Kiwi Freebie: Toi Maori Art Exhibit, San Francisco

If the Maori culture intrigues you, stick out your tongue, stomp your feet and beat your chest at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts from August 5th through the 14th. Here, you can view America’s largest exhibition of contemporary Maori art and culture from New Zealand. It includes The Eternal Thread, a world class collection of traditional and contemporary Maori cloaks, Ta Moko (body tattooing), sculpture and clay works. even weavers and tattooists at work.

Yesterday at a special dawn ceremony to launch the event, representatives from California’s native Ohlone tribe greeted the Maori artists at San Francisco’s Aquatic Park. The ceremonial 52-foot-long waka (canoe) Te Ika a Maui glided the Maori artists across San Francisco Bay to meet the Ohlone delegation.

A special feature of Toi Maori is the presence of the artists themselves. Some of New Zealand’s most celebrated weavers, tattooists and contemporary artists are travelling with the exhibition. Their interaction with exhibition attendees is an essential element in the Toi Maori experience. Later this year, the Toi Maori exhibit will journey up the west coast for additional airings in Salem, Seattle and Warm Springs.

This event offers free admission at: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.

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