Artefact Adventure – On Māori Television And Māori+

Published: Thu 12 Aug 2021 06:11 PM
Renowned anthropologist and historian, Dame Professor Anne Salmond, takes viewers on an adventure through time in the second series of ARTEFACT – premiering on Māori Television on Sunday 15 August 2021 at 7.30 PM.
In the four-part documentary, Dame Salmond travels around New Zealand and abroad focusing on artefacts – physical items, places or even living creatures – at the heart of gripping and often surprising historical dramas.
Each one-hour episode has a distinct theme and traces the story of a ‘hero’ or main artefact as well as several others that relate to the theme; some are in world famous collections, others are in small local museums or cared for by whānau.
Coming up on ARTEFACT:
· EPISODE 1 – Sunday August 15 2021 at 7.30 PMTE HOKINGA MAI – THE RETURN
The Motunui Panels – five exquisitely carved, decorative panels from a pātaka or Māori store house – were discovered in a swamp in Taranaki in the 1970s, only to vanish a few years later. This is a tale that involves theft, the smuggling of antiquities and a kidnapping. Dame Salmond travels to Switzerland to unravel the mystery of these stunning whakairo and their time spent overseas, hidden away but never forgotten. ARTEFACT follows the panels’ strange and complicated journey home to Taranaki.
At the northern end of the country, another return has taken place, also after decades of planning, work and tears. This is the story of Bishop Jean Baptiste Pompallier: Marist brother, missionary and a beloved leader of the emerging Catholic Church in early colonial New Zealand. When a visit back to Europe took a tragic turn and Pompallier died, his body was interred in a French grave. Generations of those who loved and remembered him in his new home of Aotearoa worked to bring Pompallier back to the Hokianga to finally rest in the place where he had spent much of his later life.
· EPISODE 2 – Sunday August 22 2021 at 7.30 PMTE ARA O TE RIRI – PATH OF WAR
For thousands of Aucklanders, Great South Road is an artery through their suburban communities. Beneath its plain and functional appearance lies a forgotten history: the asphalt that so many use on their commute was once a pathway to battles for land and rule. Dame Salmond investigates this and other uneasy artefacts in our communities that tell of a tragic history of conflict between Māori and Pākehā.
A little-known map shows how Great South Road was originally built to transport Governor Grey’s troops into the Waikato. Waikato-Tainui historians tell uncomfortable truths about the invasions and the battles fought on their lands. Dame Salmond visits artist Sally Burton’s exhibition of key characters from the first violent conflict between Māori and Pākehā after the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
Housed at the same museum as the Pale History exhibition is a prized mere pounamu that once belonged to Te Rangihaeata. It was used in retribution for the actions at the Wairau on that fateful day in 1843. The military hatchments that once hung in St Mary Cathedral in New Plymouth demonstrate the size and number of the militia groups and British forces that invaded Taranaki in 1860 as the settlers’ desire for land grew.
· EPISODE 3 – Sunday 29 August 2021 at 7.30 PMNGĀ KAITIAKI – THE GUARDIANS
In ancient times, kaitiaki or guardians looked after the people and the land offering spiritual protection and guidance, ensuring fertility and productivity, keeping war and famine at bay. Now, due to environmental changes, souvenir hunters, pollution and the ravages of time, it is the kaitiaki who need protecting. Dame Salmond meets those who guard the guardians and challenges us to do the same.
In this episode, we encounter an ancient rock-carving of the goddess Horoirangi that was removed from the cliff-face to be conserved and protected. ARTEFACT travels to a remote island that is jointly managed by iwi and DOC, looking after a thriving tuatara population. At Umupuia on the shores of the Hauraki Gulf, replanting, rāhui and other conservation efforts are refilling this once depleted natural food basket. Offshore, we look at New Zealand artists who are creating works that travel the world demanding attention and reminding us of the urgent care our environment needs. Te Kiingitanga allow us a rare glimpse into an intimate collection of taonga connected to their tipuna.
· EPISODE 4 – Sunday 5 September 2021 at 7.30 PMTE MANA O TE WAHINE –THE POWER OF WOMEN
Prior to colonisation, Māori women and men shared a complementary and balanced power within Māori society. This, however, was at odds with colonial expectations and the elevated role that Māori women once held was destroyed. Much work is now underway to reinstate this balance by recognising wāhine ariki (female leaders), wāhine atua (female deities) and tūpuna wahine (female ancestors), and by reviving lost practices.
Dame Salmond learns of a renowned female warrior through a small, stunning wooden carving that she once owned, believed to have been associated with fertility and childbirth. She visits Tūkorero, a charred fragment of an ancient carving that once stood at Tuahiwi Marae in North Canterbury.At Arahura Marae, on the West Coast of the South Island, we experience a unique pōwhiri where the wero, or challenge, is performed by women.
ARTEFACT revisits the actions of a wahine Māori whose activism continues to inspire and has the privilege to be present when a group of women receive their moko kauae (chin tattoo) as they join a movement around Aotearoa to reclaim this birthright.
Connecting New Zealanders with their ancestors’ experiences and aspirations through the powerful stories of the treasures that have survived them, ARTEFACT premieres on Māori Television on Sunday 15 August 2021 at 7.30 PM and is available on demand on the MĀORI+ app.

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