Revitalising cultural knowledge through analysis of the Māori sail, Te Rā.

Te Rā; made of plant materials, unidentified feathers. Oc,NZ.147. British Museum.

Te Rā is the sole remaining customary Māori sail. She is held in the British Museum and has never been systematically studied or documented. Te Rā’s existence is evidence of the relationship of Māori to Polynesian antecedents and speaks to the centrality of voyaging in Māori tradition. This research project aims to revitalise the cultural knowledge contained in Te Rā. Recovering this knowledge will involve an interdisciplinary approach and the use of a diverse range of methods in order to access previously unknown information related to cultural knowledge, use, construction and technology. The research project is a Royal Society – Te Apārangi Marsden fund project.

Ranui Ngarimu with Te Rā at the British Museum
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