Global sensation, Tuku Iho, set for inaugural outing in Aotearoa

Internationally renowned Māori arts and culture exhibition, Tuku Iho | Living Legacy, is set to make its Aotearoa debut at the epicentre of Māori performing arts – Te Matatini.

Created by the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute (NZMACI), Tuku Iho | Living Legacy highlights the best in traditional and contemporary Māori culture, featuring more than 60 works of art, in-situ pounamu (greenstone) and wood carving, live tā moko, kapa haka, contemporary musicians, and cultural collaborations.

NZMACI is located at Te Puia, in Te Whakarewarewa Valley in Rotorua.

Brought to New Zealand audiences in partnership with Creative New Zealand and Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival, Tuku Iho provides a unique opportunity to shine a spotlight on age-old taonga and traditional crafts, while giving an understanding of their place in today’s world.

The exhibition has enjoyed global fame since 2013, touring China, Malaysia, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, North America, and Japan.

NZMACI General Manager, Eraia Kiel says it has long been a shared desire to give peoplethe chance to see the exhibition that has wowed audiences across the globe.

Tuku Iho has allowed us to share our culture, traditions, and art with the world. Now, 10 years since it first toured, our own people will get to experience the mana and beauty of the exhibition.

Mr Kiel says Tuku Iho contributes to NZMACI’s legislated mandate to protect, promote and perpetuate Māori arts, crafts, and culture.

What better way is there to tell our stories and reflect the diversity of our culture than through our art forms, which we have practised for centuries?

Tuku Iho is a celebration of who we are; the traditions, language and values that have shaped our identity as Māori, and we are proud to be able to showcase them all at Te Matatini – the heart of Māori performing arts.

“This is also an opportunity for young Māori, participating and spectating at Te Matatini, to learn more about NZMACI and how they can apply to study  and learn alongside our master carvers and weavers,” Mr Kiel says.

The works on display include a full-size pātaka (storehouse) façade, taonga puoro (musical instruments) and taonga whakarākai (head and body adornments).

Traditional Māori tattooist, Arekatera “Katz” Maihi (Ngāti Whātua | Ngā Puhi) will also be on-site over the four-day exhibition, doing live tā moko.

Tuku Iho will be located at the Heartland Lounge, Ngā Ana Wai, Eden Park from Wednesday, 22 February to Saturday, 25 February.

All Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival ticket holders will have complimentary access to the taonga and artists that have made Tuku Iho a global phenomenon.

While this pop-up exhibition will only be available to Te Matatini ticket holders, plans are underway to develop a touring exhibition to bring the experience to the rest of Aotearoa.