'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Going to the mattresses in Wellington.

I've had a mad, full on three days in the capital  city Wellington this week.  My art class plus the first year music students took the bus down and back which was in itself a mission, as the trip takes over nine hours.

We stayed on the Waiwhetu Marae - sleeping all together on the floor of the wharenui (meeting house) on mattresses, and spent our day time visiting Te Papa - the national museum, and being 'culture vultures' in the CBD.

We were honoured to be allowed out the back of the museum, where are stored tens of thousands of artifacts, especially those relating to Māori history.  It was fascinating and almost overwhelming there, and the whole three days has given me material and knowledge that I will need months to assimilate and examine.

"Waharoa" - Te Papa, first floor.

This is the lower part of a lovely example of a traditional waharoa, a gateway or entranceway.  

The work was carried out by master carver Neke Kapua and his sons Tene and Eramiha, of Ngāti Tarawhai, a subtribe of Te Arawa of Rotorua. It is carved from a 22-metre single slab of tōtara that came from the central North Island.

Early-morning joggers along the waterfront, Wellington.


  1. I think you'll find there is a glaring spelling mistake in that last paragraph, Katherine.

    Only kidding ! But you do get a 725 score in scrabble for it all.

    Glad you had such an interesting fact finding trip. Please just promise me you'll never sit with Daphne across from me on a long train journey !

  2. I'd love to see that museum - and the countryside of New Zealand too.

    This is one of my favourite museums, if you're ever in Amsterdam - but it would take a lot more than 9 hours on a bus, I know! :


    (it is far more interesting than it might sound, it changed my outlook on many things)

  3. Yes, I guess the Maori words are quite unfamiliar to you Ian :-)
    And why should I not sit with Daphne opposite you in a train, pray?

    Emily, I'd love you to see that museum and New Zealand countryside too! Start saving today!
    And that museum link - how very interesting! I think you would really enjoy having a dip into Tikanga Maori - the world of the Maori.

  4. Wow! I had no idea the journey down to Wellington would take so long.

  5. Katherine - I love that I'm seeing this and I've been there. How cool! I just love reading your blog!

  6. Anonymous15.3.09

    When I see something like that magnificent gateway carving, I marvel at the courage it takes to do that kind of carving.

    I mean, just think. One single slab of totara ... one slip, one uncorrectable mistake, and it's all wasted!!


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