations between the museum, Toi Maori, the Nga Waka federation, Njord, Ngati Ranana, Kohanga Reo and the New Zealand Embassy in The Hague.

The importance of community engagement to the interpretation and conservation of museum objects is widely recognized. The role of museum objects in connecting a specific kind of community - for instance, the diaspora - has been examined to a far lesser extent. The Museum Volkenkunde’s waka project occupies a very special position in this regard.