Last night I attended the media preview for TUKU IHO | Living Legacy, at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, sponsored by the New Zealand Embassy. From the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute website:

An exhibition of time-honoured Māori artworks, Tuko Iho | Living Legacy features more than 80 pieces of art using wood, bone, stone and flax mediums, handcrafted by students and teachers at New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute (NZMACI). The exhibition is supported by an array of other art forms including kapa haka, in situ wood carving and tā moko (Māori tattoo). 

Speaking of tattoos, they asked if anybody wanted one and my friend Dave raised his hand. A few minutes later Katz Maihi free-handed a general design on Dave's right shoulder, then got to work.

Katz Maihi, Māori designer, carver, and tattoo artist.

Dave and Katz after the tattoo was completed.

As soon as we started making our way upstairs to the main hall of the Museum of Natural History we heard the beginning of the calls of the kapa haka. As we arrived into the rotunda things were in full swing — chanting, stomping, singing, dancing — and it was amazing.

And finally, around the corner from the main stage, in an area that wasn't roped off, I found a puddle of light and asked a couple of the guys for quick portraits.

TUKU IHO | Living Legacy will be in DC until July 30th at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

An exhibition of time-honoured Māori artworks, Tuko Iho | Living Legacy features more than 80 pieces of art using wood, bone, stone and flax mediums, handcrafted by students and teachers at New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute (NZMACI). The exhibition is supported by an array of other art forms including kapa haka, in situ wood carving and tā moko (Māori tattoo). — nzmaci.com

Kapa haka performances will happen every morning at 9:40am. You should really go enjoy a performance.

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