Hundreds of locals turned out to see the event which saw the arrival of the waka, Te Hono ki Aotearoa, by canal.
Toi Māori Aotearoa (New Zealand’s national organisation for Māori art and artists) and the Volkenkunde Museum began talks about the possibility of a waka back in 2008. Early this year the project was given the green light, and Master Waka Builder Hekenukumai(Hector) Puhipi Busby was commissioned to build the ceremonial waka.
With the support of Bank Giro Lottery in the Netherlands, the Volkenkunde Museum and its Director, Steven Engelsman, the “Waka to Leiden” has arrived at its destination after a long journey, coinciding with the launch of a large scale exhibition of Māori culture at the museum.
The ceremonial waka will be on permanent loan to the Volkenkunde Museum, and will remain as a working exhibition. It will have a waka shelter on the Museum grounds.
The ownership of the ceremonial waka will remain with Toi Māori. The waka can be used anywhere in Europe with approval from Toi Māori.
Updated on 23rd July 2015